Thursday, May 23, 2013

Time to get specific

One of the most valuable pieces of advice to increase conversions is: Make your calls to action clear.  

On the surface it seems logical enough, but what does it mean?  Where do you start?

I was at a restaurant and a sign in the bathroom read, "If this restroom is in need of service, please let us know."  This is a real world Call to Action (CTA), and a common one.  

If there is a glaring problem, ie. a toilet is overflowing or the bathroom is completely unusable, this CTA probably works fine.  You would run out of the bathroom and tell the first employee you find.  However, you would probably do the same even if this sign didn't exist.  

Suppose you find that 1 of the soap dispensers is out of soap, or that one of the stalls has been vandalized by a person with poor aim.  Chances are that you aren't going to tell anyone.  There are other stalls and soap dispensers available for your use.

Like water in a stream, we tend to choose the path of least resistance.  The purpose of a CTA is to get us to take an action that we may not naturally take.

So, how do you change the restroom sign so that most people will take action, no matter how small the needed service is?  Get specific.

Let's break down the original:

"If this restroom is in need of service, please let us know."

"In need of service," can mean many different things.  Does it mean when a soap dispenser is low? or when there is no soap?

"Let us know," is also vague.  Who do I tell?  Should I tell my server? or wait until I see the manager?

Consider the following edit:

"We take great pride in having a clean and fully stocked restroom.  Please let your server know if anything is running low."

It demonstrates a purpose and is specific and actionable.

How clear are your Calls to Action?