Ep 194 | 7 Ways to Maximize Calls to Action on Your Website

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Calls to action (CTAs) are critical to guiding people where to go for the next step with your organization. Are you utilizing them to the best of your ability? Here are seven ways to encourage your visitors to take the right action at the right time on your website.

What you'll learn:

→ CTAs and your blog
→ being more intentional with growing your email list
→ maximizing your donate CTAs.
→ making it easy for people to share on social media.
→ utilizing contact forms.
→ making it easy for people to sign up for events.
→ increasing conversions from visitor to completing a donation

Want to skip ahead? Here are key takeaways:

[3:15] Your blog! Are you linking to other pages on your website related to the content? If relevant, are you including a button or link to your donation page. Do you have a freebie that would make sense to include? Make sure you think through who would benefit from the blog post and where they might need and want to go next.  
[7:41] Email Optins. Building an email list is critical for any organization or business. Creating an enticing way for people to want to join your email list, and then sharing it on the important pages on your website is important.
[11:13] Donate buttons. Making donating easy is critical for more conversions. Create a list of where all the donate buttons are so you can easily update as needed. Make sure you have them placed everywhere it makes sense. Keep your donate pages separate so they are simple and easy for people to complete.
[14:20] Social Shares. Don't make people work too hard! If they enjoy the content and want to share it make it easy! This is great for blogs but can also be helpful on event pages or donate pages.
[16:22] Contact forms for easy access to you. These are so easy to create no matter your platform. They are a great way for people to easily access your team to get questions answered and start a 1:1 conversation. It can also be a great way to gather information from those that require your services or potential sponsors/donors.
[18:46] Allow people to easily sign up for your events. Create a spreadsheet that allows you to easily see where you have event information to update it. Then make sure you have options for people to see your upcoming event everywhere from headers to blogs to dedicated pages.
[20:15] Make your donation page easy to find and easy to complete. Keep your donation page on your website, above the fold and with as few fields to fill out as possible. 

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Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So let's talk calls to action and why they are critically important in all things marketing, but especially on your website, when a visitor lands on your website, we want to kind of help guide that experience, there's a bunch of different ways that they could have gotten there. And they might have different reasons for why they want to dive deeper with your organization. So we want to make it easy for them to get to where they want to go. So that they can find the information they need when they need it, and convert, whether that's making a donation signing up for an event signing up for the services, buying tickets, whatever it is, we want to make it easy for them to get to where they need to go. And we can do that through calls to action.

So I'm going to share with you seven different types of calls or places that you can use your calls to action. And then we're going to talk through some ways to make sure that you have them peppered in throughout your entire website. You don't want people landing somewhere and not knowing where to go next, or finding it difficult to kind of make that next step. And so we're going to fix that so that you don't have that problem, and you can see more conversions from your website.

Before we get into it, though, this episode is brought to you by our digital marketing therapy session, head on over to https://thefirstclick.net/officehours snag some time with me, I would love to walk through your website with you, and help you identify one on one where we can add and beef up some more calls to action. This way, you can have people hitting where they need on the website and help you reach your goals. And whatever that looks like. Remember, your website should be working for you all the time. So let's make sure it's set up to do just that. Again, https://thefirstclick.net/officehours,  I can't wait to chat with you. Let's get into the episode.

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. Each month we dive deep into a digital marketing or fundraising strategy that you can implement in your organization. Each week, you'll hear from guest experts, nonprofits, and myself on best practices, tips and resources to help you raise more money online and reach your organizational goals.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so really plainly, a call to action is intentionally putting something somewhere whether it's on social media, on your email, on your website, wherever but intentionally putting something somewhere to get people to do something. So add an event write a call to action is raise your paddle to give to our organization. That's a call to action. They can be buttons, they can be links to send people somewhere else they can be, you know, a whole host of different types of things, which we're going to go through right now to really get people to go where they need to go. So the critically important thing here is to really understand who is visiting your website, who your ideal customer is, and make sure you're presenting the information to them in a way that helps them move forward in their journey with you.

So we're going to start with number one. And number one is your blog. Now I start here because I feel like this is the biggest area of opportunity. Most people do not maximize their blog content as much as possible. They get their blog up, we did it awesome. We raise our hands and cheer and get excited. But that content isn't really working for us if we're not incorporating calls to action. And there's a variety that you can put in your blog content. First being links to other blog posts or other pages. So if you have an informational piece of content about something that you're working on a research project or a way that you're impacting the organization, or impacting the community or the area that you serve, then have links to deep dive into some more of that. Why are we serving that community? What other blog posts do we have that are relevant to that information. And that link is a kind of a form of a call to action like we're driving people check out this information. There's more here. This is also great for a whole host of other SEO reasons. But we want to make sure that we're giving people an opportunity to get more information on the things that they care about. Another obvious call to action is a donate button. If this is a piece of content that is related to that 100% include a way for people to donate make it super easy within the content so that they can see it and move forward. If it's more of a educational piece, brand awareness building. Then think about maybe including your lead magnet, opt in or your newsletter signup include that depending on the length of your post, if you have a really long post, it's like 1500 or 2000 words But then in the middle, included in the middle, so if they're scrolling, they can see these calls to action throughout the content, not just at the very end, so we can grab them where they are when they're ready to move forward. I also love having social share buttons on your blog, and you're gonna hear some of these opt ins repeated a couple times, but just stick with me, I love social share buttons, because this makes it super easy for people to connect. And remember what those social shares, they don't have to just be the platforms that you're on, include all of the platforms, because you don't know what platforms or visitors are most active on. And you want to give them an opportunity to share with their network where they are. So that's a great opportunity to do that. Another call to action, if you want, depending on your industry is a comment section below. Now, this isn't necessarily a traditional call to action, but asking people to leave their comments is, and this is a way for you to get feedback, engage in chat. Now, you'll want to make sure you have spam filters in place, you probably want to turn on approval for comments. And depending again, on the nature of your organization, this may or may not be appropriate. But just keep that in mind. So remember to have blogs, or have content calls to action peppered in throughout your entire blog, use multiple of them, whether it be links, newsletter, signup, lead magnet, opt in all of the things, don't be afraid to use too many, but make sure that the user experience is good. And that any of the calls to action that you're using on that page makes sense for the content that you have. For example, if it's an event information about an event that's coming up, then it makes sense to have a donate or a, you know, call to action to go register for the event. But you probably wouldn't want to have people register for the event and then a little bit farther down, then you're asking them to donate and then a little bit further down. And you're asking them to sign up for your newsletter, right? We want to keep it simple and make sure that it all makes sense. Instead, for that event page, yes, get a ticket, you might have a link that takes people to your sponsors page, they can see more about sponsors or becoming a sponsor, you might have a link that goes to a page about the board members if that's if they're very active in raising funds for the event in participating in the planning. So all of them need to make sense for the content. That is the topic of the content. Okay, we don't want to just throw things in because, again, we're trying to guide people like what is the goal of this blog post, what are we trying to do, and our calls to action are going to be relevant to those activities. Okay, so the second call to action topic that I want to talk about are your email opt ins. And I've talked about this a little bit with your blog, but we always want to be growing our email list, because when they're on our email list, we could see a little bit about how they engage with us, we know their name, we own that information, right? It's very different than social media, or even website traffic where we don't always know who the people are that are interacting with us. So let's try to get as many people on our email list as well, so that we can communicate with him about all the other amazing things that we have going on within our organization. So there's a few ways that we can do this. Now most organizations are going to have a section on their website, probably by the footer on every single page that says subscribe to our newsletter, you might have it on the right sidebar of your blog, but you probably have it in several places already. It's very rare that people will sign up for your newsletter just to sign up for your newsletter. So there's a couple of ways that you can make this call to action a little bit more enticing. at a bare minimum, make sure you let them know what they're going to be getting and how often they're going to be hearing from you. So instead of saying sign up for our newsletter, maybe say something like sign up to receive monthly emails from us about the impact that we're creating in eliminating food insecurity. Be specific and let them know, that's more enticing than sign up for my newsletter because now I think all I'm gonna get from you are emails about how I should be donating to your organization. Or maybe if you're very event driven, if you're like a museum or a

performance facility, that word was whatever reason stuck in my head. Maybe it is sign up to get weekly updates on events that we have coming. Be specific. The next step and what I would definitely recommend is creating what we call a lead magnet. So what is something that I can offer to my visitor in exchange for their email address? What value can I provide? What quick win can I give them? So let's say that you are an after school program, so maybe it is Hey, download this guide on seven things to consider before choose Using an after school program, questions to ask of an after school care provider, things of that nature, something that somebody is going to need that information for, they're going to see that that's valuable. And so they're going to give you your email address, and then they get that piece of information for free. Now, that takes a little bit more effort and a little bit more work. But again, does not have to be complicated. We're not going to go deep into that, if you have questions about that, you know where to find me, hit me up. Hello, at the first click debt net, I would be happy to talk through some of those strategies with you. But that's an even more likely situation, if somebody's going to give you their email address that they are going to get a piece of information and a quick win and some value ahead of time. So email opt ins can go again, anywhere and everywhere on any blog post where it makes sense in the footer of your website. So it's on every single page on your contact page, you can use it anywhere and everywhere. Just make sure it's visually appealing. And ask for as little information as possible. First name, email address, if you really need to ask for something different. Go for it. But the simpler, the more likely, people are going to fill it out. Okay, so that's number two. Number three are your donate buttons. So obviously, we're going to have that donate button in our main menu navigation. Hopefully, it's got another color behind it. It's bright, it's bold. But we can use these donate buttons on several places and all over our website. Now, you want to make sure you pay attention to where those donate buttons are going. Because I have talked about this in previous episodes about how I recommend having different donation pages for different pains, so that you can make them specific make the information on those pages specific. So I recommend having a spreadsheet that lists a donate button, this is the URL that it's going to this is the page that it's on, this is the campaign that it's for. So as you are working through your campaigns, you can go back through and much more easily edit and change links and make sure that things are staying active where and where they need to go. Because we don't want to have a missed opportunity where somebody clicks on a link, a donation page is no longer there. And now they don't know where to go to give you the money. So donation buttons can be all over the place, you can use them in your main media navigation in specific sections of your homepage. If you want on your services page, in your about section, really you can use them anywhere in everywhere on your blogs, just make sure that they are styled to your brand. You could even use a combination of different words to test like give today or join us they don't always have to say donate. So play with some of that language to encourage people to come in as community as opposed to just feeling like they're making a transaction. But I love to see them in multiple places. And then also to that point, it could be you know, give stock or contact us about a legacy gift like where it's appropriate where you know, people have, you know, gone on a deep dive, maybe there is a program in your state for a different kind of tax credit. So make sure that your calls to action are really lining up with the messaging and the purpose of what you're trying to do. So yes, this is trying to get people to donate. But that doesn't mean that they all have to look and sound exactly the same. That's going to help you again, test the messaging, but also get people, they might see it in a different way in a different spot on your website, which resonates with them a little bit better, and entices them to click. Going back to who your ideal donor is. And really understanding the words they use and how they speak and what they care about will help you craft the way that this call to action sounds. But again, testing and marketing is critical. So play with it a little bit, have some fun, but donate buttons can be anywhere and everywhere, except on pages where you're maybe just sharing some brand awareness type things or if your main call to action for that page is for somebody to do something different purchase a ticket, join an event, all of that stuff together. You want to pay attention again, like with the blogs to make sure that it makes sense. But don't be afraid to use a donate button. We've talked about this already, but social shares that is number four, we want to make it easy for people that are super excited about what we're doing to share. And we don't want to have to make them work too hard. And these are always going to be on your blog page for sure, because that's really the most shareable content that you have on your website. But don't be afraid to include that on other critical pages that you have, especially your services and programs page. giving people an opportunity to share your programs easily with friends and family is going to help give you more visibility and build more trust because when somebody that we know and trust share something on their social media where much more likely to listen and take a look at it. So make it easy, make it simple. There's so many plugins on WordPress that can allow this to happen. We are a big fan of Divi here at the first click and the digital marketing therapy podcast. And we love their social share, like a monarch, which allows us to really customize it and make it unique for each of the different pages without a whole lot of work. So take a look at that it's not as difficult as you might think. And then you could even use different plugins to create your Instagram feed or other social feed to populate on your pages on your homepage, on your contact page in different places. And again, encouraging people to go and share that information so that you can get in front of more people and increase your impact. It's a great way for people that aren't donating or have just donated or can't donate right now, to still make an impact for your organization. And by making it easy with a quick click of a button, they don't have to think about it. And now they've helped you grow and build without having to spend any more money or donate any more money. Now I know that's not always the goal. But we'd love to give people an idea and a way to support you, and as many ways as possible. So look at your social shares and figure out how you can embed that into your website.

Number five is going to be contact forms. Now this is awesome, because you're allowing people to have one on one conversations with you, which I love. And contact forms are super easy these days. So there's your general contact form that you're probably going to have on your contact page that might just be first name, last name, email address message, right? That's pretty simple, no big deal. But there's so many other ways that you can use a contact form. And this could be to glean specific information. So maybe on an event page, you don't have buy a ticket yet, maybe you need to prequalify people or you want to be able to reach out to them one on one to talk to him about sponsorship before they buy their ticket to the event, you could create a forum with some basic information asking for their business asking for, you know, their level of interest, whatever questions you would typically ask, you can put that in a contact form, you could do the same for people that are registering for your services. Maybe you're a pet adoption agency, and you want to have a quick little form on your website that people can fill out in order to get the list of or to get the adoption paperwork or something like that, right. All of these are helping you pre select and weed out people that are not the right fit for you, for people to weed out for themselves if this organization is a good fit for you or not. And for you to just get more information so you can have more meaningful conversations when you pick up that phone and have that initial call. Now, again, we want to play it kind of a little bit safe and make sure that we're not asking too many questions to where the form fields cumbersome. But remember also to think about the purpose, maybe you do want it to be a bigger form. Because if they're not willing to fill that form out, then they're not going to be able to take on the responsibility of whatever it is that the next step is. So really think about what it is that the form is supposed to do, how it's going to support your organization. And it's a great way to streamline things for your team to the more information you can have about the people that are visiting your website before you hop on the phone with them, the more time that's gonna save you and your team and your staff. So think about contact forms. Again, those can go on blogs, those can go on your contact page, they can be pop ups, when people click on an event button, there's so many different ways you can use contact forms. So I highly recommend utilizing that to glean more information for people on your website. Okay, we're getting down to it. So number six is event signups. Now, if you're running an event, I highly again recommend getting a spreadsheet and figuring out where you're going to map out all of the event information so that you can go back and change it. A great way to go back and change it is instead of taking it off switching those links to get on a waitlist so that anybody at any time can still look at that information. And you can start to build a list of people that you can follow up with closer to the event. But for now, if your event registration is open, making sure those buttons are again anywhere in everywhere. This is a big event. So changing out the header on your homepage and making sure there's a button there that links straight to the event page, blog post making sure that you have event registration open, having that be a core element on your sponsorship page, really anywhere. And everywhere that it makes sense. This is a theme that I'm saying here, right? Really take a look at all the pages that you have on your website. And where does it make sense to talk about this event and making it super clear. We want our calls to action to be obvious and engaging. So think about the colors that you're using. Think about the branding, make them buttons so that it's easy for people to see that information. So that registration is your number six. And then the last one is your donate form or your donation page. So again, just like we talked about with the contact form, this is critically important, right? This is the main thing we want our website to do is help drive donations and make it easy for people. So I want you to think about your calls to action here, as how few clicks can it take me to get from, I'm interested to I'm hitting submit, right, we want to have it as streamlined as possible. And we want to have it on our website, we talk a lot about donation pages, and sending people to a third party is fine, if it's what you have to do. But it's so easy to not do that, and keeping them on your existing website is a much better user experience. And it makes you look way more professional. So those donate buttons that you have in different places, make sure that they go directly to the page where the donation form is right there, that call to action needs to be right there and what we call above the fold, they don't need to scroll to see it, it's right there. And that call to action that I want to mention in this case is really setting up your form for reaching your goals. So you know, taking a look at your data and saying okay, well we have you know, on average, our average gift through our website is $150, our average monthly gift is $50. Then knowing that setting up your form, pre selecting it having all the information in there to help kind of maybe bump that up. So maybe you have it set to $200. Maybe the content that you have there is more related to that, like increased gift, right. So really paying attention to how people are engaging with that page, how people are giving and setting yourself up for success so that they're donating at a level that's going to make the best and biggest impact for your organization based off of the behaviors of those that have already come. So your donation form is a call to action, keep it simple, keep it clean, and keep it easy for people to engage in so that they can complete the action once they've gotten there. Because you've done all this work. All these other calls to action that we've been talking about are bringing people ultimately to that donation page. So once they're there, you want to make it easy for them to complete that action. Okay, so those are the seven ideas for ways to think about your website and calls to action. I'll run through them again really quick. Number one is maximizing on the real estate in your blog, number two email opt ins anywhere and everywhere. Number three is donate buttons in all the places that it makes sense. Number four social shares to make it easy for people to engage and share with your friends and family. Number five is contact forms using them to generate the information you need from visitors but also make it easy for them to get in touch with you with questions, your event sign up keeping it on your website, keeping it visible, and making sure you're updating those links to potentially push people to a waitlist once it's over. And then the Donate form once people have finally gotten to that donate form. That form is super easy. And that call to action is quick and they don't have to work hard to think about what they're doing. I hope you found this helpful. I can't wait to see what your website looks like with these new updated calls to action. Don't forget to subscribe wherever you listen so you don't miss out on any of the other website episodes that we have this month. I'm so excited to do this deep dive with you here. And check us out at the first click dotnet forward slash YouTube for videos and show notes and resources at https://thefirstclick.net/194  Thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you taking the time and I'll see you in the next one.


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