Call to Actions

Sep 14, 2023 | Marketing

“Show Notes”

This week Sam and Marcus discuss the “Call to Action”. A key concept in marketing in general that is used a lot in websites.

What is a “call to action”?

In marketing it is the action you want someone to take. In the case of
a website it is what you want the visitor to do before they leave the website.

When creating a call to action there are a few things to think about.
Tempting, a call to action needs to tempt your audience to follow it.
Relevant to your target audience, make it specific for your audience.

Time limited (optional), for example have an offer that finishes on a certain date.
Clear, make your call to action short and very clear.

It can be hard to get a key message into a very short call to action. But remember
there can be text above the call to action giving a little explanation and context. But we understand that keeping those can to actions brief
can be hard.

What are call to actions for?

1.The end point of the website. Often for a photographer this could be “call now”
or “email now”.

  1. Then call to actions to direct visitors around the website. Getting visitors to the
    pages or sections of the site relevant to them.

Repetition is vital for call to actions. Your site should have a small number of call to actions, but they should be repeated throughout the site. You should also have a limited number of call to actions. Probably 2 or 3 for a small site. But these call to actions should be repeated throughout the site.

Placing call to actions
Its important to have a clear call to action “above the fold” — on the part of the
website people can see before they see.

Ideas for end point call to actions
Using calendly (or similar apps) can work well so visitors can book a call with you. If you are asking people to book a call then tempting them with an
outcome can work well. For example book a call to get “5 styling tips for your
brand”, if you are a brand photographer. Equally with offering “send an email”
explaining what they will gain by dropping you an email is always good. The free
give away is very popular as a call to action and can work well. You give a free give-
away, often a pdf, and visitors give you their email address in return.

Do all websites need call to actions?
No. For some websites the sales process is elsewhere, not on the website. The
website is simply there to say the right thing when the business is checked out by
someone who is a potential customer. But for that potential customer the sales
process is elsewhere. But for most of us, call to actions are essential.

“Show Transcription”

Marcus: Hey. Hello there, Sam. How you doing?

Sam: Very good, Marcus. How about you?

Marcus:  I’m very, very good, thank you. And of course, a hello to our listeners as well, we’ve got to say that. Yeah. So welcome to the show. And today, Sam, you’re going to be talking and expanding a little bit more about web design, and you’re going to be talking about in particular, the call to action.

Sam: Yeah, that’s right. So key part of your website, really, or for many websites is the call to action. And so I think it’s so important, it’s worth sort of a whole show just to talk about that you know in marketing in general, it’s really important. So, I think the first thing is, what are they? What is a call to action? So, Marcus, what would you say a call to action is?

Marcus:  I would say a call to action is a request to do something.

Sam:  Sounds pretty good. Yes. Call to action. That’s exactly what it is. You want somebody to do something. And usually in the context of websites or pretty much always, that is the visitor to click something for something to happen. Yeah. Be that send you an email, book a call, whatever it is. But you want people to do something. What is the point in them coming to the website if they don’t do something by the end? Now, there are websites, and I can come back to that later where it doesn’t matter. But for most, you want people to do something when they’re visited and yeah. Why have them? Well, you have them because your website is there for a purpose. Most we’re talking here, most people in business, if we’re in business, we want leads. And so, for most of us, that website is a marketing tool, and so we want leads. So, we want visitors to click that button, get into our CRM, get noticed by us so we can start to talk to people, start that marketing conversation. Yeah. So, then what makes them effective? So, there are lots of call to actions. Lots of people don’t use call to actions, and that’s definitely not effective. But also, lots of people use call to actions that are not effective. So, there’s a few things you need to think about when you think about what do I want people to do and what do I want to say about it? So, they’ve got to be tempting. Yeah. Click here is not tempting. Okay. Unless there’s some really good text above that explains what it’s about. But click here does not make me think, oh, I want to do that now. Yeah, it’s got to be relevant for your target audience. So having it specific to them, to the person you’re talking to, is really important. While it being really generic like click here. Read more. Woohoo. Yeah, time limited could be good. That’s a bit harder to do, but if you change them regularly, something time limited would be good. It just puts that pressure on people. Just, oh, I’d better do this now before I lose out. That can be really good.

Marcus: What do you mean by time limited there?

Sam: it could be you’ve got an offer on and it ends next week. It could be you’re selling your prints and we’ve got a sale on my prints. This price is only until Thursday. Click here to get the offer. Now, I’m offering a 10% discount on weddings that are booked for 2024, but only if you get in touch before this date. Some sort of limit on there, just to put that little bit of pressure on, because otherwise if people can see, book it, have a call, they could come, yeah, no, maybe I’ll come back and then they forget. Well, if you got that time limited pressure, you just get pushing nudging people towards doing it now rather than putting it off and then probably forgetting. clear is also really important. Make it very clear what your call to action is. Buy our great print now rather than a paragraph that people have to wade through something short and really clear and targeted to your audience. So, yeah, you got to think about all those things.

Marcus:  I mean, the difficulty with that, Sam, isn’t it? I mean, you’ve got to put it in a little box, haven’t you? So, you can’t really say too much. That’s what I struggle with, the brevity of it.

Sam: No, I think that’s really important is the brevity of it, but it can also come below other texts. So, call to know there can be a paragraph of text and then there’s a call to action at the bottom that’s kind of got a sentence explaining it, but also, you’ve got the paragraph of text above that’s talking about the same thing. Because obviously you don’t just have call to actions. There’s text, too. So often they’re linked. Often there’s a section of text and some images, and then underneath there’s a relevant call to action. So it might be all about we’re talking about weddings, all about your weddings for 2024 and how it’s best to book it now because you’ve got limited spaces and so you could have a whole paragraph about how you’re planning for that, how you’re helping people plan for their wedding in 2024. And then underneath there’d be the real call to action is, see if I’m available for 2024, book your call to get your 10% booking discount, whatever it is. That’s where your little call to action is. But above, yeah, you’ve got more space where you can talk about it in more detail. But you’re right, trying to get that brevity is essential and it is hard and people do struggle with that. And we do see some hugely long call to actions, which just people are going to lose to will they live before they get to the end of. So, then we got to think about what do we use them for? And so, for me, there’s two things we use call to actions for. One is the endpoint of the website. So, in other words, this is what you want people to do before they leave. So that might be for photographers that’s often book a call or send me an email, or you could be selling prints, it could be buy something now, something along those lines. But there’s also kind of midway call to action. So most of us have different services on different pages. So, it could be you have a portraits page on your website and a commercial headshots page and a brand photography page. And so, you can have Call to Actions on your home page directing people to the relevant pages. So, you can use Call to Actions to direct people to different parts of your website, as well as those final call to actions which are like the endpoint. Right, do this now, please. So, yeah, there’s that kind of two different types of call to action. I think it’s important to differentiate between them.

Marcus: Yeah, that is interesting. So, it’s not just about getting people to sign up for something, it’s about basically carrying on that conversation.

Sam:  yeah, and getting to the right point in the site. So, if you’re offering different photography services, you want to get the person to the right page as quickly as possible because your homepage is going be quite generic. And if they want a portrait of their family, you want to get them onto the family portraits page because if they read too much about weddings, it’s not going to make sense to them, or too much about brand photography. So you want to get them to the right part of your website as quick as possible, using a really clear direct call to action. So then they’re on the page just for them. And then there’s some good endpoint call to actions for them on that page that’s relevant to them, targeted to them, that’s going to tempt them to click.

Marcus: Got you. Cool.

Sam: And then repetition is really important. Do not just use a call to action once and do not use too many calls to action. So, your endpoint calls to action, you don’t want too many now if you got a huge site, you can have a few more. But if you’re a regular photographer, most have what, four to ten or 15 pages, I guess, on a website. And so, you don’t want a load of different call to actions. Probably three or four if you’ve got a lot of different services, maybe just two or three if you’d like, just do brand photography or just do wedding photography. And it’s much better to have the same call to action and repeat it than keep having loads of different ones.

Marcus: Oh, that’s interesting. So, you’re saying what, two or three a page? Is that sufficient, do you think?

Sam: It depends on your home page? Probably not, because on your home page, you want to get people to the other page. So, if you’ve said, got three different areas of photography, you need at least a call to action for each of those to send them there. You probably want to repeat those. So, you’ve got those twice. So that’s six. Plus, some people will be when they go to the home page. Actually, they already know about you and they just want to make the call and book the thing. So, you probably want an endpoint call to action or two on your home page, too, in case they’re ready straight away. So even on your homepage, on a fairly simple site like that, you’re talking ten call to actions.

Marcus: Wow, okay, interesting.

Sam: Probably then if you’ve got a topic page. So, if you’re like on a family portrait page, there is probably only one or two types of call to actions, but you’d probably repeat that and have it three or maybe four times. But the bilesque is you’re not then send them somewhere else, if that makes sense. You’re then trying to just get them to book the call, whatever it is you want them to do, send in their details and yeah, one or two different types of call to actions. Most one is ideal and just repeat, repeat, repeat. Because people don’t read your website like a book, maybe you do because you’re checking through it, but apart from that, everyone else just jumps from bits that attract their attention. So, although it looks really repetitive to you, for somebody flicking through, they probably only see it once and even if they see it twice, it’s just nudging them to make that call to click that button.

Marcus: And of course, talking about the placement of the call to action as well, I believe it’s worth really putting one above the fold as well.

Sam: Definitely. So, you want one? Yeah, I think so. Before people scroll down, you’ve got something there for them to click and that’s probably going to be your main endpoint call to action, because if you’ve got different services, you probably don’t want to at that point to try and separate them off, it’s too complicated. But you’ve got a really clear call to action for those people who are ready to talk to you. Whatever. Yeah, above the fold, that’s good. Some people put it on the menu, so you’ve got like the menu on one side and a book a call or something, so it’s just always there. That can work. Yeah, I think having one really clear one above the fold is good. Definitely.

Marcus: I’ve got on mine website a call me now button. They can press it and it phones me directly.

Sam: That’s it. Yeah, that can work well, cool. The sort of different points endpoint calls to action. And that’s one of them, isn’t it? The call or the call booking? They’re a little bit different, aren’t they? So, the call booking is quite a nice thing. You’re using an app like Calendly or there’s loads of others, something like that, or Doodle, there’s lots of different ones, but using those to allow people to schedule something in with you, that can work really well, but then it’s about how you sell it as well. Book a call with me, but how about book your dot, dot, dot, book your free wedding planning session, book your brand image assessment, call something so you can explain to people what they’re going to get out of know. If it’s Tom Cruise’s website and it says book a call, it’s going to be popular because everyone wants to talk to Tom Cruise, but for most of us, we’re not that popular, so we’ve got to tempt people a bit more to book a call with us. And if we can give people an outcome, what are they going to gain by having a call with us? And even if you want the call, actually, because you want to chat about the photography booking and whether it would work with them, but you’ve got to think, well, what are you going to give them by the end of the call. So, I don’t know. You’ll have given them some styling tips for their image. Styling tips, their website, whatever it is, so something you can say, book your brand style, call with us, book your 2024 wedding advice, call with us. Something so they can see what they’re going to get out of it when they book the call, I think is really good. And it’s the same with emails too. You can get people to fill in a form or drop you an email, but again, why is someone going to do it? What are they going to get out of it? How are you going to solve their problems? Because I keep saying people come to your website because they’ve got a problem, they need something. And you’re showing them that by clicking this button you’re going to solve this problem; you’re going to fill this need that they have and tempting people in to do it. And I guess the other one is the free call. Get your free dot, dot, dot. Your free download of five ways to improve your brand image. Your free call of five mistakes people makes on their wedding day. Whatever it is, free downloads are really good. They can work really well. If it’s targeted for your target audience. You don’t need to do anything, it’s automatically sent. You get their details and can then call them email, start the marketing process. Maybe it’s getting a bit overused and I might do a show on that as well. So, we need to be a little bit careful with it. But I think it still has its place, can still work really well, but it’s got to be valuable. Some people are really not keen on giving too much away and I think the key is if you give something away free, make it really valuable, what you’re going to give away, don’t be timid and go, oh, I can’t give it away, give it free. If they want your services, they will still come and use it. for me I’m happy to tell people how to make a website because I’m helping them, but I know eventually that they’re not going to have the time and they’re going to eventually realize it’s quite complicated. Same thing, you could give them as many photography tips as you like, but eventually people are going to realize it’s still better if I get a professional in.

Marcus: Yeah, it’s definitely a modern way of thinking that, isn’t it? Sam. Sam. Wow. There’s just so much information you’ve given there. Maybe you could just paraphrase it   for some of our listeners. Yeah. So website call to actions, they’re pretty essential. Actually, what didn’t mention is some websites don’t need them, so I’ll just do that very briefly. So, some websites are sort of, I call them due diligence websites. Effectively, the sales process is somewhere completely else, nothing to do with the website, but you know that people, while they’re in the sales process, you’re just going to look at your website, so it needs to say the right things. So, in some ways, they don’t need a call to action because it’s just saying the right stuff. But for most of us on the website call to actions, we want people visiting our website to do something and the call to action is telling them to doit because otherwise they read the website and they leave and they’ve done nothing and you’ve lost them. So, yeah, it needs to be buttons, it needs to be repeated, it needs to be tempting and relevant and clear. And it needs to be getting them either to move to a relevant part of the website or it needs to be getting them to do something so they get onto your radar so you can get back in touch and start the marketing and sales process.

Marcus: Great. Brilliant, Sam. A very useful show. I’m going to go and check out my CTAs right after I put call down with you. Great. Okay, listeners, if you’ve enjoyed our show, please like and subscribe. You can find us at websiteforphotographers.Co,UK/podcast and that’s website four number four photographers. So, thank you very much. And as I say, please like and subscribe. And if you want even more, we have a newsletter that you can sign up to. And let me tell you, every newsletter gives you a little bit extra information. Thank you, Sam. Have a good week and look forward to catch up with you next time.

Sam: All right, I’ll see you next time. Bye.