You’ve got a great website. You also have an amazing product that blows the socks off the competition.

You should be making money hand over fist, right?

Well… maybe. Are your sales slow? Are you on the hunt for a silver bullet to solve your marketing woes?

Well, while there’s no real silver bullet for marketing and selling your product (except innovation, which is another story altogether) having solid “calls to action” as part of your inbound marketing strategy can help boost sales and leave your competition howling.

What is a call to action?

A call to action (or CTA) is verbage that creates an immediate response in your audience. CTAs take many forms, but they’re usually comprised of a short phrase such as “Call Now” or “Learn More”. In digital newsletters, or on a website, CTAs usually appear as clickable buttons that take the consumer to a landing page where they can purchase a product or receive further information.

Why are CTAs so important? A clear call to action can increase sales by giving your audience a simple action to perform. By giving a clear instruction, you provide a “conversion tunnel” that removes second-guessing from the audience’s mind and bridges the gap between a passive user and engaged lead.

But before you start thinking up CTAs and the bucks they’ll make, remember this: your other marketing (such as copy and design) should be clear and easy for the audience to understand. No consumer will want to use or buy your product by accepting a CTA if they don’t know what’s on offer.

Now, on to the good stuff.

How to effectively use CTAs

First, select a small selection of imperative verbs that will entice the audience to act. These can include, in addition to those mentioned above: “View Demo”, “Buy Now”, “Get Your Free Gift”, “Call Now”, etc. Think of clear, easy to perform tasks for your audience.

Visual appearance is also important. When designing a newsletter or website for conversion, design an easy to recognize, clickable button for your CTA. Use different colors, bold fonts, and surround the button with extra incentives for clicking, such as “Get a free (blank)” or “Limited Time Offer”. Making a button that’s visually attractive will give your audience a cue that an action can be taken, and compel them to click away.

It’s also important, once you have your design, to find the correct positioning for the CTA on your page or newsletter. Make sure it is centered on your page, or before the “fold” when it comes to newsletter marketing. If the audience has to read a lot, or scroll through (and this is especially true on mobile devices), you’re going to lose sales.

Make checkout and conversion simple

It’s also worth considering what the audience is greeted by once they click your carefully designed and positioned CTA. Make sure your “sales page” is uncluttered, easy to understand, and that the checkout (if there is one) is easy to perform. A good CTA is nothing if the dropout rate at the point of sale is high. Also, if you’ve offered a gift or discount, make is easy to claim—a consumer will become quickly frustrated if they don’t receive what they were promised for clicking your attractive button.

Feel you have the hang of it? Let’s go over it one time in short.

  1. Select strong verbs to act on
  2. Create visually attractive CTAs and
  3. Make checkout a breeze to see your sales soar to the moon.
joshAbout the Author: For over a decade, I've built highly effective, business-growing websites for design and brand aware customers. I’m a web designer. But I’m also a business owner. I’ve built my company and reputation on trust, hard work, and results.

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