By Sherice Jacob
The call to action is the “Holy Grail” of every marketer. Get it right, and you’re swimming in sales. Get it wrong, and your traffic tends to stagnate. You may get lots of visits, but little to show for it. To help inspire you, here are five unique calls to action that have resulted in everything from millions of subscribers, to millions of dollars in sales.
Address Customer Reluctance Upfront (LightCMS)
LightCMS does this wonderfully, although you have to scroll all the way to the bottom of their page to find it. Their call to action button includes numerous statements that propel the hesitant customer forward: Try it yourself. It’s free. No Commitment. No payment information required. Takes less than 60 seconds.
Think Outside the Rectangle (Storenvy)
Most call to action buttons are simply rectangles, but some of the highest click-through rates have been reported on buttons that break outside the box. Unusual shapes or even rounded buttons, such as Storenvy’s Join Now, give the appearance of an actual button to be pressed. With more and more people browsing on touch-screen smart phones, making buttons stand out with a slight beveled edge or shadow gives the appearance of “pressability”.
What Happens After I Push It? (Mozilla Firefox)
As enticing as your graphics look, many people don’t convert because they don’t know what will happen after they click. One call to action button that solves this issue beautifully is Mozilla Firefox’s own download button. Not only does it tell you the approximate size of the download, but correctly guesses the language and operating system from the browser you’re currently using. Having a small downward arrow icon beside “Free Download” immediately lets the user know what will happen when they click.
Pique the User’s Curiosity
You’ve probably seen those “Weird Old Tip” ads splashed all over the internet. They usually show an image of a heavyset woman who magically morphs into a beautiful, thin lady by way of some “weird old tip” to cut down belly fat. While the ads prey on the weakness of women who want to lose weight, they also prey on their pocketbooks by enrolling them in a continuity program for a weight loss drink or pill or some other “celebrity endorsed breakthrough”. The program then continues to bill them until they wise up and try to cancel (which is just about impossible to do).
Although the nature of the business is borderline illegal (and certainly unethical), you can’t deny the pull that these ads have over people. Countless forums and answer sites ask “what is the weird old tip?” as if it is some magical recipe tucked away in your grandmother’s cupboard. The bottom line is that this call to action pushes all the right curiosity buttons, but falls short of delivering on its promises.
Apply Continuity to Your Pages
Before you think I’m trashing the concept of continuity – I’m not. It can be used for good as well as evil. MarketingLabs has a wonderful set of case studies about landing page optimization that every serious marketer should read. In particular, the idea of creating continuity at the end of the page – where the user asks themselves, “Now what?” You should always be thinking of ways to get them to take action – not just on the first page – but on every page.
Below is the example of one of the sites MarketingLabs shared in its optimization roundup. Notice how the first (on the left), lower-converting page leads the user to a handful of photos with no real idea of where to go next. The second version (on the right), with a 103% higher conversion rate gave the user an action to perform after reading. Because the “Activate Your Free Trial” included a form field for credit card details, an added note lets the user know that they can cancel anytime within their free trial and not be billed.
What Pushes Your Buttons?
Have you seen a particularly unusual or convincing call to action that made you jump at the opportunity? Share it with us below in the comments!
About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps businesses improve web design, performance and conversions at iElectrify.com.