Calls To Action: How To Really Make Money With Your Website
Let’s cut to the chase: you want your business to make money.
But, there are a gazillion places that already tell you a gazillion ways to do that, so why read this?
I’m glad you asked…
At Fannit, we’ve been creating and implementing successful marketing campaigns for several years. The following procedures that we’re going to disclose to you are, in fact, our own procedures that have brought our clients increased revenue and more customers.
Disclaimer: I am not saying you can make money easily and quickly without effort, because that’s not reality. If it were true, we’d all be doing it. Instead, I’m going to explain how to ask people to buy from you on your website in the most persuasive way – with Calls To Action.
The Goal Of Your Business’s Website: Converting Viewers To Buyers
The truth of the matter is that having a constant stream of viewers isn’t going to be bringing home the proverbial bacon. Viewers view—buyers buy. Your business needs viewers that become buyers. This is how you generate revenue, this is how you pay your bills, and this is how you keep your business running.
Seeing as how buyers are so important then, let’s talk about the ways we can help convert these viewers into buyers—our specialty here at Fannit. In marketing terms, this is called conversion rate optimization. Quite simply, it means optimizing your site to naturally guide users toward becoming customers.
Depending on your business and website, you may already be getting a lot of traffic. A fair amount of people could be visiting your site, but, for some reason, you still don’t make many online sales. While this probably seems a little unusual, it’s actually quite common.
See, most people think the equation is as follows:
traffic = sales
rankings = sales
In reality, the equation looks more like this:
traffic x conversion rate x closing rate = sales
which simplifies to
conversions x closing rate = sales
Notice the emphasis on conversions and conversion rates in the two modified equations. This is critical if you want to see revenues rise. There are two ways of coming about this: increasing the number of conversions, and increasing the value of each, all the while closing sales in a consistent manner.
A lot of SEO’s and marketers will tell you that the key to sales growth is increasing the amount of traffic. But, you can increase the amount of people seeing your site with no increase in sales because you haven’t worked on conversion rates and made more of your visitors want to buy from you.
Here’s how you can do that:
The Micro Conversion: Turning Viewers Into Users
So, how do we go about taking the traffic on your site and turn it into sales? One of the primary ways that we do this at Fannit is by using calls to action (henceforth referred to as CTA’s) which get visitors to convert from viewer to lead to conversion (or sale).
The various types of CTA’s are separated into two basic categories. The micro conversion and the macro conversion. What are these? Let’s explore that…
What is a micro conversion?
Micro conversions are steps taken by a website viewer that guides them along the user conversion funnel. This step can be a variety of actions, such as:
Downloading a file. Whether this is an informative and engaging ebook, a client form that must be filled out before an in-person meeting or office visit, or a video file that demos your product, file downloads are a decisive step by the interested viewer that indicates that they are on the road to becoming a potential future customer.
Join a mailing list. This action indicates an actionable interest in your company or product. Unlike the purchased mailing lists that are never 100% accurate, and certainly don’t guarantee interest by the recipient, joining your email list means your viewer is absolutely interested in possibly becoming your customer.
Add to cart/ wish list. Visitors that are placing items into their carts, or taking the step to create a wish list for your site are likely to be a highly interested potential customer. Of course, not everyone who does this will necessarily convert, but the percentage of individuals who use wish lists or carts (especially if they had to create an account to do so) are very likely to return to complete the purchase.
Social shares. This is one of the smaller forms of micro conversion that viewers can take with your product or service. A Facebook share, a tweet, or other social ‘high-fives’ indicate that your viewer is on board with your company to the point that they are willing to give you a social shout out. While this isn’t as likely to translate into a lead, it is a wonderful way to increase brand awareness.
In the long run, though, our thoughtfully planned marketing strategies will use micro conversions merely as a way to nudge clients toward our ultimate goal… a new, happy, loyal customer.
What does a micro conversion do?
Micro conversions will do several amazing things for your company. One of the best things they can do is to increase brand awareness. Not all of the people that take an action, such as downloading a file, will necessarily come back to convert. But don’t despair, even the fish that get away will help increase your business by increasing your brand awareness.
Even better, their website activity will indicate to search engines that your content is both good and useful. When search engines see this, you’ll see yourself steadily move up in rankings.
Most importantly, however, micro conversions will gently guide your users further along down the conversion funnel, toward the end goal of becoming one of your happy, loyal, and paying customers. This is the entire point, after all, isn’t it?
The Macro Conversion: Turning Users Into Buyers
If a micro conversion is a pass down the field, the macro conversion is the set up pass that will allow you, the businessman, to score a winning shot! In this analogy, of course, the ‘goal’ is a sale, and an increase in your revenue. This is always the end game of our marketing campaigns—increasing your monthly paycheck.
What is a macro conversion?
A macro conversion is a step that interested viewers take to actually becoming a lead or sales opportunity. Rather than being merely a viewer, they are are a lead. This is the point at which your marketing team has given you the ball so that you can score the goal by closing the sale. Once the customer contacts you for services, a consultation, or to set up an appointment, it’s up to you to hook ‘em.
So, what are some examples of a macro conversion?
Completing a form to schedule an office visit or consultation,
Contacting your office to request your services or schedule an appointment
Purchasing a product (online or by phone call)
Signing a contract for ongoing services with your business (like we do with our clients here at Fannit!)
Going to your business location to meet with you or view your products
What does a macro conversion do?
As we said, a macro conversion is your setup pass that puts the ball in your hands. If your business is good at closing sales, then rest assured that, for you, a macro conversion gives you yet another paying client.
The Key To Online Business Success: Calls To Action
A call to action is basically exactly what it sounds like it is: it’s a place on your website that specifically tells a person to do something. Examples of a call to action are:
Buy this now
Join our mailing list
Fill out our form
Get a consultation
So, lets learn how to use these messages to bring you more business!
CTA Strategy 1: Placement
When you’re creating online content, it’s important that you let people know what steps to take, and to make it easy for them to do it.
This starts by putting your CTAs in the right places on your site.
The first rule here is to include a call to action “above the fold”. In other words, include a CTA right near the top of your page so it’s easy to see right off the bat. Consider Adidas’s site:
See the clear messages there to clearly communicates the CTA to viewers? “Shop Battle Pack Cleats” and “Watch Video” both tell the user to act. The first is a macro CTA – it asks the site user to shop, that is buy – and the second is a micro CTA – it helps viewers become more in tune with the product and more likely to buy in the future. Both their micro and macro CTAs are placed right in the top area of their page, just below the menu.
Also, including an additional CTA in the footer of your site is also a good idea, but don’t forget the most important location: a CTA must be included at the top of your page, because it is one of the first things a viewer’s eye will be attracted to.
CTA Strategy 2: Colors
Lots of time has gone into researching and writing about color psychology, but that’s an enormous topic that we don’t need to exhaust right now. The primary color concern with your CTAs should be contrast, not using the color that “makes” your conversion point irresistible.
So let’s walk through the “color psychology” of CTAs:
CTAs give people a clear and persuasive outlet to becoming buyers
When CTAs stick out to viewers, they’re more likely to be clicked and you make more money
One great way to make a CTA stick out is by using a color that contrasts the background that it’s on.
Another way is to use a color that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the page. Sometimes this makes the CTA look out of place, but it’s worth testing because it does cause your message to attract more attention.
Does this mean your CTAs have to be a color that clashes with everything? No, not necessarily, but it definitely should be styled to stick out. Consider Microsoft’s site:
See the blue box? The solid blue sticks out, and in it you have two calls to action: “Learn more” and “Shop now”.
Another Microsoft example:
What’s the CTA on this page? It’s the “Buy now” button. Is it in a contrasting color? No, it matches the site but stands out well against it’s white background.
The message of your CTA needs to be delicately constructed to invite viewers to move gently down your sales funnel. Remember, the language and voice of your content will vary depending upon your buyer persona.
This goes beyond the mere actual language (if your client base speaks English, you’ll want to write your content in English), and deeper into the specific choices of words used and even the way that sentences are phrased.
For example, a neurosurgeon won’t be impressed with a CTA that uses the latest internet short text acronyms (not to mention that he probably will have no clue what it’s communicating).
Instead, our neurosurgeon that happens to be looking for a professional travel agency is likely going to respond to a well-constructed, grammatically correct, and simplistic CTA.
Beyond this, you need to take some time to deeply consider what your buyer persona will find motivating. A well-designed CTA is one that your buyer persona sees and is compelled to follow because its message speaks to their felt need.
Here’s a good example from Moz, the huge online marketing resources business:
The message at the top of the site attracts the people who want marketing tools by saying that they make the difficult things of marketing easy, which is exactly what they want. It’s short, sweet, targets the people they want it to, and is bringing Moz lots of money I guarantee you.
CTA Strategy 4: Count
How many CTA’s are too many? Well, there is some debate surrounding this particular issue. Our stance is that we write for viewers. Too many CTA’s can seem spammy, and like we are desperate to sell them on a product/service/etc.
Conversely, using too few CTA’s can make it hard for the viewer to take the next step or action to move themselves further down the sales funnel. So, where’s the balance between too many and too little?
As a general rule of thumb, 2-3 CTA’s per page is a good way to go. This won’t usually overwhelm the viewer, nor will it seem like insincere content. It will, however, give the viewer several opportunities to take action (whether macro or micro conversion).
Of course, this can also depend on the content. The point is, those CTA’s need to happen naturally and make sense as a viewer is reading through your content.
CTA Strategy 5: Persuasive Elements
Sometimes it’s helpful to draw a user’s attention to your CTA using more than just text. By using arrows that point to your CTA button or even a picture of someone whose eyeballs look in the direction of the CTA, you can increase the number of people who choose to act in response to your call to action.
Crazyegg, a website data tool company, uses this here:
You already know the video is there to watch, but the arrow pointing to it adds an extra level of persuasion that makes a user more likely to actually go ahead and watch it.
These sorts of elements aren’t necessarily always recommended, but there are instances in which they can be very useful, and should be kept in mind when designing a website or CTA.
Test, test, test
Wonderful! Now that we’ve created powerful and effective CTA’s on your incredibly well-designed web pages, it’s time to test these out. We use A/B testing for our own site and for client sites.
This means that we will use two (or more) variations of the web page with different CTA’s in different placement, colors, or whatever we feel needs testing out. Then, we set up the site to send half of your traffic to variation A and half to variation B. By tracking the responses on each of the site options, we can tell which version of the material is creating a better conversion funnel, and ultimately more leads and conversions for your business.
But, it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. The nature of an effective marketing campaign is that it’s an ever-evolving strategy. What worked best one month may not be working best the next. Or, perhaps we’ll have discovered an even better way to construct your CTA’s. Whatever the case, rest assured that once we’ve found something that works for a clients business, we don’t just stop there and wait for the revenue to roll in.
We test, test, test. After all, our customers are always changing. Your marketing strategies must do the same.
Let’s put what we’ve learned into practice. Go take a look at your website. Does it have clear CTA for both micro and macro conversions? Is the conversion funnel constructed to nudge viewers further along in the conversion process?
Or those CTA’s placed well? What color are they? Do they pop out? Is their message relevant and addressing the felt need of the viewer? Have you tested these out with variances?
If you’ve failed on any of those questions, don’t worry. At Fannit, we excel at creating websites that optimize the conversion funnel and increase your revenue while boosting your ranking. Contact us for a free consultation, and the opportunity to experience business transformation yourself.