4 Must-Have Components of Effective Call-to-Actions

The ultimate goal of a business website is to generate leads and finally sales. The whole point of implementing an online marketing strategy is to create points-of-contact that convert prospects (visitors) into leads (sales). Every visitor to a website is a prospect, and if they leave without providing any information about themselves or establishing some sort of relationship then the opportunity to turn these prospects into leads and sales is lost forever. Below are some great techniques to help converting prospects into leads.

  1. Creating Effective Calls-to-Action

    A Call-to-Action (CTA) is a time-honoured sales device that compels a person to take a desired action. In web marketing, a CTA is a means of creating a point-of-contact with a visitor to convert that prospect into a sales lead. CTAs are typically positioned near the top of web pages, or “above the fold” as it is termed. While CTAs are a key to lead generation, they need to be used correctly to convert traffic into leads.

    • CTAs should be bigger and bolder than other page elements, while at the same time not overly distracting.
    • Consider the colour scheme used for CTA elements. CTAs can take the form of links, buttons or even graphical elements, so it’s important to make them look so attractive visitors will be compelled to click on them.
    • Combine a value-return with the CTA such as guides, brochures, eBooks, promotional desktop wallpapers and other types of free downloads. Avoid the hackneyed “Contact Us” button. This is the very worst format for a CTA and actually seems to repel mouse clicks.
    • Make it obvious that the CTA is clickable. Sometimes web designers get too clever by half and incorporate CTAs into page elements that are not obviously clickable links. Keep it clear what is being offered. Avoid being too clever by half.
    • Test, test, test. Test different language, placements, colours and methods of CTAs to determine which get more clicks and generate the most leads. Different placements and combinations may be more or less effective depending on the type of business or service that is the focus of the website.
  2. CTA Placement
    It is generally better to place CTAs above the fold because the tops of pages get the most views. However, other placements might be more effective depending on the type of action being called for with the CTA. For example, some types of CTAs are known as “top-of-funnel” offers designed to draw in prospects by building initial interest in the product. Top-of-funnel CTAs might offer brochures or eBooks to provide more in-depth information, while “middle-of-funnel” CTAs would be offered to prospects that are further along the process of being converted into a real sales lead. Middle-of-funnel CTAs might include such offers as a pricing estimate, quote or a free trial.

    Add to cart button placement increases conversions by 10%.

  3. Landing Pages and CTAs

    Landing Pages are where the “action” part of the CTA happens. Also known as “Lead Capture Pages,” Landing Pages are where visiting prospects are converted into leads through the collection of contact information in a form.

    • Effective Landing Pages will include only those elements of previous pages that are needed in order to minimise distractions and allow the prospect to concentrate on filling out the form and to keep the prospect moving along the sales funnel.
    • Remove site navigation from the Landing Page to keep visitors focused on completing the form.
    • Make the offer clear and be sure it matches the original Call-to-Action.
    • Keep it easy and reduce friction – if visitors have to think too much or work too hard by reading walls of text they will leave.
  4. Forms

    Forms are the definite key to effective Landing Pages by providing that vital point-of-contact that turns a prospect into a sales lead. Forms are used for people to sign up for memberships, subscribe to newsletters or services, receive downloads or request more information about products or services.

    How much or how little information any form requires depends on the purpose of the CTA, the product or service that is the focus of the site and other factors that must be determined on a case by case basis. The general rule of thumb is to ask for only as much information as required for the immediate purpose of the CTA, such as a name and email address, with a mind to nurture the prospect along toward the ultimate goal of buying.

    The more fields requiring information in a form, the less likely the form will be filled out. Each new field in a form adds friction – more work for the visitor – and nobody likes more work. A longer form looks like more work and will often be avoided, resulting in fewer prospect conversions. On the other hand, the more information gathered usually results in better quality leads. The issue of form length and configuration should be constantly tested to see what works best for a particular website.

  5. Conclusion

    To stay at the leading edge, websites must take advantage of these new online marketing strategies and find ways to integrate SEO, social media, blogging, quality content and CTAs to drive traffic and capture potential leads and sales.

    Following the guidelines set out above will help your website to generate traffic, leads and sales. However, the evolution the world is in the midst of is not static, and the tools and techniques of effective web marketing likely will continue to evolve and change as well.

    Stay tuned …

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