Tag: call to action

Verbs are Your Friends – The Importance of Call-to-Action Buttons

By Sue Brady

Call-to-action buttons, or CTAs for those in the know, are the buttonsBuy Now a user clicks on from your website to complete an action. Typically, it’s to complete an action you want the user to complete, like ‘BUY NOW,’ and that’s why they are so important. in fact CTAs are probably the most important thing on the page. It’s critical to test your CTAs to figure out what will work best for your site.

Elements Worth Testing

  • Message – Does it call on the user to do something specific?
  • Appearance – Does it blend in or stand out?
  • Size – Again, does it blend in or stand out?
  • Color – Hmm, does it blend in or stand out?

The message. Text can be short or long, but make sure you include a verb. Action words will get users to take action. Funny how that works. Most experts who write about button text will say that shorter is better, and they are probably right. But you won’t know until you test it yourself, on your particular pages. And make sure you are directing the user to do something you want them to do. For instance, if your CTA is simply ‘Learn,’ a user might not understand why he should click. Retailers seem to have figured out that a button that says ‘Add to Cart’ is universally understood as the next step needed when someone wants to make an actual purchase. Your own CTA should be just as clear.

Appearance. It’s a mistake to make the user have to work to figure out where they are supposed to click. If your button blends in so nicely with the look and feel of your site, it will be difficult to find. Test something bold and different. Make sure the button is ‘findable’ without having to scroll. And also, reversed out white type works just fine against a bold button background.

Size. Big and bold. This relates back to my previous statement about making sure the user doesn’t have to work to know where to click. With a big and bold CTA button, the direction to the user should be obvious. If someone sees nothing else on your page, you want them to notice that CTA button.

Color choice. Way back when I first started working with direct response websites, I remember someone telling me that I shouldn’t use red on my CTA buttons. That advice makes sense. Red means stop and has a negative ‘feel,’ but you won’t know until you test. When I worked at AOL, where we tested everything often, orange was frequently a clear winner in this type of testing. That was many years ago, and I still see orange used a lot, but I also frequently see green and blue.

Remember, verbs are your friends. Please share this post! 🙂

CTA

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5 Obvious Things you should do on your Website

It’s easy to overlook the obvious. So here’s a few helpful hints to help remind you of some basics to make sure your website is all that it can be.

  1. Ask customers to take the action you want them to take.

Buy now.  Learn more. Add to Cart. Checkout.Call to actionIf you don’t tell your customers what to do, they might not do it!

2. Make it easy for your customers to take an action. The harder they have to work for it, the least likely they are to do it. I was on a well-known site yesterday and really wanted to add a photo book I’d created to my shopping cart. I couldn’t do it.  I could clearly see the quantity button and the price (I drew the green arrow in the picture), but there was no ‘add to cart’ button. I had to completely exit out and come back in through a different set of commands before I was shown the ‘add to cart’ button.

3. Make your action buttons large enough so that they stand out on the page.

4. DO NOT USE REVERSED OUT WHITE TYPE IN YOUR BODY COPY!! Yes, this is one of my pet peeves, but it should be yours as well. Reversed out white type is hard on the eyes when used on more than a line or two of type. And if your web pages are hard to read, your potential customers won’t read them. This has been tested and proven time and time again.

5. Have a mobile version of your website. Seriously, you should have done this years ago, but if you somehow haven’t, make it your next project. The time spent on the Internet via a mobile phone has surpassed the time spent on the Internet on a desktop computer (Mary Meeker KPBC Internet Trends Report).  Consumers now expect sites to be mobile friendly and will leave your site if it’s not. Plus, having a mobile friendly site helps you with your Google organic search. When a user is on a mobile phone, Google gives preference to mobile friendly sites non-mobile friendly sites.

  • Publish relevant content on your website. When a prospective customer comes to your site, they are looking for information. Make sure you have well-written content. Make it easy to understand what your company does, what your product does, what your service is used for.

Obvious tips, but so often overlooked!

 

The Mood Ring, Pocket Fisherman and Philip Kives

Post from April 30, 2016

As seen on TVPhilip Kives died last week. You might not even realize that you know him, but you do. He invented the infomercial.  Some might call him the founder of direct response.  He revolutionized marketing.

He brought us these products:

You’re probably familiar with the ‘As Seen on TV Logo’. Yep. That’s Philip Kives.

Or do you remember those commercials where the greatest of hits of an era would play while the song list scrolled up your TV screen? You guessed it, Philip Kives.

He grew up poor, living with his parents on their farm in a tiny town in Canada. After graduating from high school, he successfully sold products door to door, such as vacuum cleaners and cookware, earning $29,000 in 1959, a small fortune. In his early 20s, he figured out that TV would be a more efficient way to reach people, and so the infomercial was born. And in 1963, Kives founded the company called K-tel International.

The very first infomercial ever produced was for a Teflon non-stick fry pan. And you guessed it – Philip Kives was the mind behind it. He was 32. Turned out that Teflon might help keep food from sticking, but it didn’t stick so well to the frying pan itself. So he looked for other products. He bought a bunch of products to sell from Seymour Popeil, father of Ron Popeil, the guy who coined the phrase:

“But wait, there’s more!”

Three years later, for no apparent reason, he traveled to Australia with an infomercial he had made himself, selling the Feather Touch Knife. In five months’ time, he had sold a million knives, earning $1 per knife for himself. Ironically, because Kives was so successful, Popeil decided to stop selling products to him, because he was getting too big.

That change forced Kives to start finding and developing his own products, and that’s when he hit on the jackpot: compilation hit song records. His company sold 500 million albums by 1983!

Kives perfected the all important call-to-action. His messages were simple: “Only available through this very special TV offer” and “Buy now while supplies last”, “Snap up one of the first 30,000 LPs”

Eamonn Forde, @Eamonn_Forde writing for theguardian summed up Kives style perfectly: “His approach to sales was unapologetically mainstream. The marketing language was simple and unswerving at a time when, as illustrated by Mad Men, the advertising industry was attempting to elevate itself to a level of erudition and sophistication that perhaps it didn’t quite deserve. For Kives, the sales message should have no space for indulgence or purple prose.”

We should all be so successful.