Friday, 4 May 2012

Making a Call to Action Effective

Marketing expert Waseem Saddique offers his expertise into what makes for an effective call to action.

No matter what type of website a business has, it should have a goal that sets out to draw interaction from its audience. Having a call to action feature is arguably the most essential part of any website as it encourages people to ‘buy into’ services and goods on offer.
From a business perspective, a call to action feature allows an organisation to:
1.    Establish a focus for its website (i.e. what objective is the website trying to achieve?).
2.    Measure the success of the website.
3.    Give a guide to visitors that clearly highlights that a response is required.
From a customer perspective a call to action allows them to interact with a business, however, in order to get a customer to act on this, a customer needs to identify with a benefit as they will be giving of their time, which, in an instant gratification society, is a commodity that many customers value very highly.
Waseem Saddique comments: “Customers do not enjoy having their time wasted and when visiting a website, they want to find what they are looking for in an instant and be able to act on their need as quickly as possible. Therefore, the first and perhaps the most important part of any call to action is actually selling the benefits as to why they should respond.”
If a business is selling a product or service, a common benefit that will encourage customers to respond to a call to action is to offer something at a discounted rate or for free. A customer will always be asking, what’s it in for me? This will always be true if they are expected to give valuable time to completing a form for instance.
Once a customer has identified a benefit to responding, the placement, colour and frequency of a call to action is vitally important. Waseem Saddique says: “It’s important to position a call to action as prominently on a web page as possible, ideally high on the page and free from ‘clutter’ such as text and images.”
Waseem continues: “Use a colour that stands alone from the colours associated with the website as this will instantly draw attention to it as soon as the website is opened, but don’t overwhelm the client with too many call to action features as they can have the opposite effect, whereby they become more distracting rather than encouraging a response.”
A call to action can generate substantial interaction on a website if used correctly and they will add real value and credibility to a site whilst building a rapport with customers. The measure of a successful call to action is highlighted by getting a customer to give something that they can’t get back, their time.