11 DOs and DON’Ts to Improve Your Calls to Action

old fashioned phone

The calls to action featured on your website, sales pages, landing pages, and even your blogs don’t come with a guarantee of effectiveness, no matter how awesome your marketing content is.

In our years of giving audiences no-brainer reasons to pick up the phone, enter their email, or whip out their credit card, we’ve learned the DOs and DON’Ts of asking your audience to take action.

And we’re sharing them with you because we like you that much.

Check out these 11 DOs and DON’Ts that improve your calls to action (and by extension, your sales numbers, customer relationships, etc.). 

DO make sure the audience can see the call to action.

When you ask your prospects to schedule an appointment or call to ask questions, that verbiage has to stand out if it’s going to work. If the call to action is buried in a block of text, it’s likely your prospect won’t see it.

DON’T have multiple calls to action on one web or landing page.

To be clear, we advocate having a few calls to action on your sales page or web page, but they shouldn’t cancel one another out. If you ask someone to book an appointment and buy a product or service within the same space, the calls to action work against one another.

DO ensure that every web page you create includes a call to action.

Yes, there exists marketing content that offers good advice and benefits, but that doesn’t do much good for your conversion rate without the ability to download a report, make a phone call, etc. Note: we’re talking about digital marketing and web content here, not necessarily nurture sequence emails, which should occasionally offer content without asking the audience to do anything. 

DON’T be unclear on what you want the audience to do.

While “click here” constitutes direct verbiage that incites action, it must be clear that there is a benefit on the other side. While you’re not asking for much, your audience needs to know that their time is valued, even if it’s a few seconds to fill out a survey.

DO choose a call to action that falls in line with the content.

Let’s say you run a craft business, and to leverage your expertise, you write a blog about how to finger knit a baby blanket, and then your call to action is to download a guide on ceramics. That won’t cut the mustard. Instead, use calls to action that are every bit as relevant as the actual content.

DON’T forget to leverage social proof.

Our copywriting team spends a good amount of time mining for data on what engages audiences and accelerates conversions. Consistently we find that calls to action that appear beneath testimonials and other social proof receive vastly higher click rates. See the image below for an example of how to integrate social proof with your call to action.  

example of social proof

DON’T leave out the purpose of clicking, buying, or downloading.

When your prospects read your content, they give you a valuable resource—their time. That’s not something to take for granted. When you compel your audience to take action, express the benefit of doing so beforehand. For example: “Gain instant access to a no-cost report that reveals how to generate 77% more leads.” 

DO place a call to action above the fold.

Sometimes your prospect is on a mission, and they don’t have to be convinced to call you, download your report, or buy your product. For this group, include your selected call to action in the banner or the margin. 

DON’T use the same presentation each time.

Reading takes energy. Specifically, your readers’ eyes will tire out faster than you think. To combat reader fatigue, vary the presentation of your calls to action. Interweave text with buttons so that your reader doesn’t become bored with the visual appeal of your content. 

DO express a sense of urgency.

It’s not that you want your prospects to take action—you want them to take immediate action. To accomplish this mission, raise the urgency factor with statistics or emotional appeals that give a compelling reason why now is the time. See the image below to see how this technique functions.

example of call to action

DON’T communicate with everyone.

It’s called a target market, not an umbrella market. Even if you don’t have a niche market of butterfly enthusiasts who only read the New York Times and never the Wall Street Journal, it’s important to speak very specifically to your prospects’ unique needs and desires. For example, the following call to action highlights a specific problem and solution: “Call us at 1-999-999-9999 to discuss how to eliminate your employee turnover rate by 73%.”

Your calls to action are a good place to start improving, but what about the rest of your website?

Download our simple and easy 25 Traffic and Conversion Tips right here.

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