Before adding a call to action on your website or blog, determine what you want your audience to do. Then use your content to provide context for that action. For this blog, we want people to link to our site and subscribe to our RSS feed. But there are many actions people can take. For instance, do you want to get an opinion? If so, don’t write as if you are the ultimate authority on the subject. Admit your ignorance. This gives your reader a chance to add something. People will love to fill you in. We were not sure which graphic design to use for this blog so we requested input from business friends on Facebook and other social networks. The feedback we got was tremendous and helped us understand what design would be most effective.
There are a number of decisions to make when buying something is your call to action. If your audience knows your company and products they may already trust you. But if they are unfamiliar with what you offer, you need to build trust. Disclose everything a potential buyer may need to know about the company and its products as well as any relationships that influence your selling process. Word choice is important in getting people to act. I recently learned that it is sometimes better to use the word “Continue” rather than “Buy” during the online purchasing process. The idea is that people love to buy but hate to be sold to.
At a website usability conference I attended, the importance of a phrase was revealed. Guess which words resulted in the most clicks: “Sign Up” or “Click Here to Sign Up” or “Get Started Now”? The last phrase resulted in a 35% click rate compared with 17% for the first and 22% for the second. That is substantial.
When trying to get readers to subscribe to your e-newsletter offer them something useful in return. For that universal question always lingers: “What will I get out of it?” Be sure to explain the benefits they will get from responding to your offer.
If you want someone to link back to you, do as author and business communications consultant Chris Brogan does. He sometimes adds a last paragraph to his blog post saying: “I’d love to see YOUR post on this. Please post and link back to this url.” He copies the URL and adds it to make it easier to respond.
People are so busy it may be hard to get them to act. Content that is engaging, easily understood, and of benefit to them helps. Have you found ways to increase your call to action response? I would love to see your post. Please post and link to here. Or if you feel like taking another action, subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current on best business to business content practices.