- By Cathy Goodwin
- Published 12/10/2008
- Writing for the Web
Independent professionals often have a lot to tell their marketing coaches about who they are and what they do. With a little prodding from their friendly copywriters, they quickly recognize their features and benefits. But the toughest website marketing challege for most professionals comes when they have to come up with an answer to the question, “What do you want your website visitors to do? Do you want them to sign up for your ezine, set up a consultation, or join a group? And once you know what you want them to do, you have to (gasp!) ask them to do it. That’s right. Try to be bold. When it’s time to ask for the order, you can’t be shy. You have to come right out and tell your visitors what you want them to do. Your Call to Action is probably the most important factor in converting browsers to buyers. But surprisingly, many websites skip this step altogether. They tiptoe around the topic but leave their visitors waiting for the other shoe to drop. What they should do is include some Calls to Action, such a ‘Buy now,’ ‘Don’t delay,’ or ‘Every day you wait, you are losing money.’
I argue, “When you create a strong Call
to Action, you are actually helping your buyers.” Here’s why: (1) We are all distracted. We’re bombarded with all kinds of information. Two minutes after we see a sales letter, we’ve forgotten it. So you have to create interest, enthusiasm and maybe anxiety. And you have to get the customer to take action right away. (2) You make it easy for buyers to make a decision and get what they want. They don’t have to scrounge all over your website to find a form. (3) You protect your buyers from the consequences of their own procrastination. When buyers hear of a new career, most common first reaction is, “Maybe later.” You have to give customers a reason to say, “Better do it now.” And here’s where you are probably helping them, if they really fit your target market. For example, I was invited to attend a special event. I went to the event page. And like everyone else, I said, ‘Maybe later.’ When I finally go around to signing up, I found I had just missed the deadline. I wish the event promoters had highlighted the deadline and warned me. I wish they had created a sense of urgency. Instead, I missed an evening and an event I would have enjoyed immensely.
Don’t treat your buyers like that!