8 Steps to a Better Call to Action

8 Steps to a Better Call to Action

First impressions are everything, and when it comes to your website, a good first impression makes the difference between landing or losing a sale. When a potential customer opens your page, they should be able to figure out what you’re offering and how to get it without having to scroll further. I talk a lot about the client journey, and for good reason. When you make it easy for them to take action by getting super clear the steps and your why, it’s a much simpler path from prospect to client. How do you do this? A clear call to action is the starting point.

A call to action is exactly what it says—no hidden meanings here! It’s an image, button, and/or phrase that tells your audience what you want them to do and how to do it. The action you want them to take could be anything—signing up for an opt-in freebie, purchasing a product, scheduling a consult, registering for an event, joining a group, and so much more! If you want to know how to create an epic call to action that your audience will want to click-on, keep reading!

1. Use bold language and emotion

Not all calls to action are created equal. While standard calls to action such as “Subscribe,” “Click Here,” or “Learn More” are all great, if you want the easy YES from your audience you’ll need to get their attention. Your call to action is a place to be punchy, not timid. Use bold, commanding language, and words that convey action and excitement. The average visitor stays on a page for 10-20 seconds. That’s all you have to grab their attention and make your call to action stand out—make it count. Strong, emotional language will draw in your audience. The clincher here is to make sure it’s also insanely clear (see my next point).

2. Keep it clear

One important aspect of a great call to action is it needs to be ONE SPECIFIC THING. It needs to be crystal clear to your audience what action they’re about to take. And it needs to be straightforward. Don’t muddy the waters by using too much jargon or adding multiple actions.

And…while bold and clever are GOOD, clear wins out every single time. It’s really tempting, too. My brand is CopySnacks…early on, my CTA was “Get Snackin’.” Super fun, right? So, what was wrong with it was that no one understood they were actually getting when they clicked…and guess what? Very few clicks.

Even if the bulk of your business comes from referrals, this is something you’ve gotta do.

3. Speak directly to your audience

To quickly grab your audience’s attention, consider using words like “You,” “Your,” or “We” so that the audience can picture themselves in the perfect shoes…those of your client. In this post about writing conversationally, I talked about the importance of speaking directly to your audience. The same goes for your call to action. Keep their attention by keeping it personal.

4. Make an offer they can’t refuse

Here’s the secret sauce of a great call to action: you must offer something of value to your audience. It can be the greatest call to action of all time, but that won’t matter if the offer doesn’t benefit your audience. Give them a reason to want to take action, something they know they’ll miss out on if they don’t follow through. It should be clear that what you are offering will be of great benefit to your audience, and they can’t live without it! (Psst! Not sure if you’re offering something they love? Do some market research and find out where people have big holes.)

Here’s the thing—we all have a little bit of FOMO in us (fear of missing out). Your audience has that too! Let them know that they’ll be missing out if they don’t take action. There’s a fine line here because you don’t want to come off too salesy and push your client away. If you want to create a sense of urgency without channeling an infomercial, consider offering a bonus if they purchase in a certain amount of time. Everyone loves more bang for their buck!

The most important way to play to your audience’s FOMO is to make sure your call to action addresses a pain point so big that they can’t help but want to fix it. Like I said, make them an offer they can’t refuse.

5. Give your CTA the spotlight it deserves

Now that you have a killer call to action, it’s time to put it front and center. You should always have a CTA on your homepage above the fold (the part of the website that can be seen without any scrolling). If you have a long page to scroll through, make sure there is an easy way for the reader to take action from wherever they are on the page. Consider adding a link or button with your call to action at the middle and/or bottom of the page. If they have to spend time scrolling back up to the top, you may lose them.

Your call to action should be clearly visible! No hard to read fonts, tiny or light-colored text, or anything that doesn’t stand out. A great call to action is clear, bold, and poppin’.

6. Make your call to action clickable

Your call to action should always be clickable. It shouldn’t take any work for your audience to get where you want them to go. It can be a button, linked text, or an image, as long as it’s clickable. Make sure you test it often to make sure it’s landing where you want it to. A broken link is the fastest way to lose a sale.

7. Don’t be afraid to tweak your call to action

If you think you have a stellar call to action and it’s not getting any traction, run through this checklist and consider tweaking it to see how the new one performs. You may need to change things up.

8. Get by with a little help from a friend

Does your call to action work? Does it need to be improved? Join The Snack Bar to get real-time feedback on your CTA and the rest of the copy!

Want to grab a printable checklist of these tips? Click the pop up or grab it below!

Grab The CTA Checklist

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