I have to admit I have never been very good at writing calls to action. Some people seem to have this preternatural skill, getting customers to click effortlessly.
For me, it has always been a major struggle, one that has held me back for a long time, keeping my content from ever reaching the potential I knew it could reach.
One of the tricks I have been thoroughly researching is experimenting with various “click triggers” — i.e., graphics and text that further encourage a CTA click, and how they can improve your CTAs almost instantly.
Click Triggers: What They Are, Why You Need Them
A click trigger is, in essence, a nudge. You are giving a little poke to the reader to direct them to fulfill an action that is best for your brand. Maybe that is pushing them to click on an article to read. Or it might be asking them to sign up for a free or paid service you provide.
A click is at the top of your conversion funnel: If we take a well-known TOFU->MOFU->BOFU concept, a click is right at the TOFU stage:
Having a strong click trigger is important because it is what turns a lead into a conversion. Without it you will see much less success, because the viewer will be left to decide whether to follow through on their own. No matter how good the product, a lot of people just won’t take that leap without prompting.
If you have noticed a lot of people going to your sales page but not following through on a sale, you need to add some click triggers to get things flowing. But how do you do that?
At the heart of it, increasing your CTA power is all about giving the viewer a reason to click through. Here are five ways that will always help you reach that goal.
1. Be compelling enough to eliminate doubt
One of the biggest reasons viewers turn back from that final step is doubt. They doubt that the product will be worth the money, or they need to know the features provided by the service or content will be worth reading. They don’t want to waste cash or time, both of which are precious.
So, your job is to offer a click trigger in the CTA that wipes away that doubt, leaving them free to go through with the initial action. You could do this by providing testimonials, letting them know of a sale, saying what it can do for them, etc.
Here’s a huge downloadable collection of ways you can write calls to action for it to trigger action.
Putting your CTA as an answer to a good question is one of the best ways to intrigue users enough for them to click. Questions have been found to eliminate a human being’s protective mechanism, making them look for an answer.
TextOptimizer is a great way to find popular relevant questions for which your target customers are seeking answers:
Putting my question in the heading action and following immediately with your CTA has worked very well for me.
2. Give them an offer they can’t refuse
Nothing is going to bring on the click-throughs like an offer that really grabs the viewer’s attention. A client of mine who owns a startup found a 125% increase in conversions when he stated the percentage off the original price in the CTA.
The sale had already been going on for months, but it wasn’t until he had shown it right in the call to action that it drove sales. Turns out that he needed to use it as a little push for the viewer.
3. Don’t shy away from guarantees
Guaranteeing something to the customer used to be a tried-and-true method of building trust. But misuse by companies that didn’t really mean it has kind of taken it out of vogue.
That’s a shame, because it is still a very effective click trigger. You just have to know how to present it. For example, on a product or paid service, you can do something as simple as say you will give them their money back, no questions asked.
But for a piece of content, you could promise to teach or provide something they definitely want to see. In this case, you would guarantee that they absolutely can’t go without knowing this information, or that others who know it have an edge over them.
4. Tell them what to expect
One thing that can hold people back is the effort it may take to follow through. If you can prepare them for the next steps, showing that it will take minimal commitment on their part, you will find them much more willing to take the plunge.
For example, you could say: “To sign up, click the button and fill out our three-question form!”, specifying that they only have to answer three questions to proceed.
Here’s a good example:
This way they know exactly what will happen on the next page, and will see right away that it won’t take any real time to follow through on their initial interest.
There are a variety of WordPress plug-ins that give you much flexibility as to where to place your CTA and with which context to surround it.
Another idea to drive some engagements and clicks is to put a quick video next to your CTA. Videos have long been proven to be conversion boosters, as they keep users on a page longer and hence promote more action.
No need to invest in an expensive video software or service. I have had a lot of luck creating awesome videos using InVideo online editor that needs no training or software downloads.
Social proof is an effective click trigger in itself, and it may perform even better when in a video format.
5. Simplify what comes next
Do you really want to get people to follow through? Then you should take No. 4 and really utilize the idea of a simplified process. I mentioned the three-question form, but it can be even easier than that. An email address for a subscription takes no time at all, and it gives you the chance to retain interest or gain later sales.
A social media sign-on makes creating an account almost immediate, and will encourage people to try what you are offering. The easier the process, the greater the power of your CTA. Because even if they click on the link, they have to finish the process on the other end. Getting them there is only three-fourths of the battle.
Bonus: Monitor Your CTAs and Adapt!
I am not too tech-savvy. I could handle just the simplest CTA tracking using Google Analytics. I was using this tutorial, which is very concise: A How To Guide: Measuring Calls-To-Action with Google Analytics.
I have also discovered an easier and more robust platform for monitoring my conversion funnel, called Finteza:
Finteza allows users to add events to track using their WordPress plug-in. Once you add events, you can log in to monitor your site users closely and compare your sales funnel performance based on an entry page, mobile device, traffic source, etc.
What I Learned Through Click Triggers
As I said earlier in this post, I was really bad at creating CTAs. Even now I struggle with finding the right words, and really compelling people to follow through on what I want them to do. But learning about click triggers has vastly improved my CTAs — and my results. They provide an easy formula to follow to be more effective in my requests.
These marvels have also taught me the importance of asking. Before, I would have considered a CTA a simple throw-on, last-minute effort. Now, I see it as a powerful tool that can completely change the results you experience.
I know I am not the only person who thinks so. Take a minute to share your experience with click triggers with our other readers and leave a comment below!
Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. Ann has been into Internet Marketing for more than 10 years, she is the former Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Journal and contributor to prominent search and social blogs including Small Biz Trends and Mashable. Ann is also the frequent speaker at Pubcon and the host of the regular Twitter chat #vcbuzz