Website Calls-to-Action Done Right

website calls-to-action

When it comes to your website calls-to-action, are you asking for something? Making the next step easy? Are viewers taking action? What if you can take things a step further—and use your website calls-to-action to seal the deal with ideal prospects?

Alas, you can. And in this comprehensive post, I’m going to share how website calls-to-action can:

  • Turn your website into a funnel for ideal clients and projects.
  • Secure your perfectness for the project.
  • Weed out the not-so-great prospects.
  • Gather info & save you time.

Your Website Visitors

First, let’s look at who is on your website. (It all starts with your audience and what they need!) Who are they? Where are they at in the buying process?

Your website visitors generally fall into two separate roles:

The Planners

These planners envision a beautiful project, and they hope to take action in the future, so they are evaluating and info gathering. They are trying to find the right partners and learn more about the process.

The Builders

These people have a scope of work in mind and have probably broken ground. They are in the do it stage. They are decision makers, and they’ve thought about budget.

Everyone should take action when visiting your website. But not every visitor should take the same action. Each role gets their own call to action (because they have different needs). It’s the same reason you give a hungry kid a snack—but give a tired kid a nap.

This is why I have a primary call to action and a secondary call to action on my website! Let’s dive in…

Call to Action #1 (for the planners):

  • You must: capture their information so you can stay in touch—and give them something useful that shows your expertise and makes them comfortable!
  • How to do it? Offer a freebie download as an incentive to sign up for your newsletter.

When people are planning a project, they need more information. And you need to keep in touch with them. So for planners, you need to provide them something incredibly useful—and you need to get their email address on your list.

Why? It’s incredibly valuable to have a qualified prospect on your list. (They are qualified because by downloading your free report, they are raising their hand and saying, this is what I need!)

Here are some tips on creating a free report that will incentivize ideal prospects to give you their email address (so you can keep in touch, show them your expertise, and become the easy choice when they graduate from planners into builders):

  1. What should your free report be about? Decide by pinpointing your clients’ pain points. What are they concerned about? What questions do they ask you? Then, give them info they really need. Don’t like writing? A copywriter can help.
  2. How much should you give away? The idea of giving away knowledge for free might scare you. It shouldn’t. See, you’re not actually giving it away for free—you’re trading it for an awesome prospect on your list (to whom you can showcase yourself as an expert). It’s very worthwhile if the person becomes a paying client.
  3. How long should it be? The free report can be a one-page tip sheet or a multi-page e-book. Most important? You want to make sure it’s specific and directly responds to your ideal clients’ burning needs.
  4. How to set it up: When prospects sign up for your newsletter, have your email newsletter service email the report to them, or direct them to a page where they can download it. Personally, I love MailChimp!

Want an example of website calls-to-action?

Here’s my call to action for the planners:

Have you wanted to revamp your website for a while but haven’t gotten very far? My free interactive pdf will help you check it off the list with 12 actionable steps. Get My Free Guide Now

Call to Action #2 (for the builders):

  • You must: make yourself accessible for the next step, while at the same time, helping them and you determine if they’re an ideal client.
  • How to do it? Have a Contact page that allows them to set up a free consultation.

A contact form can do a lot more than just get a name and email address. If a prospect is serious about taking the next step and talking to you, it’s a perfect time to gather some valuable information, further qualify them, and continue to show what makes you special so that they really want to work with you (instead of just talk to you).

I use my contact form to ask a few questions that help me see if the client and project are a good fit. Yes, you can include your phone number. Some people really do prefer the phone—and that’s okay. But if you have a good online form, filling it out becomes a favorable option for most.

On my contact page, I ask (and provide answer choices) for the following questions:

  • What is your immediate need?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is your deadline?
  • Give me the scoop on your design needs.
  • What’s your level of technical know-how?
  • Are you a graphic designer?

I also ask these open-ended questions:

  • Why are you reaching out now? In other words, what would happen if you did nothing at all?
  • Briefly describe your company.
  • How did you find me?
  • Anything else you’d like to share?

It only takes a few minutes for my prospect to fill out, and helps provide both of us get clarity.

5 great ways to use your contact form include:

  1. Speak to the types of services you offer. I use mine to have my prospect define the type of service they need. Usually, if they are serious about working together, they have a clear idea of what they’re looking for.
  2. Ask questions to see if they’d be a good fit. I know most of my ideal clients are somewhat tech savvy. When clients aren’t email users—working together becomes tougher. I use my form to find out.
  3. Weed people out. The form itself will scare away the tire kickers. If they won’t take a few minutes to fill out your form, are they really going to be good clients?
  4. Set expectations. Showing some budget options and timeframe options is a great way to set expectations. You’re not going to work for free, and you’re not going to get it done tomorrow.
  5. Get specific. On my form, if you select that you’re a graphic designer, I ask another question to see what you’d like from a web designer (me). All of the answers are correct—but it helps me tell you stuff about me and get to know you better.

The whole point? When your “builder” hits submit, they feel really good and they’re excited for you to get in touch. They have a better idea of the kind and quality of services you provide, and they also know that you understand their needs. They may have come looking for a good price, but your form further instills that you’re selling great service (which is worth paying more for).

And in case you’re not quite convinced—here’s yet another benefit on an online form: info can be directly imported into FreshBooks removing extra steps from invoice or estimate creation.

Want an example of website calls-to-action?

Here’s my call to action for the builders (see it in the footer of every page of my website):

Want to work together? Say Hello

Where should you put these calls to action?

On every page! Yes, every page on your website should have these two calls to action—and that’s it. Don’t confuse them with a whole bunch of options. Your visitor’s choice should be: either this, or that.

I also use an exit-intent popup which shows up when you move your cursor to exit the site. It’s a CTA reminder that pretty much says: Hey, don’t forget to keep in touch! (After you see it, it goes away for a month.) Pop-ups can also be an effective marketing tool.

Need a website that calls your prospects to action? Let’s talk.

Do you need a smarter way to onboard clients? My Client Onboarding Toolkit is a simple, 4-step digital course that walks you through my time-tested client onboarding process. Jam-packed with advice, tools, and templates designed for creative professionals, it’ll save you time, stress and frustration while making you look like the creative rockstar you are. You’ll convert prospects into paying clients with more clarity, sanity, and confidence than ever before. Learn more »

About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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