Developing A Call To Action Mindset

(by Kevin O'Brien 01/06/2015)

When we market products or services online we are often looking for ideas or some kind of inspiration to produce a well designed call to action. But does this search really need to be difficult? To find out, we first need to get into the mindset of a typical online user. What is it that they want to see?

Here are a few ideas to let us understand what are the thought processes when users land on a web page :

1. All visitors have their mind set or fixed on an expectation of some kind of call to action. They are actually looking for this to happen above everything else.

2. The human mind may often see what it expects to see. It will often mistake part of a page as a call to action even though it may not be.

3. The minds expectations vary according to the way in which it interprets visual data

4. Users expect to see CTAs on your site that they have seen on many other sites.

5. So based on their past experience with landing pages and their prior behavior, they are primed and waiting to commence such an action

Of course none of this means that a typical call to action will convert a visitor to a buying customer. It simply means we have to provide CTAs to them. Preferably a well known CTA type that many others are also providing, as these will be more familiar to the user.

So we would like to know what is the most popular CTAs out there, since these are the ones our website visitors are used to seeing.

Expectation affects behavior. That's why people know to act on the CTA. They aren't staring at a button thinking, "what in the world is that boxed area with words in it?"

As an example look at the blue "Get The Details" button on this page. Most people will know (but only from past experiences) that they are being asked to click it so as to complete a filled in request form. People are so conditioned to the use of website forms that they never have to think about what it does or how it works

How to gain advantage from the users expectation of a CTA:

1. Make sure that people understand what you put in front of them. For example, make your button look like a button. Always make your CTA obvious.

2. Design your landing page with logical flow. If you design your landing page to be intuitive, your call to action will be more effective. The landing page will prime the mind to take action, creating anticipation, producing a more fluid transition into the CTA.

3. The CTA alerts Our Innate Sense of Curiosity. We want to know, what's going to happen after the CTA.

Of all these observations the most important is to make sure you are providing CTAs that are known to work well and that others are using successfully. All it needs is researching what your competitors are using as CTAs and some knowledge of how well they work in a given market sector. How to conduct this research (which applies to more than just finding good CTAs) I will cover in a future post.

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