There is that saying, “it’s easy to make things hard, but it’s hard to make things easy.” When managing your web business you need to constantly take inventory to see if you are making things hard. It can happen quickly and you won’t even know it. Let’s go through creating a simple sign up call to action.
To prevent making things hard I find the “work backwards” approach always seems to be a good place start. For this example, let’s talk about the classic “Sign Up” button. It seems like a simple idea. You have a service and you want people to sign up for it. Without going into the minutia of the language of the sign up button, let’s just call it “Sign Up” for now. That seems easy enough, let’s create a big sign up button and put in in the middle of the page. That will do it! Unfortunately it may not or it may not with the results that you are expecting. For best results here are some tips to creating a simple “call to action,” i.e. sign up button on your site.
1. Figure out your goals first.
Your goal should not be to get people to sign up. Your primary goal should be the reason why you want people to sign up. So the primary goal may be, “we want to send out a monthly email of products and specials.” The secondary goal would be, “we want people to sign up to get a monthly email of our products and specials.”
2. Establish credibility.
People need to feel comfortable with what they are signing up for. Sure, many of us are more liberal with our email addresses than we used to be, but we still get sick of spam. Make sure that people know what your business is and what you will be doing with their email address. I always feel better when I see forms that say something like, “We only use your email address to communicate with you and do not sell it to third parties or partners.”
3. Tell them what they are signing up for.
This seems obvious, but many people miss this one. Take the extra time to come up with something interesting for the reason people are giving you their email address. Don’t just say, “Sign up for our newsletter!” There is no incentive there for the visitor to sign up. How about something like, “Save Time. Save Money. Get specials sent right to your inbox!”
4. Reward them for signing up.
Start the relationship off right. Most form programs have a response email that you can automatically send on submission. Instead of saying, “Thank you for signing up!” add some more value by providing a discount coupon or links to articles or pages of your site that you think they could use. You really have their attention at this point, so create a fun and valuable response for them signing up on your site.
5. Don’t spam.
Once someone has entrusted you with their email address, you only get one chance, don’t abuse it. I have signed up for many email lists that I was interested in to only unsubscribe later, because I started receiving several emails a month asking me to sign up for this or that. If you want to open your list of users to more than one email per month, send out a poll or another sign up email asking for users who would like product specials more than once a month, to sign up. There are possibly other ways of doing this, so do some research with your email campaign company to see what solutions they offer. Remember, once a user is gone, they rarely come back.
There is much more that can go into creating effective calls to action, from placement on the page, size of the button, language before the button and even what the button says. The first step to getting people to click on that button is to understand the basics first. Once you have that done, you can start tweaking all the other stuff and then watching your analytics to see how it affects your conversions. Good luck with creating your next sign up button!