Call To Action: Building Your Call To Action to Encourage Clicks

Every page of your website should contain a Call To Action – a short statement with a clear offer followed by a button or link containing text that instructs the user to do something specific:

… click a link to learn more
… click a button to join a mailing list
… answer a question to start a survey
… watch a video to earn a coupon code

Taking action turns a browsing site visitor into a sales lead, a new subscriber or a buyer with an item in a shopping cart.

To build trust and ensure your ‘call’ to complete the action is following without delay, you must convey the essence of your solution to the customer’s problem in terms she understands. It may even focus on terms she has used to find your website through a search engine.

Show that you understand the problem and have the solution …
build trust and get the click …

A Clear, Simple Statement … And A Button

Your call to action guides your potential customer to do something specific – click a button – and begin the contact, signup or purchase journey.

Your customer has one thing on her mind once she’s viewed the information on your website and decided to click … ‘will clicking this button solve my problem’?

WIFM: What’s in it for me?

Action: Start At The End – 3, 2, 1

The best place to start designing your call to action is to decide where it will end:

3. What ONE action do you want the target audience member to complete when he visits your website or landing page?

  1. Join your email list so you can email him news, special offers and information about your products and services
  2. Leave contact information and a preferred contact time so that you can contact him directly at a convenient time
  3. Book an appointment through your online booking application
  4. Answer a few simple survey questions

Being specific about the action you want the user to take will make it easier to write a simple, direct, compelling message that leaves no room for doubt or hesitation when it comes time to ‘click.’

Offer: Back To The Middle

Moving back a step, to the middle, decide how you will overcome hesitation before the click:

2. How will you encourage the user to engage with you — what is your answer when the customer stops before she clicks and thinks “what’s in it for me” … “why should I give this company my email address or phone number” … “should I wait until tomorrow to do this”?

  1. Provide a limited time discount or other special offers
  2. Offer a free trial – no credit card required
  3. Include exclusive content or an ebook
  4. Highlight membership perks
  5. Make limited quantities available
  6. Other?

Is your incentive easy to understand? Is it stated in 9 words or less? Does it solve the customer’s problem? Will it get her to click?

Audience: End At The Beginning

Now you can wrap things up with the beginning of your call to action. Be clear about who you are addressing:

1. How will you remind your target audience that you know who you’re talking to and you understand his problem, in 5 words or less?

Stringing It All Together

When designing your call-to-action:

  1. Audience, Offer, Action
    • Make sure your call to action addresses your target audience and her primary need
    • Be clear about your offer
    • Make it easy to complete the action
  2. Deliverable: make it pay off immediately
    • Provide online downloads, logins, instant access, etc., if relevant
    • Include onscreen AND follow up email or text confirmations, for both online and offline deliverables, whether the customer has to wait for delivery or visit your business for pickup or service

Be prepared to experiment — you may not get your call to action right the first time.


A great deal can be learned by reviewing the websites of your competitors. What methods are being used to get customers to click their calls to action?

  • As you are researching, make a note of:
  • What method they are using to encourage a customer down the sales funnel. A simple landing page with a form? Describe this page or save a screenshot.
  • What incentivizes the customer to take a specific action and click a link or button – a special offer, an e-book, free membership with exclusive benefits, an easy to fill form to make an appointment?
  • Describe the benefit that is being offered
  • What are they collecting – email, phone number?

Download the worksheet to assist you in the exercise.

When working with information about your competition, try to be objective in your analysis.

Top Call-to-Action Tips

  1. Make your landing/conversion page clear and uncluttered
  2. Make it easy for a potential customer to move into your sales funnel with a compelling, no risk offer
  3. Make sure you showcase the benefits of your product or service
  4. Always thank the customer for taking action – onscreen and via email or text
  5. Always test your call-to-action messages, copy and button design to make sure it’s converting for you

Next Steps

Once completed, you can further enhance this basic description using checklists and tools included in our Udemy Course

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