How to Write an Effective Call to Action

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Getting traffic to your website is only half of the battle. The success of your website is dependant on what happens once that traffic starts pouring in. All the traffic in the world means nothing if your website visitors don’t convert into customers.

More times than not, when a site has a conversion problem, it’s because of a poor call to action. Sometimes, it’s because there isn’t a call to action at all. Thankfully, this is fixable. Writing an effective call to action really isn’t all that difficult. Here are some tips to get your started.

•    Define the action—This sounds like a “Well, duh” tip, but you’d be surprised at how many websites fall short in this category. Before you even begin writing your website copy, you should know exactly what action you want readers to take. Sometimes, you just want the reader to fill out a contact form so you can generate leads. Other times, you want them to go straight to checkout. Figure out which specific action you want your website visitors to take, and then make sure you tell them to do it.

•    Keep the call to action clear—A good call to action is clear and concise. It isn’t bogged down with multiple options or silly restrictions. Something as simple as “Call 555-5555 now for your FREE consultation” will do the trick. The more things you put in your call to action, the more confusing it becomes for the reader.

•    Create a sense of urgency—When your website visitor scans your copy, they need to understand that they need to take action now. Create a sense of urgency in your call to action by using words like “now” or “today.” Limited time offers also make taking action seem much more important. For example, “Call 555-5555 within the next 10 minutes to save 50% off the retail price.” Infomercials use this tactic all the time, and guess what? People feel motivated to take action.

•    Include incentives for taking action—
This is another trick you see all the time on infomercials. The company gives the viewer an added incentive for picking up the phone to call in. This could be anything from a free bonus gift to a limited time offer, like the one mentioned above. At the end of the day, your goal is to do everything you can to get your target audience to take action. If it takes bribing them with a little extra incentive, so be it.

•    Place the call to action above the fold—Because the ultimate goal of your web page is to get the visitor to take action, it only makes sense to direct their eyes to your call to action. This means placing the call to action above the fold so that the visitor’s eyes are immediately drawn to it as soon as he or she lands on the page. Use bolded print or place the call to action inside a box to make it stand out even more. Also, to reinforce the call to action, make sure to place it at the end of your copy as well.

Do you have any additional tips that can help readers write an effective call to action? Share them with us in the replies.

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