Rallying Them ‘Round: Some Pointers For Creating an Effective Call To Action

Digital Marketing • 28th Apr, 16


Sure, sure, there’s tons of value to your business’s online presence having a lasting impact – to constructing a site that your potential customers will remember; that will linger in their minds as something that embodies your brand; that inspires them, the next time they require the sort of goods and services you provide, to think of that nifty site they visited earlier.

But there’s also a vast amount of value to making the effects of your site more short-term – in other words, tapping into the user’s inner impulse buyer, and officially making them a customer before they’ve even closed the browser. It depends precisely what sort of business you’re running, of course; but oftentimes, this can be one of the keys to give your fresh business the growth spurt it needs.

So, to get you going, here’s a few pointers for creating the sort of calls to action that should help you pull in some hasty, half-thought-through, impulse-driven investment – the sort of investment that gives an ambitious new business the rapid growth spurt it really needs.

  1. Big and Bright

Just a basic one to kick off: your call to action has to draw their eye. It’s got to stand out. It’s got to be big, bold and bright. White text on a grey background. Animated text. Multicoloured bubble-text, maybe, if you’re selling, eh, balloons or something.

Point is: if it’s going to be a Call to Action, they’ve got to see it. If you want them to see it, you’ve got to make it draw the eye. And the easiest way to make it draw the eye is to make it bright. Simplest kind of stuff, really; and we can’t tell you precisely how bright to make it – like so many other things, it all comes back to what best suits the image of your brand and business in particular; and you’re the authority on what that is, not us.

It’s just…something to keep in mind when you’re laying out the basic plans, ya know?

  1. Finding Their Fears

Unless the individual using your site is over 80, under ten, or just spent the last forty years in a cave, odds are good that the very first thing they’re going to feel when they see your call to action is hesitation.

It’s nothing personal – just basic online caution. It’s the modern internet – a place of false promises and of hard-drive-eating viruses.

The solution? Well, in the long term, a total reformation of the very nature of business, both online and off. In the short term, though – the term you need to be concerned with – it’s to figure out precisely what it is that your average customer is hesitant about, and then, directly within the call to action itself, address that fear.

Of course, we can’t tell you precisely what that fear is – you can make educated guesses from general studies into your particular area of business, of course, but such things are persistently changing.

Your best bet – and one that certainly won’t hurt your PR, to boot – is to just ask your customers directly. Social media, as we don’t need to tell you, has worked miracles when it comes to giving brands a means of reaching out to their target market. A simple #telluswhatyouwant sort of hashtag could be the key to finding out precisely what it is that’s making your target demographic hesitate to click that “join today” button they see the minute they’re on your brand’s site.

That’s the tricky part, really. Once you’ve nailed down just what it is that your target demographic is hesitant about, tweak the call to action so that it addresses it directly.

Let’s say potential customers are afraid that the subscription you offer will be tricky to opt out of if they don’t like it. Right alongside your “subscribe today” call to action, add a little “cancel any time” sidenote. Or perhaps they’re worried that they’ll get stuck with a bill for a service they end up pulling the plug on before long; throw a “one month free” sidenote in there. Perhaps they’re worried that your service, as much as they may need it, will be too challenging to use; throw in a “full step-by-step process” subheading under your call to action’s central “try us out!”

(Of course, whether your business can afford to make compromises like that in order to assuage customer’s fears is another matter – one you’ll have to decide on.)

When a consumer considers engaging with a new service, they want, above all else, to feel safe doing so. Make sure that they do, and you’ve taken the biggest step toward assuring a loyal new client.

  1. Quickly, Now

Now, obviously, we don’t want you to make customers feel like you’re pushing them. That’s one of the most efficient ways to drive away customers forever. When you’re presenting your services to your customers, you’ve got to make it clear to them that they have a choice – that they can opt out any time, and that they can take time to consider things before agreeing to take up your services. A trapped animal can get pretty vicious.

But at the same time, don’t give them too much leeway. Make it clear to them that, while they’ve got every right to take time to consider your offer, it’s in their best interests to act right away.

The hard truth is, it really doesn’t matter how good your services are, or how well-regarded your brand is; if you give them too much time to consider it, you’re going to pull in less customers. People with any experience in the world of business, almost invariably, are scared of spending money; and regardless of how much they may need your services, letting them dwell on it too long is invariably going to lose you some potential customers. Dwelling on spending money only fosters hesitation; don’t give them time to do it.

Again, though, no need to be pushy. There are plenty of ways to gently nudge a potential customer towards a quick-fire decision. Temporary discount offers, if you can afford them, can really pull in fresh customers; and once they’ve had a taste of your services, they hopefully will be willing to stay after the discount ends. Or perhaps the mere nature of your business can be a reason for them to make their decisions quickly – perhaps via a gentle reminder, for instance, that your next road accident won’t wait until you’ve picked which car insurance brand you’re going with.

Whatever join-now selling point you’re going with, though, be sure to include it in your call to action. And make it, like everything else on there, quick, abrupt, and to the point – just like the purchasing decisions you’re hoping it’ll inspire.


As online access grows, and more and more folks enter the “living half your life on the internet” demographic, the inevitable happens: folks get more and more wary of online advertising. Phishing, spyware and swindles have grown more and more ubiquitous lately, and more folks have grown wise to them; and as a result, a simple request to “click here” just doesn’t have the sort of effect on this cynical generation that it once did.

No, nowadays, when you want your potential customers to “click here”, you’ve got to ask them to do so carefully – in a way that puts their uncertainty to rest and pulls their spending impulses to the forefront, in a context that assures them of your reliability, your trustworthiness, and your lack of intention to hack into their retirement funds.

The average potential customer visiting your website will not be naïve; and persuading them to make immediate use of your services will not be as simple as sticking a “buy now” button in the corner. But they will also have an impulsive side – jaded as we may be, the intensely convenient, efficient nature of online purchasing is not yet lost on us. Tapping into that impulsive side – that’s the key to soaring online success.


Back to Blog