3 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Call to Action

Sep 19, 2011   //   by Chris Help   //   Copywriting, SEO Blog  //  4 Comments

Whether you need to create landing pages for various products you’re selling or you’re providing copy for your home page on your business site, your call to action is one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle. Nevertheless, tons of people get it wrong. In fact, many business websites fail to have any call to action whatsoever. I’ve even had clients ask me to take the call to action out of the copy I’ve done for them. It never ceases to amaze me.

But assuming you’re open to the idea of a call to action, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of yours.

1.       Avoid the generic—Yes, “Contact us now!” is nice and urgent sounding, but urgency isn’t the only thing your call to action needs. You need to avoid the generic line and add some specifics. Otherwise, you run the risk of sounding like one of those late night infomercials. How do you circumvent the generic? Make sure you explain what’s in it for the customer.

2.       Don’t forget the “how”—Research is conclusive: customers need to be told what to do. Like sheep, they need to be led directly to the proverbial slaughter. But guess what? They won’t get there unless you tell them how. You can tell a sheep to go lay down all day, but until you guide him there, nothing’s going to happen. In the same way, make sure your call to action tells the customer the exact step you want them to take.

3.       Make it visible—Yes, good copy usually ends with a strong call to action. But is it possible it can get lost there? Maybe. Assuming your copy is good enough to lead the reader all the way to the end, you still need to do something to make the call to action stand out. Italics or boldings are good for that.

But what happens if your potential customer never scrolls to the bottom of the page? For this reader, you need to make sure you have a call to action that shows up before they ever have to scroll down. Maybe at the end of the first paragraph, maybe on a button at the top of the page…

It may seem silly, but a simple sentence or two can truly make the difference between an interested party and a paying customer. What else do you do to better your calls to action?

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Chris Help

Chris HELP started his own copywriting agency, HELP! Copy and Design, a few years back as a sort of side project to showcase his passions. But what ended up happening is it snowballed into full-fledged thriving business. So whether you need press releases, SEO articles, or good old fashioned high-conversion copy--he's ready, willing, and more than able.

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  • Ivin
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hello Chris. I’m reading this and thinking: ‘…sure, those are important, but on a sale button or a sign up form – do the same three rules or guidelines apply here?’ For instance, on a sign up form’… ‘SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER WHERE i’LL SEND YOU SO AND SO.. BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW’.

    I’m of course being a bit overdramatic, so I assume the above point apply on a sales page or at the end of a blog post and not nessasarily the buttons?

  • Another good one Chris. Particularly the “how”. You can say “call today”, but if you don’t give the phone number, there won’t be a call. In many cases on the Internet, the “how” is not quite as simple. If a client has to bang his head against the wall to relieve the stress of figuring out the order process, chances are your competitor will be happy to provide a less-painful alternative.

  • Ileane
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Chris, On I page I helped create the call to action is a button that says JOIN. We simply want students to sign up for a free membership and there’s not much more you can say on a button. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Tim Ryan says:

    Explaining what’s in it for the customer is a great idea. With the tight competition these days, the most company,product or service that could offer the most benefits are likely to close the sale. So letting customers know what they can get out of responding or participating or purchasing would make a big difference.