Back to Basics - Calls to Action

Back to Basics Part 3 - Calls to Action

Calls to action on a web site are a multi faceted thing - it depends on a few different factors for each visitor to your web site.

You will have many visitors to the web project with seemingly conflicting information needs - and therefore expected outcomes.

You may have several "calls to action" for each different type of visitor.

"Calls to action" should also be like air conditioning - it's actually invisible to the visitor - until they find it's not working how they want - and then they leave your web site to find another.

This isn't fully about manipulation of your web site visitor - it's more about ensuring that we offer several different mechanisms for the web visitor to do something "next" - after reading the information they seek.

Giving thought to the "types" of visitors to your web site - elsewhere on the web called "the personas" of web visitors - lets you receive more returns from the web site.

It's easy to think of the "types" of visitors - make a big long list of all the various visitors to your web site - these could be:

  • Existing customers
  • Prospective customers
  • Potential Staff
  • Existing Staff (& their families and friends)

This makes a good start - but you could break down many of them further...

Existing Customers:

  • "A" class customers (the ones you want more of that are raving fans already)
  • Those customers that you like - but take up time
  • Unhappy customers that will leave you shortly
  • Busy customers that you rarely see that don't actually know much about your other products and services
  • Happy customers that would recommend you if asked
  • Customers looking to get better value from your products and services

Each of the above types could be offered different calls to action on your web site.

Here are some ideas...


A web site can add to the value statements about your brand. (A web site can also impact negatively - but that's another story…!)

When we talk of "values" that can be as simple as providing visible proof of why you charge more then a "low end" competitor or it could be to showcase other known brands that you stock, service or affiliate with.

Newsletter Registrations:

Building a direct email database means that you many more opportunities to build a relationship with your customers (and potential customers)

Every business these days should be actively building their list - even if they don't have immediate plans to start creating newsletters.

(The content management system that you use to maintain your website has a direct email database built in - let us know if your like more information about this feature for your web site…!)

Printing Information from the web site:

Some people love to "touch" information - or perhaps they need to collate a shortlist of providers for a board or management team to make a decision.

Making it easy to print information from your web site - either a single page or special "information sheets" ensures that your web site caters to the digital natives as well as those visitors that like "tree-ware".

(Most of our recent WebFoot websites have a special "Print page" feature added - if your doesn't have this let us know and we can add it for you)

Bookmarking a Page:

Visitors may visit your page while "exploring" - looking for options before they actually make a "buying decision".

Having a "Bookmark this page" call to action just reinforces (and makes it easy) for visitors to actually come back to your site when they wish to buy.

Send to a friend:

Just as visitors may forget they can bookmark a page - they also need reminding that they could forward a page to a friend. You see this on media sites as well as on e-commerce sites but they also work well with newsletter archives or the search engine bait pages such as articles or white papers.

Click through:

Your web site may not have the information the person is seeking or perhaps your web site is a portal for information seekers - in some cases the call to action could be to encourage a "click through" to another web site that has the answer.

This is also a good way to build up reciprocal links with affiliated web sites.

(The Toolset records the click throughs to other web sites and you can view a report from the main menu)

Simply "act on" the information:

A visitor to your web site could be after something as simple as a street address to visit you - or a phone number to call you - do you provide this basic information...?

Pre Sales:

Only now (point 8 if I numbered them) do we start to talk about something actually in a typical selling process - this reflects that many web sites are great at building relationships with customers rather than actually selling something.

For the web site to generate great "Pre sales" interest make it easy for visitors to contact you with a sales enquiry - and ensure that the web site "sells" a sales enquiry rather than try and sell the complete product.

Good pre sales calls to action are about the sales enquiry being passed to a human to actually make the sale rather than the next call to action below.

Buy Now:

If the web site has to actively "sell" a product then it needs to remove all the buying objections for the product as well as build trust that you can back up the claims made on the web site.

Many products actually can't be sold online for various reasons - e.g. the product is made to individual order or the buyer needs to provide more information before a pricing can be fixed for their needs.

Some e-commerce projects we see don't have all the extra information such as freight and other delivery details included and so don't make the sale.

Let us know if you'd us to work with you to maximise the calls to action on your website.

Posted: Wed 01 Jan 2020