What Makes a Great Call to Action?

Are you driving people to your website? Are your visitors drilling deeper into your site to your product and download pages? Are they converting?

Calls to action express what you want visitors to do. They direct them down the path of conversion.

You should always use big and bold calls to action on your website and in your other marketing, including emails, display ads and comparison shopping engines.

A great call to action stands out on the page. It’s not hidden in a paragraph of text but is prominent. It jumps out to the visitor. No one should ever visit your website and have to question how they can add a product to their shopping cart or how they should complete the order and check out.

Make sure your calls to action have:

  • Add to Cart ButtonAction oriented verbiage
  • Visual cues, such as buttons, images or different
    text style than your other content
  • Large and prominent position on the page
  • Link to an actionable follow-up page

Location of calls to action:

  • At least one primary call to action should be “above the fold” where the visitor can view it without scrolling
  • A secondary call to action can be located above or below the fold

Primary and Secondary Calls to Action

Train Your Customers with Consistent Calls to Action
You should be using calls to action on not just your website, but other pieces of marketing as well. Just like you want to keep your branding consistent, you should also keep your calls to action consistent. This means all primary call to action buttons should be the same shape and color. You are training your customers how to buy from you. You want your visitors to receive an email and not even have to read. They will see big red buttons and know it means “Shop Now,” or whatever other action you train them that those big red buttons will do.

Actionable Follow-up Page
We mentioned calls to action need an actionable follow-up page. What does that mean? Send them somewhere good. Your follow-up page should have its own calls to action on it. Some follow-up calls to action are clear, whereas others are often forgotten.

Checkout Page Calls to Action

For example: If you have a call to action of “Shop Now” in an email, you of course will want to send readers to a product page. This product page should have a clear “Add to Cart” button on it. The cart page should have a “Checkout” button. Your “Complete Order” button then brings visitors to a page that summarizes their order

Now what happens? You still have opportunities to add other great calls to action! Consider buttons like “Continue Shopping” or social sharing to allow customers to share their most recent purchase with friends.

Social Share Download Call to Action

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Do it! We have some nice social calls to action on the left side over there.

Web Marketing Essentials for 2013 eBook


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