The Call to Action: Why Should Your Customer Click Through?

Do you have a call to action on your website?  Do you know what a call to action is?

Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotionmessage to take an immediate action, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on Internet) “Click Here.” A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective.

A call to action asks your visitor to “Buy Now”, “Call Now” or “Sign Up” and there are a few things you need to do on your site to make a call to action work.

Why Should I?

As Paul Boag says in his great article, “lay some groundwork”.  Identify a need that you or your product satisfies.  Twitter’s home page makes it clear why you’d want to sign up:

Notice their message is extremely clear and concise.  Let me rephrase that – it is short.  If you can’t explain why someone should use/buy your product or service in a sentence, you need to rethink that you do!  Pinterest has one of the best “why should I” messages I’ve ever seen:

How Do I Make a Purchase/Sign Up?

Make it very easy for your visitor to turn into a customer by presenting a clear option path and limiting those options.  Take a look at both the Twitter and Pinterest examples, above.  If you are already a user, it is clear where you sign in.  If you aren’t, it is clear what you need to do to become a user.

Let’s take a look at HostGator:

While the layout is just as busy, notice the why in each area.  Unlimited Web Hosting: Web Hosting made Easy and Affordable Starting at $3.96 per month.  One button leads the visitor to three hosting options:

Notice the clear difference between the plans, the ability to see pricing and the easy “Order Now” button.

The Call to Action

You’ve told the visitor why they need your service and present a clear pathway to order your service, now tie it all together with the action:  “Order Now”, “Join Pinterest”, “Sign Up For Twitter”, heck if you’re a marketing company maybe “Make Me Famous” would work.  The call to action should be obvious (which is why brightly colored buttons are often used), but it should also be trackable.  You want to be able to compare the number of clicks on each different call to action link (button, image, etc) and compare those numbers to how many people actually signed up or followed through by contacting you.

Tomorrow I’ll follow up with different types of call to action widgets for your website, complete with tracking information.

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  1. […] padding-bottom:3px; } this isa sample corner banner The first part of this series covered the call to action – what it is and what you should include.  Today we talk about […]

  2. […] is the third in a series on call to action links:  Part One, Part […]

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