By Chris J. Everett, Principal & Founder
Captivate Search Marketing
…a marketing term that refers to any prompt or trigger that marketers use in order
to get a prospective customer/client to take action and take the next step toward
converting into a sale.
…is an essential element to help convert prospective customers into sales –
especially when it comes to websites and optimizing them for conversions.
Within the context of Internet marketing, such terminology that would be associated
with a Call to Action would be “Buy Now,” “Click Here,” or “Fill Out This Form.”
Driving consumers to your website with an array of Internet marketing
strategies such as organic SEO or pay per click advertising isn’t enough
anymore for SEO companies. Getting that traffic to convert into a sale is the
name of the game. But the combination of traffic and a decent web design still
won’t guarantee you a conversion.
What you need is an effective call to action.
When it comes to website conversion rate optimization, having a compelling
website call to action is imperative for optimal success.
Historically, effective website calls to action have involved appealing graphics
and text that utilize the same call to action terminology that we used above such
as “Buy Now!” or “Click Here!”
While some of these old-hat website conversion optimization techniques are still
widely used, to compete in today’s over-saturated marketplace, marketers have
needed to become more creative to capture the attention of a website user in
order to get them to convert.
Offering your website users something of value has become increasingly
important for converting users and marketers have found great ways to appeal
to consumers with these conversion tactics.
What are Used to Capture More Conversions?
Free eBooks or Whitepapers in
exchange for contact information
Offer of Free Advice/Information
Free Estimates or Quotes
Signup for a Free Trial
What are Used to Display Calls to Action?
Popups or Fly-Ins
1. eBooks and Educational Content
One of the rules of thumb for conversion
optimization and effective website calls
to action is offering users something
of value in exchange for their
information (i.e. email address, phone
This information is highly valuable to
marketers because it allows them to
offer follow up information in the form of
deals, discounts or other informative
content that helps you build trust with
consumers as an expert in your field.
eBooks are a prime example of highly valuable information that you can offer
consumers in exchange for their information (and the opportunity to market to
them in the future.)
The eBook example at
the right is a Free
eBook offered by a
“The Complete Stepby-Step Guide to Local
Targeted visitors to this company’s website are businesses (local, small
businesses to be more exact) that are looking to improve their online presence.
The eBook that the company is offering gives consumers a great overview of
actionable items they can do to improve their standing in the local search results
– all while increasing trust with the consumer that these guys know what they’re
2. Offer of Free Advice/Information
As a professional in your industry,
consumers value your expertise. Savvy
businesses know they can leverage their
expertise to their advantage by offering
consumers free consultations, no-obligation
advice, etc. in and effort to gain more
interest in their services.
An excellent example of this website optimization tactic is illustrated in the call to
This Atlanta Real Estate Agent is offering a free consultation over a cup of coffee
to prospective clients who are interested in buying or selling their home. This
website call to action is vibrant, simple and non-obligatory. Users who land on her
site simply need to fill out the contact form and they have access to professional
real estate expertise over a free cup of coffee.
3. Free Quotes/Estimates
Price is a huge consideration for many
consumers who are searching online for
a product or service.
Offering Free Quotes or Free Estimates
on your website is a good conversion
optimization tactic to get website
visitors to submit their contact
information to you.
The example at the
right features a
simple contact form
used by a custom
clientele that offers a
free estimate in
exchange for them
filling out the form
Getting the contact information from this website call to action is the first step of
the conversion funnel for this local business, followed up by the call back, the
quote and the eventual sale (conversion.)
4. Sign-up for a Free Trial
What better way to prove the worth
of your company’s product or
service to consumers than to offer
a free trial to test it out?
Free trials are a great website call
to action that can help drive more
people to sign up and test out your
offerings at no risk or obligation to
If they are impressed with your
service/product and see value in
subscribing to it, they will be more
inclined to pay for the service
moving forward after the free trial
1. Squeeze Pages
Squeeze pages are a special
type of web page that web
designers and Internet
marketers use in order to
entice a registration or signup
from the website visitor.
Squeeze pages are highly
simplified web pages that
include nothing more than a
message (sometimes in video
format) and a call to action.
Typically, there are no other
links on this type of web page
that can lead visitors off of the
The conversion for these Squeeze pages might be a simple email signup that
marketers can use in order to blast eNewsletters in the future, or a buy now type of
call to action.
In the example above, this Squeeze page features a simple video with a large
“Register Now” button as its call to action with nothing more on the webpage.
2. Prominent Contact Forms
Another method that Internet marketers and web designers alike use to capture the
eye of website visitors to a call to action is using a prominent contact form high up
on the page.
In the example on the
right, this web design
company is offering a
free website assessment
for any website visitor
that fills out the contact
The form is prominently displayed above the fold on every page on the website,
keeping the call to action at the forefront for website visitors. The prominent
contact form that features an offer is a great website call to action used by
Internet marketers everywhere.
3. Fly-In or Pop-Out Calls To Action
The last website call to action
that we’ll discuss in this edition
of this Squidoo lens is the Fly-In
or Pop-Up method of displaying
a call to action.
Some marketers see this
method as intrusive to the
website navigation experience,
but it’s still a website
optimization technique that is
used by marketers in order to
grab the attention of website
visitors to the call to action.
The example shows an ecommerce website that sells chessboards and chess
accessories. This Fly-In call to action comes in a few seconds after landing on the
For the website owner, the conversion is getting an email address from the
website user so they can market to them in the future. The website marketer offers
something of value in an effort to sweeten the deal so that the website user is
more likely to fill out the form.
We sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed our overview of effective website calls
to action, and that we’ve gotten your creative juices flowing so that you
can brainstorm some effective calls to action of your own!