Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on April 19th, 2010

Strong Calls to Action for Drupal Websites

Well-written website copy is an art form. Laugh if you like. Giggle or guffaw. But consider this: a strong call to action on your website can not only increase your customer conversion rate, it will multiply it.

The average website is converting less than three percent of its current traffic. How well is your site converting? Do you know? If you have a website and you don’t know this answer, chances are not good that what ever the answer is, it will not please you. If you do know the answer to this and are still not pleased, read on.

Who is Your Audience?

The first step in creating a strong call to action is understanding who is shopping at your website. In a recent blog post: Conversation Rate Optimization: Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?, we construct the different demographic and psychographic information that is helpful for profiling your current traffic, including a DISC profile. Once you understand your audience, you need to establish your conversion goals.

Who Are You?

Conversions mean different things to different websites. As I discussed in an earlier blog post, What Type of Conversion-Oriented Website Are You?, there are three main types of websites, with three main types of conversion goals: Lead Generation, e-Commerce, and Ad-Driven. Once you determine the type of website you are, it is time to create your path to conversions.

What is the Best Path?

Once you’ve decided what type of conversion-oriented website you are, its time to define a clear path to what you want them to do. The key to understanding what your customers are thinking is to understand what path they will take to your site. In a recent blog post:What Conversion Path is Optimal for Your Website?, we mapped out three different types of conversion paths: e-commerce path to conversion, lead generation path to conversion, and the ad-driven path to conversion. These paths help you understand which pages on your site are most visited or most important in the decision paths of your past conversions. Once you know the effectiveness of your site and how to improve your worst pages, you will need to strengthen your call to actions.

Strong Calls to Action

Once you know who your traffic is, what kind of site you are, and what you want your traffic to do when they visit your site, you need to ask your visitors to do what you want them to do! No, I don't advocate actually coming right out and saying it but you should at least make it obvious and easy for them to convert.

Phone Number

One of the most obvious mistakes I see is from companies who want site visitors to call them. If you want people to call you, put your phone number big and in bold text at the top of every page. It's one of the easiest ways to tell people, 'Hey! Call us!'

Try and avoid any automatic pop-ups or scroll downs. This is potentially a big turn off for most visitors. Call to Actions should be a super-friendly reminder, not an annoying bug buzzing on your nose.

Add to Cart

For e-commerce sites, the ubiquitous Add to Cart button has become almost invisible to web visitors. What can you do to make it stand out? Try different colors and sizes, perhaps even flashing it once when the page is loading just to get the eyeballs to notice that there is an action to take. However you do it, make sure the Add to Cart button gets at least some of your attention.

Contact Us

Another great call to action is the Contact Us link. Just like the phone number, it should be prominent and easy to identify—not tacked on as an afterthought to the bottom of the page. Make sure the contact form is short, sweet, and only asks for information that you absolutely need to have—such as, name and phone number. Be sure to have an open field where people can type their own message to you. Give assurances as to how the information will be used and build trust by only using it that way.

Get a Free White Paper, Watch a Demonstration, or Download a Trial Copy

This is a very effective method of building a house list—that internal list of email addresses that you can mine for customers. Giving something away is the tried and true marketing technique that continues to work. The key is to drive interested customers right to the freebie that they'd be most interested in.

You are also providing value to them at no cost, without asking for money or a soul. This is a message that you’re passionate about what you do and are willing to help out with some information for free. We call it a teaser, you call it a taste.

There is no magical call to action that works on everyone; It can be a case of trial and error, testing and tweaking. But if you understand your audience, yourself, and the conversion path through your website, you will find the right call to action and multiply your conversions!

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