Call To Action Definition
This is the 4th article of a 5-part series on creating successful website content. One of the most important elements of site content is a Call To Action (CTA), which is defined as ‘an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “click here,” “call now,” “subscribe to our newsletter,” “download our free guide” or “buy now”.‘ It’s usually part of a sales promotional message, but it might have other goals and may vary from page to page on your website.
I like to say that websites have a job. Each page of the website has a job, that supports the overall goals of the website. Sometimes the job of a page is to pre-frame content and link to the next page of the funnel.
To define Call To Action, depends on the job or mission of the website. A non-profit website might have a goal of getting people to donate or volunteer, for instance. Another objective might be to promote a cause or educate/raise awareness.
Call To Action Examples
The best CTAs are often graphical because they attract your eye and can appeal to your emotions. A well written article with a text link can also be effective and some savvy marketers and copywriters will incorporate both into their page.
One of the most common Calls To Action are email opt-ins. Getting someone on your email list is one of the top marketing tactics. Political candidates Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders have both done it effectively.
In Sanders case, there is no doubt about what he wants you to do when you land on his website.
The less you ask for in an optin, the more conversions you are likely to receive. Some marketers only ask for an email address, but it’s common to also ask for a first or full name. The Sanders campaign is also interested in where you live by asking for your Zip Code.
He’s building an email list, but he’s using that to raise contributions and he’s doing it well because he’s outpacing Obama’s 2008 fundraising efforts, apparently.
Neil Kristianson from Beyond The Optin on Facebook, says this Call To Action example is powerful for 2 reasons…
1 – He’s looking straight at the optin form. Which in turn, forces you to look at the optin form. He’s subtly saying “give me your email.”
2 – The language of the singup is very compelling. It states in one simple sentence everything he stands for. And then he asks you to stand for it too. “I Agree”
Not “Submit” or “Find Out More”
but “I AGREE”
VERY powerful stuff.
Faces tend to convert better than other images for email optins, especially female faces either looking straight into the camera, or like Bernie, looking at the offer.
LeadPages has a template that some people consider to be one of the best. This is technically a Call To Action on a Squeeze Page. It works because it is an attractive female model on a beach, looking at the offer. What’s not to like?
You can find other examples of email Call To Action examples by searching in Google Image Search.
Create Paths Thought a Website with Calls To Action
Website Home pages often work best when they act as a table of contents. We like to feature ‘paths’ through the site, which are simply calls to action. For an investigative firm, we created 6 graphical calls to action on the Home page.
Humboldt County California Tourism is also a great example of a navigational Call To Action.
Multiple Calls To Action on One Page
OfficeVibe has 4 different CTAs on their Home page, so it’s a great example of Calls To Action.
- The HotJar popup in the lower left corner asks if you are an HR consultant or not. Clicking yes takes you to an offer to become an affiliate partner.
- Click on the pig puts you into a calculator that gathers information about you, which puts you in a funnel and helps them sell to you.
- Give them your name and email address to try OfficeVibe for free.
- Request a Demo
As long as we’re talking about website content, the logos of companies that use their product are powerful influencers.
But wait! There’s more!!
As I left the page a popup Call To Action offered an ROI Toolkit. One page visited, 5 Call To Action Examples!
Calls To Action in Sidebars
You can dominate a Home page with paths to your content, place it in page or post content, in site headers or footers and in sidebars. WordPress now makes it easy to create custom sidebars to match content, including Calls To Action, with the specific page. We’ve done that with clients ranging from lawyers to adult daycare to restaurants to relationship coaching. Promote an upsell or premium offering, email optin or download.
Remember, each page has a job. The Call To Action should support the overall goals of the site or an intermediate goal in the funnel.
Call To Action Phrases
Netfix has 2 call to action phrases for 2 different audiences on their Home page. “Join free for a month.” or “Sign In.”
Examples of Call To Action Phrases
Call To Action words and phrases are meant to persuade, so you should use them in CTAs. Words like…
“You” and “Your” are particularly effective in Calls To Action because personalized CTAs convert 42% better than basic ones. (Roughly 36% vs. 25%)
Your CTAs should take into consideration where your visitor is in the purchase process. Someone entering your funnel to buy insurance might resonate best with “5-Step Guide to Buying Life Insurance,” while a more qualified lead might appreciate “No Obligation 15-Minute Insurance Needs Assessment.”
Introducing Urgency into Calls To Action helps boost conversion. Some people think, “Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow,” or “I want to discuss it with my husband first” but fear of missing out can be a powerful influencer.
- Only 3 left at this price!
- While supplies last.
- Offer ends at Midnight.
- Last chance!
- Today only!
Zac Johnson uses scarcity on his blogging.org website in the form of a limited-time offer call to action popup that includes a countdown timer. Essentially, “Sign up in the next 2 minutes to receive these goodies!”
The final installment in our series on developing website content discusses the difference between writing content for a website and a blog. You’ll learn that there are really 2 distinct audiences for each buyer persona. Find out what type of content works for both the top and bottom of your sales funnel.
Have questions? Please leave a comment below!