02 / Call To Actions

A call to action, or CTA, is typically a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text which is designed to trigger a user to interact with it and be taken down a conversion funnel. CTAs typically strive to convert a user into a lead or customer. The success of the CTA can be measured using conversion rates which are simply calculated by the number times the CTA was seen over the amount of interactions it received. Estimating the effectiveness of a CTA is normally done using A/B testing where two variants of the webpage are presented to a number of users and the version with the highest conversion rate becomes the winner, and subsequently the basis for the next test.

1 – Main Call to Action

Main Call to ActionYour main Call To Action (CTA) on your page is the one action you want users to take above all others, such as ‘Get Quote’, ‘Download’ or ‘Add to Basket’. Often this is repeated on many pages on your website (E.g. a quote request form on thousands of product pages) so a small change in its effectiveness can constitute a significant overall impact.

As such, this button represents your biggest opportunity to improve conversions through Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), which involves iteratively testing, measuring and improving elements of your site.

Although each individual website is different, there has been a significant amount of research done that can inform your page design from the outset:

Recommended Further Reading

2 – Social Sharing Buttons

Social SharingMany types of online content is designed to be shared, with the hope of attracting potential customers, further shares and incoming links. Social sharing buttons remind the user to share, and make the sharing process as easy as possible. Setting your code up to pull through the company/author profile link can help you gain additional mentions and followers.

One of the main benefits of social share buttons is the ‘count’ feature, allowing you to take advantage of a psychological phenomenon known as ‘social proof’ – which affects a person’s behavior so that they conform to the actions of others. In this situation it could be summed up as ‘if it has lots of shares, it must be good.’ Importantly, the inverse is also true, so consider not using the count feature until you are actually getting shares.

Some would argue that social shares on product pages distract from the main CTA on the page (the conversion) and should be built into thank you or confirmation pages. The counter argument is that the act of sharing makes the user more invested in the product, and actually more likely to buy/convert.

Recommended Further Reading

3 – Secondary CTAs

Secondary CTAsThere are many situations when a user may not be in a ‘convertible’ position, as they are at an early stage of the buying funnel, such as the research stage. For example, B2B purchasing decisions are often made by committee, and as such it is not only the original user that you need to influence. Offering your information in a transferable format, such as a PDF, and allowing the user to download or email it, makes this process significantly easier.

Email sign up forms are another common secondary CTA, which are great as they tell you that the user is engaged and allow you to capture their email address for potential reconversion.

Although they won’t achieve a primary conversion, these secondary actions can help ensure your brand or product remains front of mind, and could assist a primary conversion further down the line.

Recommended Further Reading

4 – Cross-selling & Upselling

Cross Selling Up SellingCross-selling is the act of selling complimentary products or services, in addition to the main sale. Amazon have led the way in the ecommerce space, using their overwhelming amount of customer data to create highly effective cross-selling CTAs.

Upselling is an attempt to persuade prospects to purchase products or services that secure a higher margin or value than the initial line of enquiry. This is often achieved by hooking the user initially on a ‘basic’ product, then also highlighting the comparative benefits of the ‘premium’ version.

Some examples of cross-selling and upselling include:

  • Good-better-best options
  • Recently viewed products
  • People who bought this also bought…
  • Frequently bought together
  • Additional service only £x extra
  • See others in this category/brand

Recommended Further Reading