After writing a post recently about turning site visitors into paying customers, I received the following comment, which I was happy, yet surprised to see:
I think “Call to Action” is overrated and overused nowadays. I’m not a big fan of “Buy it Now!” buttons and In-Your-Face action bubbles. If you need a Call to Action button for a potential customer to be able to find a way to contact you, rethink your website design.
I was surprised to read this comment for a few reasons:
- I think any sort of business that doesn’t call their customer to action is missing out on serious business.
- I’m not sure how clients are getting in contact with you if you don’t have a call to action.
So I did a little digging.
A visited the web site of the GDB reader who left this comment.
And guess what…
They had a call-to-action on their site as well.
For a minute, I was really confused.
I mean right there, as clear as day, at the top of their web site was a link that said “Get in touch.”
If that’s not a call to action, I don’t know what is.
Then it hit me
It was in that moment that I realized: calls to action aren’t dead.
They’re just misunderstood.
And they’re vital to the growth of your business.
Part of what this commenter said was true:
In-you-face action bubbles and huge “buy it now” buttons aren’t a good fit for everyone.
But that’s not the only way to call your customer to action.
The real “call to action”
I’m a marketer.
I’m also a designer.
So when I design things, I like to think about how the project will be used as a marketing tool.
So I’m always thinking about ways to get the customer to act.
And just like, over the years, marketers have been misunderstood to be salesy, sleezy, in-your-face jerk-wads, so too the call-to-action has gotten a bad rep.
A real call to action doesn’t require a CSS3 button or a large red bubble with a price slash!
A real call to action is simply that: an invitation to your customers to act.
Nice and simple
And I agree with this commenter.
It can be nice and simple.
But you have to have something that encourages your potential clients to convert into true clients.
And if you have no call to action at all, you’re really doing yourself a disservice.
Calls to action come in all shapes and sizes
In the case of this commenter, their call to action was just a short three-word phrase placed in the navigation bar: “get in touch.”
For others of us, it may be a button, it may be a starburst, it may be a youtube video embedded on the page encouraging a customer to buy.
Whatever it is, it has to encourage them to take the next step.
Without that, you’re toast.
What’s your call to action?
So the call to action isn’t dead. It’s needed. Desperately.
And if you want your business to succeed, you’ll take my advice and make sure you’ve got one.
If you’ve got a call to action on your site (or you’ve got one dreamed up in your head) tell me what it is by leaving a comment on this post (see my little call to action there? *wink)Written by Preston D Lee Preston is the founder of GDB, a designer, programmer, marketer, and entrepreneur.