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Don't let your web site visitors flounder: Motivate prospects with a strong call to action

In many of my conversations with new clients, I ask them "So, what do you want your web site visitors to do?", to which there is often a blank stare.

To me all internet marking should be focused on getting a measurable result.  A sale, a subscriber, a download, an enquiry, a competition entry, a product info request, a phone call, increased sales conversation rates for the sales team. These are are all desirable (and measurable) actions that GTP Internet Commerce would like to generate for you, from your prospective clients.

Three Reasons to Have a Call to Action

To do this you need to keep in mind, when you design your web site and place calls to action on various pages of your web site, that...

  1. Each and every visitor to your web site chose to come to it of their own accord.
  2. And...most importantly, these people came to you because you have something that interests them.
  3. And...unless you make it absolutely obvious exactly what you would like your web visitor to do AND give them a compelling reason to do it, you will lose a large chunk of prospective clients to another web site belonging to a competitor...Ouch!

Without calls to action on your web pages you let your web visitor stand and stare, remain perplexed and indecisive about what to do with the great information you have presented to them.  By not placing obvious, well placed and persuasive calls to action on your site you are leaving your internet marketing to chance, and therefore losing business as a result.

What Types of Calls to Action Can I Use?

The most obvious calls to action are ones that say Add to Shopping Cart or Buy Now or Subscribe or Enter our Competition.

Time your Calls to Action

Of course, you need to time where you place your calls to action.  By timing, I mean that you need to make sure that your call to action is placed at a position where by all the information a normal person would need in order to make a decision has been provided. How do you do this on an e-commerce web site? Well you put in good photos of several sizes, sometimes several different photos per product and an extensive description that answers all the key questions a customer would usually have.

You will notice that when you look at GTP's e-commerce web site portfolio that many of our clients have taken full advantage of the GTP content management tools to do this and are reaping the rewards with growing sales.  Those clients who don't find time to put in rich product descriptions and prepare quality product images are the ones that get average results.

Links as Calls to Action

Calls to action can also take the form of next and continue links and keyword phrase links to pages holding answers to the prospects many questions.  Ask yourself, "What do my customers want to know about my product or service and in what priority?".  Write this down!

You can then use your various calls to action to guide your prospect through their information gathering stage but with you in control of what information you want them to see at each step.

For example, people love testimonials.  Testimonials are a confidence boosting tool leading to improved sales conversion.  "If someone else says good things about you, then you must be OK".

So a text link saying, "See what our customers have to say about our service" at the end of your sales information is a call to action to see another page which will naturally increase your prospects confidence and trust in you and your business.

At the end of your sales message you can then use a primary call to action, such as buy now or make contact once the prospect has all the necessary information.

Reduce or Remove the Risk with Your Calls to Action

To improve the effectiveness of your "Calls to Action" it is important to remember for you and your prospects that any decision carries with it the risk that it could be the wrong one.  The product might not benefit us how we imagined it, or we are afraid we will be bombarded by newsletters we don't want.

That's why pairing your call to action with "Point of Action Assurances" (Read our Guarantee Statement, We Value Your Privacy, You can always remove the item later, We accept 7-Day Returns for unsuitable products, You can unsubscribe at any time) can reduce the fear of making a wrong decision, build confidence in your business, and motivate action to buy now or make contact now.

That's one of the reasons GTP provides all new customers with our Web Site Guarantee Certificate. We want to clearly demonstrate our commitment to build a fantastic web site for you with our:

  1. Graphic Design Delight Guarantee
  2. Delivered on Budget Guarantee
  3. Our Re-Work Until it's Right Guarantee
  4. Delivered on Time Guarantee
  5. Excellent Results Guarantee

If you are looking to build or redevelop your web site then read about our web site service guarantees here.

Provide an Incentive to Act with Your Call to Action

By now you should be getting the picture about how important "Calls to Action" are on your web site.

It also helps to pair your primary call to action with an emotionally appealing benefit.  For example, "Subscribe today and receive a $20 discount voucher for your next purchase" or "Subscribe for your chance to win a ..." or "Fill in this form to receive a quote within 24 hours".

By putting an incentive with your call to action, you will again increase the effectiveness of your marketing.

Calls to action are critical elements in the design and build of your web site. Every page should have at least one.   

In fact, you should be able to follow your persuasion path from page to page with "Calls to Action" that echo the desired flow of your conversion process. And when people want to take a little sub-loop information-gathering trip, make sure your calls to action can get them back into the primary loop.

What Next?

If you would like to review the calls to action on your web site or are looking to build a new web site that incorporates well planned and executed calls to action, then give GTP Internet Commerce a call on 1300 856 533 or fill in our web site enquiry form.

We are the results-focused, Perth-based ecommerce and web site development company building web sites across Australia. We absolutely guarantee to perform for you.

Other Articles on Calls to Action

Below are links to some interesting articles to educate you more about building your web site:

Calls to Action and SEO

By Shari Thurow, December 19, 2005

A long time ago, my friend Peter told me the number one rule in marketing is MPABS: most people are basically stupid. Needless to say, I laughed at his remark. It seemed, well, silly. I was working in medical genetics labs back then, so I had very little interest in marketing.

Here I am, years later, touting Peter's silly, little rule. When it comes to SEO and user behaviour, MPABS has been a very useful rule to follow.

Read Full Article on Web Site.

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