Your call to action (CTA) includes prominent elements, sections, and buttons on a page that tell the visitor what you want them to do.
Studies from the marketing research group MecLabs found if there’s no direction being communicated through the design of the page, people will leave your site. Many web pages suffer from this with too many options for the user to choose from and no clear direction where to go.
Have a strong call to action
Now that your value proposition has answered the visitor’s questions, a successful website asks the visitor to take some action—this is a Call To Action (CTA).
CTAs are prominent elements, sections, and buttons on a page that tell the visitor what you want them to do. A good CTA always communicates a clear benefit to the visitor in exchange for taking that action.
Here’s an example:
Call for a free, no obligation to buy, consultation that will help you discover helpful solutions to XYZ … or Subscribe to get access to over 500 pages of research absolutely free…
CTA’s are usually accompanied by a prominent button or a short form for the visitor to fill out.
How and where to display your CTA
Your CTA can be in multiple places, but the message must be the same. If you want the person to subscribe to your website, you could put:
- a subscribe link in the main navigation
- a subscribe form on the sidebar of the website
- a subscribe button at the end or beginning of each article
- and a subscribe form in the footer of each page
Placing the same CTA four or five times on each web page may seem like overkill, but it serves to get the message across without being missed. People scan and so they may miss it. If your CTA is done gracefully, it doesn’t deter the visitor.
Stop using pop-ups
The only thing I advise against is the pop-up CTA. People hate to start reading an article only to be interrupted with a full screen prompt 30 seconds in. People especially hate the pop-ups that have an alternative message that makes them feel stupid for not opting in.
Pop-ups interrupt the reader and force them to take action. Usually, that action is rejecting your offer to finish consuming the content and then abandoning your website. Pop-ups have a way of making you seem like a pushy salesman.
If this is your idea visitor, and your message was helpful to them, they’ll probably meet your call to action; there’s no need to push them. Visitors who subscribe because they wanted to, and not because of some manipulative pop-up, are usually higher quality leads.