The Call To Action in your sales funnel is what entices users to take action. It’s usually an instruction that grabs your visitor’s attention, sparking their interest, tapping into their desires, and ends with them providing you with information.
Want them to buy something? Tell them with your CTA.
Want them to provide their email address? Tell them with your CTA.
You know all of this. But if it was as simple as writing “buy today!” on your CTA, why isn’t it converting more than 2.5%?
Like with anything in sales, the Call To Action can convert massively – but only if you know how to do it right.
All that comes before your CTA – the wonderful copy, your look-at-me images, your pattern disrupt headline, and your sales spiel – is stage-setting. Whether the user converts or not is all on your Call To Action button. It doesn’t matter how good your sales funnel is before your CTA. If your CTA doesn’t hit the sweet spot, your conversions may stay low.
How Important is the Call To Action?
Over 90% of site visitors who read your copy headline will go on to read your CTA.
This means that, provided your headline is awesome, prospective customers will read all the way to your Call To Action. The great thing about this is that it means your customers are interested. You’ve warmed them up successfully on their customer journey through your funnel.
What if your CTA is weak? It’s game over. All the hard work you put into your funnel will be for nothing. But fear not. Crafting a superior CTA that turbocharges your conversions and is easy once you know how to, no matter what stage of the funnel it is for.
It’s purely scientific. So, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your sales funnel with superior Calls To Action.
Have Just One Thing You Want Your Customer To Do
Customers don’t like distractions. When we get distracted as customers, we don’t know what decision to make.
Maybe we won’t make any. We’re too confused and unsure. Indeed, this is known as the paradox of choice. Faced with more than one decision, we take the easy option – neither.
It’s like having a Call To Action button on a page with lots of other buttons. The customer isn’t totally convinced they should take action.
What you need to focus on is making sure your customers understand there is only one thing they that should do right now.
Don’t give them more than one option. Below you can see Mavic skins implement this tactic extremely well. The purpose of this webpage and CTA couldn’t be clearer.
A good CTA must be clear (very important) and it must also be singular (just as important). If a customer feels as though they’re being asked to do too much, they’ll start to feel some pain.
“Is all of this worth my time?”
Moreover, you know there is only one thing you want a customer to do. So focus on that.
Use Scarcity to Encourage Action
You can request your visitor to do whatever it is you want them to do via your CTA. But on a psychological level, when you let someone know that a product or service is in short supply and about to run out – it puts pressure on the consumer and causes them to buy.
In other words, you’re tapping into a person’s psychological fear of missing out. You’re leveraging the power of the scarcity mindset. This is powerful stuff that can compel us to take action. If we don’t buy now, we might have to wait a while because someone else got there first.
Be Visually Compelling and Optimized for all Devices
No matter what stage the customer is at in your funnel, the Call To Action needs to catch people’s attention.
The more visually compelling your CTA is, the more of a chance you have of getting people to take action. It’s also OK to step outside your company’s usual branding and try new colours, particularly those that contrast so that your CTA stands out from the rest of the content on the web page. Your website theme should allow you to change the colours with ease.
It’s a good idea to check to see what your competitors are doing with their Call To Actions, and take note. Are they using a big red button with white text? Perhaps they are using a grey button on their landing page. Does it seem to be working?
However, like with most things when it comes to online marketing – what’s most important is data. You should always dig into your data and then use A/B tests to determine what actually drives your users to react to your CTA.
Every stage of your funnel needs to be as equally visually compelling as your CTA. Make sure you are running a responsive theme so that the user can view and click on your CTA no matter what device they are using.
Not sure how to create a visually compelling page? Outsource. Work with a web designer or buy an excellent theme. Poor visuals will let you down.
Create A Button
Throughout this article, we’ve referred to your Call To Action as a button. You don’t have to make yours a button. But Joanna Weibe did, and it boosted their CTA conversions by 45%. She wrote about it on Copyblogger. Below you can see the button:
Many others do, too. Why? A button is a signifier. It draws our attention to it, as it’s clearly something independent of all the copy. It’s a individual element that’s probably asking/telling us to do something.
If you do decide to make your CTA a button, make sure that it looks like a button. Make it look clickable. If you don’t? A customer won’t necessarily know what to do with it.
A button also makes it VERY clear that this is your Call To Action – that this is the action you want folks to take.
One way to design a clickable button is to make it 3D, and include an arrow pointing to the text. This is all basic, simply easy-to-implement stuff that works. But remember, always A/B test to see what works best for your users and audience.
Write In First Person
Since websites usually write their content in second person, it can seem strange to suddenly switch to first person and use the word “my” while speaking to the user in the call to action
However, writing in first person immediately establishes a connection between you and the user. If you write “I want to buy this product now,” on your CTA, you are giving the user a gentle nudge towards conversion.
How? By involving them.
If you were to write something insanely lame, such as “Register here now,” there is no emotion and no connection.
Worse still, there is no sense of ownership. Those words say nothing.
Content Verve have already split-tested this, and saw huge gains in clicks beyond 90% when they wrote their CTA’s in the first person.
Below you can see how HubSpot did exactly this:
Here are some examples you could try:
“Start my free trial today”
“Send me my eBook today”
“Yes, I want to learn how to get rich!”
Show The Benefits
You need to communicate the benefits that the user will receive by responding. If you don’t, your click-through rate will suffer.
This is especially true if the user is near the end of your funnel. You’ve got them this far, you’ve warmed them up a bit – don’t blow it by forgetting to remind your customer of what’s in it for them.
So remind the user of what they – not you – stand to gain from taking action.
Use Social Proof
Instead of saying how amazing your service or product is, prove it. Include customers testimonials on your call to action. Remember, people trust people, not brands.
If you have a big subscribers list, feel free to mention the number of people the user will be joining if they decide to provide their email address. Orbit Media improved their conversion rate by 1400% by using “join X others” in their CTA.
Using social proof can work at every stage of your sales funnel.
Below is another example of a company using social proof in a slightly different way. They sell employee scheduling software for restaurant managers, and they state that their software is already being used by hundreds of cafe, bar and restaurant managers. Considering this niche isn’t exactly large, that’s a convincing amount of social proof for users to take action.
What happens after the user clicks on your call to action must be as well thought through as the process leading up to that point.
Remember, once they take action, their journey isn’t over.
Whether the user wants to make a purchase or provide their email address, make sure distractions are kept to a minimum so that they can stay focused and finish the purpose of your CTA.
Lastly, to quickly recap what we said at the start of the article, you won’t win over your customers if you place a CTA at the beginning of your funnel without doing much else. Instead, your CTA has to be the last part of the puzzle.
First, you need to grab their attention (possibly with an image). Then, you need to spark their interest with a good deal. Next, you need to tap into their desires by talking about how this will benefit them. Finally, present your Call To Action.
When a visitor first lands on a blog post or landing a page, they might still be a bit cold. Your mission is to warm them up before they arrive at your CTA.
Your CTA arguably plays a huge role in your sales funnel. Get it right, and you could sales and conversions soar.
About the author:
Michelle is a daily content & marketing grinder at Heroic Search, Tulsa. She loves researching and writing about her passion of eCommerce and content marketing.