Call to action – How to Increase Conversion Rates

One of the most important factors web site owners leave out at the end of their articles, blog posts or sales pages is the “call to action.”

Why spend time crafting your content that places your visitor in the buying mood only to leave them hanging? The call to action invites them to take the next step. It helps build a relationship with them so you can offer them ongoing information or future products.

7 ways to get visitors to take action:

1. Opt-in box

Create an opt-in box on your web site asking them to fill out their name and email in exchange for a free giveaway. A double opt-in is best. This is where the visitor fills out the form first then they receive an email asking them to confirm their subscription.

2. Free or paid reports

People love to receive free information particularly if it contains valuable nuggets of information they can act on. Your report doesn’t have to be long. 10-20 pages will be sufficient. The beauty of this method is that you are first giving something to your visitor before you receive something from them ie email address.

You don’t always have to offer something for free. Often a short report priced at $7.00 will generate more visitors than a free one because it is perceived as being more valuable. You can upsell your visitor after she has read the report by offering something even more substantial ie a series of instructional videos.

3. Free software download

You could offer a free trial download of your software. By actually using the software themselves your visitors will see how useful it is to them. For example after the 7 day trial they may decide to purchase the full version of the software.

4. Free web site evaluation

This is something web designers can use to attract potential clients. Suggest ways to improve their design, optimization and web copy so they can increase traffic and sales. After sending the report offer a more comprehensive analysis or send a proposal for doing all the improvements for them.

5. Free articles

Articles are great because they prepare your visitors mind ahead of your offer. At the end of your article place your call to action. This includes any one of the free offers mentioned above, a link to your web site (or offer) and who you are as an author. You may even link to related articles where you offer the same or similar product.

6. Free contest

Most people love contests if there is a chance they can win something they want or desire. For example offer a free ipod to the person that writes the most helpful comments on your blog to increase traffic to it.

7. Autoresponder course

Not many people purchase something after one contact. Often it takes 7 or more contacts before they make the decision to purchase. With a sequential autoresponder you can create a series of messages sent over several days. This helps build a relationship with your visitor plus you’re able to market your product to them with each message you send.

Your call to action should be included in all aspects of your marketing material as there’s not just one way to get a response from your visitors. If you employ any of the call to action methods mentioned above, you’ll increase your conversion rates and make more sales.

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Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Maryland Web Design


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