Bassoon Song: Websites by Joel

Your Website Needs an Effective Call to Action

If you’ve done even a little research about effective websites, you’ve come across the term “call to action.” A call to action is really simple, it’s an invitation for a viewer to do something, make a purchase, fill out a form, send you an email.

If you run a small business or a single proprietorship, all the examples and directions and rules for effective calls to action may leave you a bit bewildered. In my estimation, unless you have a shopping cart, or are hosting an event requiring a response, your businesses or organization probably needs only one single, focused call to action throughout your entire site. You want to turn your visitors into leads. Visitors become leads only when they contact you. Your call to action, ideally, should go to a simple form in which users express their need/interest and leave an email address and/or phone number.

Non-profits may need multiple calls to action, but they are a unique case. If you run a non-profit, you not only want to fulfill your mission, but you want people to join you and become followers, donors, and volunteers. In that case, each call to action needs to be clearly differentiated (e.g. a PayPal “Donate” button versus a link to sign up for your e-newsletter) and have a page devoted to each call to action.

You may read that it’s a good idea to offer something in exchange for people’s contact info. If you do, make absolutely certain that what you offer will be of value to most of your contacts. For example, if you offer a newsletter, don’t fill it with marketing material and special offers. Include something that demonstrates your expertise and will be of immediate use in meeting the needs/solving problems of your potential customers.

A few more dos and don’ts;

  • Do verify the respondents’ email addresses. Either have a link sent for verification, or send the promised freebie via their email address.
  • Do count the cost of your freebies beforehand. They shouldn’t drain your time and resources to the point where you lose money. They should be a taste—albeit a good taste—of what you can do.
  • Don’t give away the business! If you’re a plumber, don’t give 30 minutes worth of plumbing free. If you’re a graphic artist, don’t offer a free logo. Too many people will come to you only for the free work or service and you’ll never hear from them again.

Okay, so the button is my call to action. I want to turn you into a lead. How about it?




Effective Calls to Action