Calls to Action. The good, the bad, the lazy…

There are various ways you can prompt your website viewer to take an action on your website, from subscribing to your newsletter in return for their contact details, to allowing them to download some free and helpful content. Whichever way you choose to ask your visitor to take an action, make sure they feel compelled to do so.


ur research into 500 accountants' websites across London and the South East has shown us many interesting things, and more and more we are seeing various ways that Accountants are using Calls to Action to prompt site visitors to take an action on their website. Calls to Action can take many forms, and usually, they will invite a site visitor to provide contacts details (with the proviso that the user gives the company permission to market to them further). Most Calls to Action (CTA) take the form of asking the user to subscribe to the practice email newsletter, but as we will see not all Calls to Action are created equally. Below we discuss some of the common kinds of CTA and how compelling they are to the visitor. We appreciate that your site visitors may be at different stages of their buying journey, so this list is really about how valuable your offering is in exchange for details from visitors at the start of their buying journey.

The free and helpful resource 

In exchange for the opportunity to market your services to your site visitor, perhaps offer them a free and useful resource that they can download, read or even print. You will know the kinds of clients you are trying to attract so make your free resource relevant and helpful to them. This is I believe the most helpful and valuable ‘exchange’ when trying to procure potential client contact details. It’s not pushy, allows you to demonstrate your expertise and offer value to your visitor.

Subscribe to your newsletter

This is the most popular Call to Action we have seen on accountants’ websites. Regular newsletter marketing is common practice, and how helpful or interesting your newsletter content is another topic entirely. But if you’re going to persuade a visitor to hand over their details, once they have submitted their newsletter signup form, be sure they are automatically sent a ‘Welcome’ newsletter that will outline all the helpful and exciting content you will be furnishing them within the weeks and months to come.

Engage with the online chat facility

More and more accountants are making use of online chat. This may take the form of an embedded Facebook chat facility or another provider. The benefit of this functionality is that if a customer had a quick initial question they can ask quickly and - providing the chat system is being monitored / or alerts the business owner - they customer should, in theory, receive a quick response. This can help make the customer feel connected to a ‘person’ and get quick answers. This can be good if the customer feels like they are getting a quick response, getting valuable answers (it’s usually quickly obvious if you are chatting to a ‘bot’ or an actual human) Some customers may prefer to pick up the phone, however. 

Great if: The system is monitored by a staff member and engagement is very fast

Not great if: You ask a question during opening hours and you get an instant response saying ’Thanks for your enquiry please contact us via our website contact form’ 

Even worse if: You ask a question during opening hours and you get an instant response saying ‘Thank you for your enquiry. We’re currently closed but our opening hours are….

Schedule an appointment 

Great if: This actually opens a calendar app that lets you schedule an appointment (and then you receive an email confirming your appointment) 

Not great if: This directs you to the Contact page form and simply asks you to fill in your detail and then you wait for someone to call you…

Request a callback

Great if you can specify a time for someone to actually call you… and they do. 

Not great if: This directs you to the Contact page form and simply asks you to fill in your detail and then you wait for someone to call you…

Get an instant quote 

I question the value in an instant quote generator because often clients need will be different, and this also suggests a one-size-fits-all approach. Fine if your service offerings are strictly tiered or productised, but you also run the risk of attracting clients who are basing their purchasing decision on price and not your expertise… 

Contact us today! link to the contact page… 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but have you demonstrated to the visitor why they should contact you, compared to say the next accountant down the road? If you have, then it is because your messaging, branding and positioning is good and you’ve endeavoured to deliberately differentiate yourself. If you haven’t differentiated yourself then you may not get that email…

Follow us on Social media

This sort of call to action is reaching out to customers in the consideration stage of their buying journey and is a good way to allow customers to learn more about your business, your culture and the people behind your organisation… how effective this is is probably down to how compelling your on-site message, design and positioning is in the first instance… Obviously, a business doesn’t ask for contact details such as email addresses when inviting customers to follow them on social feeds, but on the platform itself once you ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ a company you can be sure to see further content pop up in your news feed. 

The customer should be compelled to want to follow you. From here, once the customer clicks into your social media feeds, your social media efforts are laid bare for the person to make a further judgement call. Of course, if you are blogging regularly then you will be (or should be) posting your valuable content to your social feeds (and re-directing back you your website). 

If your social feeds are bereft of anything of value, or you haven’t posted anything in 6 months then this will also make a certain impression on your visitor. Social media is marketing after all, and will leave an impression with your site visitor as much as your website will. You can read more about social media and content strategy in our free guide on our website here…

Read our blog

Should you blog? Absolutely. It’s a vital part of your content strategy and gives real value to your social media strategy. 

Offering value to your potential clients when you ask them to get in touch / subscribe / download your content is a valuable differentiator regardless of your industry and will make for a more memorable experience for your website visitor. Of course, you then need to consistently offer good service and value beyond the initial exchange of contact details, but it is good to start with something immediately helpful to set yourself apart. It’s all part of your ongoing marketing efforts after all…

Ben Stanbury, Director of Prosper, the naming and branding agency for Professional Service firms

Written by Ben Stanbury

September 14, 2022

Ben is a branding and naming consultant. As the owner of Prosper he regularly blogs on the topic of branding, naming and differentiation for professional service firms. Among other things, he likes horror films, mountain biking and collecting vintage movie posters.

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