A Guide On Getting The Desired Action For Your Call To Action
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The author's views are entirely his or her own, and don't necessarily represent the views of Ahrefs.

The problem with a majority of online marketers and website owners is that they don’t understand how crucial a role does CTA play in their online success. You have the targeted audience on your website; however what is it that you want them to do? In order to turn the audience into potential leads or customers, you need to propel them to take the desired action. The desired action could be anything from clicking on a button to filling up a form. So, what is required to make the audience take your desired action?

What is needed to get the success is a 7 Step M I R A C L E. Yes, this is what I call the M I R A C L E process in order to magnetize your visitors. Let’s have a quick look at what this MIRACLE is all about, which will be followed by the elaboration.

Make a Mark

Initiate Interaction

Rule by Rousing 

A/B Testing 

Capture with Content 

Light and Likeable 

End with your Goal

Make a Mark

Remember, you have beaten a lot of competition, in order to get the visitor to your web-page. You couldn’t afford to let go the to-be customer from the webpage and head towards your competitors’ website. Are the visitors able to understand what you’re trying to convey with the text on your webpage, and most importantly your Call To Action? You could lose your valuable prospects in a matter of seconds if you are not able to strike the chord at the first go. Show that you are the authority and there is no other places where the visitor would find something more interesting and valuable, than your website.

Keep your content and your CTA’s up to the point. Try to make a mark at the launch. A great CTA is the one which appears on the top of the page offering something to the audience, in order to turn them into leads and those leads into our customers. Have a look at the example that I have given below:

Make a mark

It is evident from this one that the people at Pepsi are offering some points and rewards to their visitors. Look at the use of the verb and the urgency. The words “Sign up Now” urges the audience to act fast which actually manages to create a fear of loss amongst them. The CTA comes right there at the top of the page, successfully grabbing attention and propelling the visitors to take the action. Made a Mark!

Use actionable words like View, Visit, Sign Up, Register, Take Action, Download. Never resort to using something like “Guess What Lies Here”, as the audience doesn’t have time to play around. Tell exactly what the visitors are required to do, making the whole process swift. Use strong and active language which instantly creates an impression on the audience’s mind.

Initiate Interaction

Don’t give your audience even the slightest chance to ask, “What’s in it for me?” Give them the reason to respond to your CTA, as if they are going to lose on something if they don’t take the action now. Turn your audience into active participants, because that is what they want. And, how do you turn them into participants? By giving them the most wonderful user experience! Grab their eye-balls with an ultimate message. Show what they are going to get by taking an action. The Nokia website does this very well. The below given image will say it all:

Initiate Interaction

This is a fine example on how you could interact with the audience and add value to CTA’s. By adding some more words, they exactly tell the viewers what will happen if they click on the link. So, the link over here says, “Get The New Nokia Asha 501”, rather than saying, “Get It”. The successful use of white space along with contrasting colors grabs the audience’s attention at once, and the short description at the bottom of the call to action serves the purpose to communicate the key features.

Having said that, it is unavoidable to make sure that a proper balance is maintained between the use of words and communicating the value of the CTA. You have to be as precise as possible, in explaining what lies beyond. Too much word-stuffing will make your CTA’s tough to be understood, less impactful, which in turn will affect your conversion rates.

Rule by Rousing

What you are actually looking for for the audience to do is to grab their attention. There will be no better way in the book than to highlight the key features of what the audience is going to get from the CTA. Let them know how it is going to benefit them personally. When looking to propel the audience to take your desired action, be sure to list out the benefits in the best possible and lucid manner. You have managed to bring in the audience to the website and you have all the things to offer which fulfills the customers’ requirement. However, you need to think out of the box in order to get the audience respond to your CTA. The features of the product listed in the below given image will make it more clear.

Rule by Rousing

The text above the call to action in this image does serve the purpose of highlighting the benefit, and hits the target with a question which grabs the viewers’ attention. The benefits of downloading the product are mentioned appropriately giving out the key features followed by a perfect Call to Action. The whole call to action process over here seems to be unambiguous.

A/B Testing

I have mentioned earlier, there are some designing houses where hours are turned into days, while determining the best Call To Action for their campaign. An easy-to-understand CTA is the pre-requisite. However, it is vital to know, if there is something else in addition to what you have done that could actually work with the audience. All successful internet marketing and web development companies have now accepted the fact that A/B testing helps in determining which of your landing pages, and most specifically, which Call To Action is successful in generating the desired results. As shown below, when looking to A/B test your landing pages, you could also plan the same for your CTA:

A:B Testing

Here the variations are given for the same desired action. The call for the same action have been presented in different colors and text in order to analyze which one is actually working with the audience.

Let’s see how the A/B testing actually proves to be helpful in determining the best CTA and how it could help in getting your conversion rates up with flying colours.

A:B Testing_2

Looking at the two pictures, it is clear that there is not much difference between both. However, what stands apart in the second image, is how the “Shop Now” circle is encapsulated into another circle. This is the only distinguishing feature of this image, which successfully manages to grab eye-balls. This is where A/B testing wins. You could actually run different versions of the webpage live to check out which one is prominent amongst the audience.

Remember that your audience has come to your website. Now you need to give them something in order to get your target. Getting more attention, in turn drives more visitors to respond to your call to action, generating magical conversion rates. 

Capture with Content

Although I have given a slight hint on the need of a small describing content in the “Initiate Interaction” point, I thought of elaborating the same over here. Having effective content, undoubtedly helps in making the message clear, however, one more point is that it provides value to your CTA. The MIRACLE doesn’t rely on story-telling, however , the ultimate warrior which shields the CTA is, undoubtedly, the content. Also, this should not be mistaken as the mentioning of benefits in the earlier point, as content over here refers to the one which appears on the webpage.

Don’t get too fancy with the words when writing a copy around your CTA. Be as clear and as specific in communicating your message. A lack of lucidity can seriously prove to be damaging for your Click through Rates (CTR). The content around the CTA should describe very clearly what will happen, when the action is taken. Also, make sure that the placement of the CTA is given special importance as it should not get lost, as a result of the content.

Capture with Content

This website has very smartly used the concept of inserting content for the CTA. There is a short text followed by a video (which is a form of content marketing) followed by the Call To Action. This particular web page, very successfully manages to capture the audience’s attention, propelling them to read and see what this site has to give them.

Light and Likeable

Don’t be harsh with your audience. Show your lighter side, show that you are authoritative, and win their trust. Don’t seem to be frustrated to an extent that your audience feels that you are bullying them. You are hell-bound to get them to your website, and will do anything to get the audience take the action – by hook or by crook!!

Well, it’s a big no, no! You couldn’t take your audience for granted. I have seen many examples of, what I call absolutely pathetic -  showing some faces and fingers and making direct references to the users, saying some abusive things. Take for example, the one that is shown below:

Show that you are a man

And something like this…

Light and Likeable

Your conversion rates, naturally, will get hit very badly, if your audience feels offended. An effective call to action has to be likeable and light, something that could be accepted very well by the audience. You have to know the difference between being boring, and being rude. Of course, the line is very thin between the two. You could definitely incorporate a little humor in the CTA and the text based on it.

The button given below is successful in incorporating humor, pun and the ultimate goal – The CTA all into a single frame. There are many examples of CTA’s, which manages to bring a smile on your face, and you happily go ahead by clicking on the given button.

End With Your Goal

End With Your Goal

You had asked yourself a question, prior to starting the design of your call to action page? The question was what goal should you decide and how to work on the best CTA . Your CTA will execute the current marketing strategy that you have laid down for your website. Determining a goal beforehand is strictly required as your whole CTA strategy depends on it. Don’t hit up your customers for cash. Rather, educate and inform them about the product or the service.

You know your goals and have set up a CTA based on that. Now is the time to analyze the performance of your CTA’s. Keep a track of the impressions, click through rates (CTR). Use various metrics to figure out what works, and plan your future CTA strategy accordingly. Some basic KPI’s to measure in order to calculate the success of your CTA and the landing page are:

  • Conversion Rate
  • Abandonment Rate
  • Cost Per Action

These 3 are the key metrics that would best define the success rate of your landing page, helping you in making changes where required.

Takeaways

The list is far from being exhaustive when figuring out the kinds of ways you could construct the call to action. The MIRACLE that I have shown here are bound to work and, if implemented, will help you in gaining the understanding of the other steps for creating effective CTA’s. There is a long path between creating a CTA, and getting action on the very creation. You will have to suffer a lot of minor and major hiccups during and after the creation. However, the whole learning process is bound to help you in coming up with the best CTA to meet your aims.

Before starting to prepare the CTA, just go through this pledge:

Make a Mark: Just sweep the audience off their feet!

Initiate Interaction: You are the one who has to break the ice!

Rule By Rousing: Pat on the customers’ shoulder and make them move forward!

A/B Testing: There will be no marks in this test, however there is success or failure. Make the right choice!

Capture With Content: Make sure that it is simply Enticing…!

Light and Likeable: Tingle the emotions of your visitors!

End With Goal: Higher Conversion Rate!

Dave Ken

Digital Marketing Strategist at IBOXSEO. Dave has worked with firms in the UK, Ireland, and HK on growing their online presence via lean strategy. Hugely passionate about the evolving nature of SEO, he's always interested in the latest shifts and patterns, particularly related to content marketing.

Also in: Conversion Rate Optimization, Inbound Marketing, Industry's Insights.

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  • Mark

    Hi Dave,
    Great post!
    7 Step M I R A C L E on call to action. I start to review my call to action based on your guide.

    Mark

    • http://www.iboxseo.org/ dave ken

      Hi Mark,
      glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.
      Please let me know if you have any questions on this
      B.R.
      Dave