Businesses can live and die on whether their sales pages convert browsers into buyers. Finding any way to improve conversion rates is important, and a great way to start is to examine the calls to action on the page.
If your business sells anything online, then you're using something called a “call to action." A call to action is a prompt for the website visitor to take some sort of action, like buying a product or filling out a form. (If you sell products or services online, this is that “Add to Cart" or “Buy Now" button.)
These calls to action are essential to the success of every website that sells anything online. How many times have you clicked the “Add to Cart" button online? We've been trained to look for these on websites that need us to take action.
Oftentimes these calls to action are simple and direct, which is a fantastic start. But could these calls to action be even more effective?
I've found that calls to action work best when paired with a dose of urgency.
Urgency can give the potential customer a small (or big) nudge towards making the purchase. You can create urgency by highlighting the following on your sales pages.
1. Limited time
Limiting the amount of time that a product will be at a certain price (or available at all) is a common way to add some urgency to your sales page.
Many companies will use a countdown timer or clock on the page to add even more urgency. Seeing precious seconds tick away on an offer can heighten the urge to buy quickly. Some sites use time as a scarcity device to encourage people to buy now instead of later.
2. Scarcity of product availability
Another useful tactic is to give a visual cue as to the limited availability of the product.
For example, showing that there are only six products left in stock next to the call to action provides incentive to not wait on buying the product. Retailers use scarcity to add incentive for shoppers to stop and buy the product right now.
3. Scarcity and limited time
If you really want to increase the urgency on your calls to action, then consider using both scarcity and time. This might include a countdown timer as well as text telling how many units are left.
I've personally built and managed many landing pages for businesses that have added both time and availability scarcity devices to their calls to actions and the results were astounding. Most clients doubled their conversions just by adding these urgency devices on their sites and nothing else.
Urgency is a powerful tool. But like anything, it can work against you if you don't use it correctly.
Make sure that you don't create false urgency. If you're going to add scarcity to a product, make sure there's a good reason for doing so. If you're limiting a sale duration, make sure there's a good reason for it. Consumers don't like feeling that they're being used or tricked into making a quick purchase for no reason.
I get a daily email from a huge department store that is constantly running a time-sensitive sale, always within 15 to 30 percent off. If you subscribe to their email list for more than a week. you'll see that the department store is merely cycling sales in an attempt to drum up scarcity.
I'm sure you've seen (and unsubscribed) from brands who use scarcity way too often. Pressure tactics like this are not good for building long-term relationships with customers.
Best Practices for Calls to Action
Here are some other best practices for making the most of your calls to action.
1. Have one action per page.
Your sales page probably only needs one call to action: the buy button.
Sure, there are many other important elements to a sales page. But at the end of the day you really only need one type of call to action on a page. You can certainly have more than one Add to Cart button, but don't have more than one type of action on your sales page if you can help it.
2. Use consistency with color and placement.
It's usually a good idea to use one color for your calls to action. I know that there are schools of thought that believe only a few colors like red or yellow should be used, but I've found that consistency is far more important than a particular color.
3. Keep it simple.
Don't try to do too much with your calls to action. After all, they're merely simple tools to get your customer to take action.
They have one job to do, so don't try to get too interesting or complicated. Be clear in your wording and direct in your offer. If you've done your job right on the rest of the page, the customer will already be searching for the call to action.
Using a combination of best practices with a touch of urgency might give your calls to action higher conversion rates. But only use urgency as a catalyst to move the customer towards action, not as a scare tactic. If done properly the result might be a nice boost to your sales page conversion rates.
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