Worditude’s Epic Guide
to creating the right call-to-action for your sales page
The call-to-action is the single most impactful element on your sales page, yet so often it’s just a ‘buy now’ button plonked at the end because you’re too exhausted after writing the rest of the page to give it much consideration (it’s ok, I’m guilty of this too).
So I’ve written this rather comprehensive guide so you can revisit your sales page, reconsider your call-to-action, and increase your sales page conversion.
Asking your prospect to ‘buy now’ is probably a mistake - here’s why
Not all sales pages should end with a checkout button.
That seems counterintuitive because the whole point of the page is to make the sale.
But if you sell your expertise as 1-1 services, programmes or courses you might want to consider using a less intimidating button at the end of your sales page.
Selling a car is a lot like selling your services, programmes or course - no really.
When we shopped for Mr Worditude’s last new car we ditched The Sons with my parents and carefully planned out a whole route of the local car dealers. But our carefully optimized routemap became totally redundant as soon as we arrived at the first forecourt.
Mr Worditude’s eyes fell upon a shiny red vehicle of exactly the right size, type and price range. It was also very reminiscent of a red beauty we’d totalled in a collision with a lorry many years previously, so I suspect a fair amount of nostalgia was at play here too.
Whatever his reasons it was pretty obvious that no further searching was required.
Did the car dealer ask us to ‘buy now’?
No, instead he asked if we’d like to test drive it - an easy yes.
When we got back to the garage, still so clearly in love with the car, did he ask us to ‘buy now’ - still no. This time he asked if we’d like to take a seat while someone took a look at our car to give us a part-exchange price for it. Another easy yes.
And while we were waiting would we like to see a list of the full specifications of the car.
And would we like to find out when they could MOT it so it would be ready for pick up.
And would we like to pay this deposit now to secure the car so nobody else could buy it…… and it was so easy. No great big ask for the sale….just a gentle comfortable shuffle in the direction of car ownership through a series of easy yeses.
Asking someone to part with money is a big request, and usually not an easy yes, no matter how amazing your sales page is (believe me, I’ve worked with a lot of amazing sales pages). Your call-to-action should be you asking them to take the easiest next logical step forward in your relationship towards becoming a paying customer.
And if that’s not ‘buy now’, what are your options?
#1 Book a call
If you want to (or are willing to) talk to your prospects to help you make the sale, then invite them to book a free no-obligation call.
Make the call-arranging process super-easy by linking to an online calendar booking system like Calendly.
And give them a heads up about what they can expect the process to look like after they’ve clicked that button.
I am loving this example from Write Your Website graduate Luke Wilcoxson on this sales page for his explainer video creation service.
#2 apply now
Use this if you want to check a prospect is a good match for you before giving them access to your calendar. It’s similar to option #3 below, but the wording of this feels like the prospect is applying for a set programme/mastermind to see if they’re a good fit for it, whereas option #3 (completing an enquiry form) is more for tailor-made solutions, where the business owner is deciding if they can accommodate the prospect.
This example is from Business Coach, Ruth Gilbey’s Work With Me page.
#3 Complete A Form
Apply Now’s cousin.
This works best when you’re collecting leads for a bespoke/custom service and you’d like some key details from the prospect before you arrange a call with them. This stops your calendar from getting booked up with undesirables and helps the prospect feel they are getting a tailor-made experience from the start.
This example is from Social Ads specialist Allison Christie.
#4 Download The Brochure
This is perfect if you can’t fit all your magnificence into a single sales page. A brochure or PDF gives you an opportunity to showcase your past clients, and lay out your special frameworks or working processes.
A prospect only needs to be lukewarm to part with their email address, but as soon as you have that info you are in charge of the sales conversation and can offer them a free call, or begin a casual conversation with them via email.
This example is from Amber Phillips’ Website Express sales page (Amber is the legend that looks after my beautiful website).
#5 Choose Your Session
If you sell a Power Hour (or even better a First Date Offer), something for around £100-£200, and you don’t want to faff about with application forms, or discovery calls - this is my favourite call-to-action to use.
A ‘Buy Now’ button could have the prospect fretting that they’ll hand over their money and then not be able to find a suitable date in your diary.
So instead, you give them the chance to book in their session, and then use your calendar booking software to either take the payment or redirect them to a payment page.
Like this (also from Ruth Gilbey’s Work With Me page)
‘Let’s Get Started’ - sound exciting and adventurous but doesn’t tell people what’s going to happen on the other side of the button. You can pair it with a line beforehand like: “Your first step is a free call with me. Choose a time and date that suits you by clicking the button below”
You’re asking them to take a leap of faith - help them out by giving them a clue of what’s on the others side.
The Two Worst Call-To-Action Requests
I have no data to back this up, just anecdotal evidence based on improving the conversion of hundreds of sales pages.
The two biggest CTA fails are:
#1 Call me - and a telephone number
Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Maybe it’s because I have a busy life and the thought of a potential client calling me at an unscheduled time scares the heck out of me. But why would anyone want to just pick up the phone and call you when they don’t know if they’ll be interrupting your lunch, sleep, life. And why do you want to make yourself so available to those interruptions?
#2 Get in touch - and that button opens an email application automatically
On my laptop, this function opens Outlook which I use never. I’m sure I could invest 5 minutes of my life to change some settings so that it connects with Gmail instead, but if I haven’t done this (and I’m not a total tech numpty) I’m guessing a whole heap of our potential clients haven’t done this either. Those people will need to look out for the ‘mailto’ email address, or hover over the button and see if there’s an option to copy the email address, then go over to their email provider, paste it in……yawn….they’ve left. Even if the button does magically make a draft email pop-up for them, they’ve got to decide what subject line to give it, and take a guess at how much info you want in the email…..So Much Friction.
One Last Suggestion
Try something out. Give it a few days or weeks. Look at the data. If analytics shows that people are visiting the site but not taking action:
1 - Check your button is actually working
2 - Try out a different call-to-action
So often I see business owners overhaul a whole sales page, or worse, ditch the offer entirely before they’ve made the call-to-action as friendly and friction-free as possible.
Or they stick with a call-to-action for ages and ages and ages even though it’s not working.
Want to make your buttons extra clicky?
This blog post on creating pushable buttons will help you.
Are your offers irresistible?
A successful sales page starts with a compelling offer. Discover whether you’re selling something people want.
Conversion Crushers - Free
The 5 most common sales-sabotaging mistakes I see small businesses making.
Ultimate Website Content Planner
Step-by-step workbook to support you as you write the key pages for your website (Home, About, Sales, Services)
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