Grabbing Attention Effectively
Tips to Improve Online Conversion, Sales & Leads Generation
Revised June 28, 2017
Originally Published August 26, 2008
Headlines and CTA's (Calls To Action) greatly affect a website or campaign's success or failure. Proper headlines and calls to action prompt customers to continue and complete the purchase. Without effective headlines and Calls To Action, prospects may move on to find information and services elsewhere.
Attention Grabbing Headlines!
Headlines and paragraph headers, (whether for a website page, marketing campaign, or a newsletter article), are important and greatly affect how many people choose to read the information following the headline.
If the headline is nondescript, boring, or does not entice the customer to read what follows, then many potential customers will likely miss or ignore the information that follows the headline, and move on.
However, a headline that is snappy, or grabs the readers attention will result in a more widely read article, or further customer action.
On average, it's predicted that 80% of readers only pay attention to headlines while only 20% actually read any further than the headline!
With this knowledge, it is important to use a headline that not only catches a readers attention, but persuades the reader to engage further and complete the sale. Businesses should spend the majority of time testing what words and phrases in a headline increase visitor response.
- Adding hyperlinks to headlines allows one to draw customers further into a website's content, thus increasing the conversion potential.
- Using persuasive headlines with an emotional appeal, then linking these headlines to related pages of a website or campaign, will allow businesses to draw prospects further into the site and marketing materials.
The following are some additional ideas for improving website headlines:
- Use statistics in your headlines. Statistics and percentages often standout and grab attention.
- Ask questions in headlines. Questions can be powerful attention grabbers, if used properly. However, to be effective, be sure to explicitly answer the question immediately following the headline.
- Use emotional words to pull and persuade a visitor. Addressing a visitor's feelings is a great way to capture their attention, make them feel connected, and pursue the sale.
- Try different types of formatting (e.g. bold or italicized words, colored text or CAPS). Be sure the formatting compliments the website or campaign look; over use or non-complimentary colors can detract, making it look unprofessional or amateur.
- Try using different heading lengths (short and snappy versus long and descriptive).
- See if exclamation marks grab an audiences attention. However, keep in mind that over using exclamation marks can make a site look less respectable, and more like a paid advertisement.
While good headings are important to initially grabbing a visitors attention, good Calls To Action (CTA's) are just as important in getting the visitor to take action, and convert into a paying customer.
Put simply, a good headline draws them in, and a good Call To Action closes the deal.
Urge To Take Action Now!
A Call to Action (CTA) is where the customer is literally told to take action. A call to action should not be vague. Instead the CTA must be to the point, and clear; instruct the visitor what to do next.
If the Call To Action is vague, then the visitor will most likely miss the call, or not understand what to do, and go elsewhere.
Often, one will see calls to action with phrases such as "Buy Now" or "Call Today".
A call to action can be a large, hyper-linked headline, as discussed above, or it can be a large, colorful button enticing the customer to "click now" to purchase, or receive more information.
In general, good Calls to Action should include the following attributes:
- Distinctive - A good call to action will stand out from the rest of the page or content. Crowding too many CTA's together can result in confusion.
- Obvious - Calls to action should be set apart and intuitive. A visitor should have no question as to what to do next.
- Benefits - A proper call to action will communicate the positive values to the customer when taking action. Make sure the visitor knows what's in it for them.
- Confident - Effective calls to action will leave no questions or hesitations. The customer must feel secure in moving forward.
Summarize The Benefits!
To summarize, headlines are important to initially grab visitor attention. Once one has the attention of a visitor, the Call To Action must tell the visitor what to do next, and how to do it.
Headlines and Calls To Action need to be clear, concise, and leave no question as to what the customer should do, and how to proceed. Any website or marketing campaign utilizing these standards will see a remarked increase in performance and conversion of sales, leads, or prospects.
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