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  • When To Use a Secondary Call to Action

    But there are times when a secondary call to action may actually improve your chances of winning and keeping loyal customers. Knowing when to use it and why it works can make a huge difference.

    Most web design advice encourages funneling customers toward a single call to action, whether that’s a sale, a donate button, or a registration button. But there are times when a secondary call to action may actually improve your chances of winning and keeping loyal customers. Knowing when to use it and why it works can make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your landing pages.

    The Psychology Behind the Secondary Call to Action

    As red-blooded humans, we all like choices. We don’t like to be boxed in, and we tend to shy away from commitment. If I’m a first time visitor to your website and you immediately ask me to buy something, I’m likely to browse around and leave without committing, especially if your product or service is expensive. If, on the other hand, you give me an option—either buy or take a free tutorial—then I’m much more likely to click. And after the free tutorial, I might be convinced enough to hit the buy button. Choices free us up to explore without feeling the pressure of commitment looming over us.

    When to Use a Secondary Call to Action

    There are three primary times when a secondary call to action can be beneficial:

    ●      When users are likely to want more information.

    People shopping for technical items, big ticket items, and services usually do extensive research before buying. That means that a single “buy now” button is unlikely to convince anyone the first time. Including a secondary button that offers more information can keep viewers on your website longer.

    ●      When you’re cross- or up-selling

    When a customer enters the checkout process on your website, the knee-jerk reaction is usually to get him to hit that final button as quickly as possible. But it may be beneficial to send him back to do more shopping if by doing so you can get him to make an additional purchase. Making suggestions for additional items to go along with the purchase can be a smart business decision, especially if you offer the option to save the shopping cart should the reader decide to back out.

    ●      When you’re asking for registrations

    If you require users to register before making a purchase on your site, you may lose a large number of shoppers who don’t want to give up their email addresses. By adding a secondary call to action that allows users to sign in as guests, you can keep more of your visitors engaged and ultimately complete more sales.

    The secondary call to action should be carefully and logically considered before being placed on any page of your website. If you do choose to include it, make sure it always points readers back to your primary goal: the completion of the sale.


    Marty Diamond is a principal at Diamond Website Conversion, a consulting firm that specializes in helping small businesses convert more of their existing traffic into sales or leads.  Maximize the value of every visitor by optimizing your website for conversion.  Have them show you how you can increase your conversion rates, today.

    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Tech/E-Commerce


    About the Author: Marty Diamond is a conversion optimization specialist. She shows small businesses how to get more leads and sales from their website’s existing traffic. Find out more about Marty at DiamondWebsiteConversion.com . You can also connect with her on Google Plus at +martydiamond.

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