Convert More Visitors Using These Visual Calls-To-Action
Having a website is not enough. In fact, everyone has a website. You, your competitor, your cousin, even the cat lady down the street has a digital footprint. So what makes you better than the cat lady?
There are three things you need to focus on when using your website for business.
1. Leads – Your website must utilize SEO best practices in order to bring in potential leads. You want these to be qualified leads which means you are targeting those you ultimately want to be your customers.
2. Conversion – Most people stop with SEO. They think that since they have high traffic numbers they must be doing alright. But could they be doing better? Could they convert twice as many people with fewer leads? That is where conversion comes in. Focus on taking your qualified leads and turning them into paying customers.
3. Retention – Once you have paying customers, the goal is to keep them from leaving and going to your competitor. It can include initiatives such as customer loyalty programs or having a killer customer service team.
What I want to focus on here is conversion. Leads are great to have and retention is something you truly want to focus on; however, neither means anything to me unless I have that first sale. The best way to convert people is to use visual calls-to-action (CTAs). And, I am not the only person who thinks so.
“There are many different components in play when it comes to increasing a website’s conversion rates,” writes Larry Alton in an article on Socialnomics about visual techniques to increase website conversion. “Few are more important than visual elements. While the wrong visual techniques will turn visitors away, the right strategies will encourage them to stick around.”
Here are three ways to use visual CTAs which will help convert visitors.
1. Collecting the Ever Precious Email Address
While converting someone on their first visit is the goal, we all understand that it doesn’t always happen. People get distracted, do additional research, or simply lose interest. They close their computers and you never hear from them again.
This is why it is important to collect an email address. Even though they leave, you have the opportunity to reach back out in an attempt to convert them. So, a call to action to collect an email address is one of the most important CTAs you can have on your site.
Keep in mind that you cannot simply ask for an email address. Well, you can, but you are unlikely to get it. You need to give someone an incentive for doing so. One of my favorite digital marketers is Brian Dean from Backlinko. Above, you can see how he does it right when it comes to collecting email addresses, by giving away a free eBook in exchange.
You can also use humor as a way to get email addresses. If not humor, simply using a tone as if you are talking to the person, as opposed to robotically collecting emails, works as well. Above, Socialnomics lets you know THE Skinny is “funny & short like Amy Poehler.” Personally, I’m not a huge fan of hers, but the CTA would easily convert me as it speaks on a personal level.
Speaking of funny and personal, give your visitors an option NOT to give you the email address, using something that makes them feel bad for doing it. Okay, not so bad that they stop using the internet completely, but something that makes it difficult not to click. You can see the example above from Scott Alan Turner on how clicking “no” is something hard to do. Come on, who has all the money they need, right?
Although I am talking about website conversions here, I want to point out you should be using social media to collect email addresses as well. Email is like the link between you and the customer. As social media is an extension of your website, it makes sense to use it as such.
2. Incentivize Your Call to Action
I already touched on incentivized email collection (giving away something free such as an eBook to get the email address).
The image above from online retailer Ugmonk uses the CTA principles for collecting email addresses, but also focuses on converting current visitors. It is an exit popup so it is collecting addresses from those leaving the site who have not made a purchase. It entices them to not only give their email address, but provides an incentive to stay and complete their purchase today with a 10% off coupon.
You can also give your visitors a way to try your product or service for free. Make an attractive visual call to action that invites visitors to download a free trial. Grammarly uses this as a way to get visitors to download its extension for Firefox. Of course, they collect your email address in the process of doing so.
Another great CTA that converts is from Harry’s. The site is similar to the old Dollar Shave Club and offers a free trial to those who are still skeptical about the service. Full disclosure, I’m also a client (thank God I’m saying that about HCFM). Of course, you wouldn’t know they offer a free trial unless they used the above visual CTA to let you know about it.
3. Simplifying the Buying Process
Simplifying the sales process is something that all retailers need to focus on. Want someone to buy? Make it easy for them. Why else would Amazon implement one-click buying?
I love football. Unfortunately, I am a Notre Dame fan so I don’t get to enjoy it all that much. However, if someone is looking for NFL football tickets, Ticket Liquidator has a CTA that makes the purchase easy. Instead of going through all the search screens, it displays tickets by team, as well as the most commonly searched tickets (in this case, tickets to the Super Bowl).
If you have deferred payment options or any other incentives (e.g., first-time buyer discounts, holiday coupons, layaways), let people know about it. Simplifying the buying process can also mean granting customers flexible ways to make a purchase. The above CTA from Kmart lets the visitor know that if they are looking at something they cannot buy today, they can put it on layaway without even going to the store.
The above screenshot from GrabAGun mixes in a little humor (play on words) along with incentivized selling. Instead of using a generic term like layaway, it has a catchphrase of “shoot now pay later.” Bravo!
4. Time Sensitive Call to Action
According to Entrepreneur, using time sensitivity in your CTA is one of the three critical principles of effective calls-to-action.
“Creating a sense of urgency is a good way to encourage visitors to take immediate action,” writes Aaron Agius for Entrepreneur. “Using time-sensitive terms, such as “Now” or “Today,” generally leads to higher follow-through rates.”
Penny auctions such as the screenshot above from QuiBids are perfect examples of time-sensitive calls-to-action. They provide time-sensitive information such as price and when the auction ends. Daily deal websites also provide time-sensitive calls-to-action.
Of course, we can expect time-sensitive information such as this on penny auction sites, but try taking that same philosophy and applying it to a retail site. Sometimes you don’t even need to be forceful by showing dates an event will end. Simply using terminology such as “deal of the day” makes it an attractive offer. Two of the items above from Amazon.com are more attractive than the other two.
If you are using Magento, they offer an extension that allows the creation of daily deals with expiration periods.
Content Marketing Institute has a time-sensitive CTA where they don’t even list the price of what they are selling. At the top of the screen, the CTA simply says, “best pricing ends on.” I am not sure what the original price is or what type of discount they are offering, but the CTA makes me want to click and find out more.
And when you do click to find out more, they include another time-sensitive call-to-action by showing you how many days are remaining until the event.
Last Word on Conversion
Conversions are important to your business. After all, if you bring them to your site and no one makes a purchase, how the hell are you going to make any money? One of the best conversion tools you can use is visual calls-to-action. Implement them in the various forms described herein and you can move on to the third point of using your website for business – retention.
What are your favorite calls to action that have the highest conversion rate for your website?