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How To Call To Action

Call To Action More often than not, it is not enough for you that your visitors just come and go. You want them to do something at your site. Unfortunately usually webmasters pay too little attention to their calls-to-action focusing on design, content and SEO. It is sad to see truly good resources that are doing great in SERPs but fail to engage their visitors.

Calls to action may vary. You may want your visitors to subscribe, to register, to buy something, to bookmark your post, etc. With calls to action everything is important: the color of your buttons and supporting elements, the language you use to describe the action, the place on the page where you locate them, the additional elements that encourage people to act. All these elements should be consistent and support each other getting your visitors one step closer to their objective.

The Color Of Call-To-Action

COLOR NATURE OF ASSOCIATIONS WHERE TO USE DRAWBACKS
Red increases your heart rate by activating your pituitary gland a classic call to action color might be associated with debt and danger
Yellow the first color a person sees draw attention to your call-to-action
Orange combination of aggressive red and cheerful yellow perfect call-to-action
Blue may make your visitor reconsider the action
Green the easiest for the eyes good for testimonials, founder’s story, etc
White gives other colors prominence make your call-to-action
stand out

Based on “Which Color is the Right Color?” (The source link was deleted)

The Words For Call-To-Action

1) Your call-to-action should make it clear what the site is about.

I was browsing some non-profit organizations the other day and came up to a good example of how to use inappropriate vocabulary when talking about donating. Here is a nice site asking for donations to “make the world better”: if you want to donate money for a good cause, you need to (1) add your donation to cart, (2) view your shopping cart and (3) checkout. Do you still feel you want to make a donation? Me not. With words like these donation (that is supposed to make me feel happy for “making the world better”) gives me the feeling I am buying a bar of chocolate.

Call To Action: Words

2) It may also be wise to scatter several calls to action throughout the site making the most of synonyms and encouraging words to:

  • Explain how to make an action (e.g. “Click here to buy”);
  • Use ‘softer’ calls-to-action (e.g. “try it” instead of “buy it”);
  • Imply immediacy of the action (e.g. “Buy now“).

! Important note: Using several calls to action is OK unless this tactic promotes FUD (i.e. fear, uncertainty and doubt) or distracts attention:

Call To Action: Synonyms

Where To Call To Action?

A great research by Marketing Experiments showcasing the landing page optimization suggests placing a call to action along the customer’s eye path (that you build by your design elements) through the page. Look here:

Where To Call To Action

A Few Examples?

Two helpful links that can demonstrate the theory summed up above: call-to-action button collection and add to cart button collection (each linking to a merchant’s site); so see for yourself! (I personally find most of them painfully poor examples of calls to action.)

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  1. 60 Responses to “How To Call To Action”

  2. Wow, I didn’t know colors can influence our buying decisions. 100% of the time I only look at the prices and if it’s way off my budget I just tell myself to move on. :)

    By Dan on Jan 25, 2012

  3. Hi,

    Great article. Going to use your color model on my website. Really useful!

    By incasso on Feb 7, 2012

  4. Good to read, and I will ajust my website to see if its really sufficient.

    By Michel on Mar 16, 2012

  5. Hi Ann – great article!

    If you’re interested in learning more about CTA copy, I recently published a how-to video on writing high-impact CTA copy. It features a few case studies and a simple optimization principle anyone can use to write button copt that converts. Check it out here: goo.gl/GQ893

    Thanks!

    – Michael

    By Michael on Aug 4, 2012

  6. Smart work by smart people (Ann Smarty) :) really great work. I would like to say that I will implement “Where To Call To Action?” & that is one of the most important part for me as well I will do some research on this & if you are providing few links links, than I am thankful to you :)

    Apart from that, this is really a great post. :)

    Thanks
    Arun Nair

    By Arun Nair on Nov 9, 2012

  7. Ann, how the hell did you acquire so much knowledge so fast? Nice pics at the end especially, regarding using calls-to-action where the eye is drawn naturally. Smart idea, and I’m going to be integrating that asap

    By Geri Getirme on Dec 25, 2014

  8. Woow, that’s really fantastic. Finally found that some one posted a really logical thing.”Call to Action” is the must important thing about Internet Marketing.Call to action strategy could be a very beneficial to online service provider.

    By ClickMatix on Oct 20, 2015

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