Have you ever stared at a pay terminal and didn’t know where to begin? I have this problem more than I’d like to admit, particularly when trying to buy a ticket for the train or when paying for parking. The main problem I’ve found is that there’s no easy-to-identify place to start. In web parlance, no clear call to action. Clear, compelling calls to action are the lifeblood of your business on the Web. They are the sign posts and cues that give your users the guidance they need to continue down the right path towards conversion.

Calls to action are often just thought of in terms of a button, if they’re thought of at all. Too often, calls to action are omitted or stuck into the design as an after thought. What a tragedy. Weak calls to action (CTAs) result in confused visitors and lost opportunities as potential customers wander out of the conversion funnel and away from your site. In this post we give you six ways to bolster your CTAs to really drive results for your website.

Six Ways to Get More from Your CTAs

Before we get started, it’s important to note that a call to action isn’t just about sticking a button on a page. A call to action is the entire sum of the design and content helping visitors move down the funnel toward conversion. When you think call to action, think holistically, not just in terms of a button. There are many different types of CTAs, from buttons to buy, links to download and visual design cues guiding your visitor down your conversion funnel. Without CTAs your users can get lost and confused which, in the worst case, will lead to them leaving your site. To keep your customers headed in the right direction here are our best tips for pumping up your CTA performance.

Use these in your SlideDeck and watch your conversion rate soar.

1.) Make them stand out. From a design perspective your CTAs should be easily distinguishable from other content in your SlideDeck. Use a color that is easy to see on the slide and stands in contrast with the background.

2.) Keep CTA design consistent. Your CTAs throughout your SlideDeck and site should be consistent and easy to recognize. Changing from buttons to links, and drastic changes in colors and shapes can can create confusion. Help your visitors identify CTAs by keeping them consistent. SlideDeck Call to Action

3.) Use active and descriptive phrases. Phrases like “Get Started”, “Download Now”, “Learn More”, and “Get an Invite” create a sense of positive action that gets visitors moving forward down the right path. Avoid generic CTAs such as “Click here” that don’t provide users with any sense of benefit. “Click here” can work, if properly paired with a benefit, such as “Click here for 27 money-saving tips.”

4.) Use design elements that indicate forward progress. Include design elements such as arrows in your CTAs to indicate momentum and progress. This helps your visitors feel like they are moving in the right direction to solve their problem or meet their need. the lean startup call to action

5.) Put them on each slide or page. After a visitor reads a slide in your SlideDeck or a page on your website, they’ll try to figure out what to do next. Ensure they head in the direction you want them to go by putting prominent CTAs on each slide and page. Never assume a visitor is entering your site from the first step of your funnel, help them orient themselves quickly with clear guidance.

digital telepathy call to action

 

6.) Keep them visible. If you’re using vertical slides in your SlideDeck or you have long content pages, make sure you have multiple CTAs so that users don’t have to hunt them down once they’re ready to act.

unbounce-cta

Make CTAs that light the way

Without strong calls to action your visitors will get confused, frustrated and lost, leading to fewer conversions for you. Turn on the lights, provide good sign posts, and lead them to the promised land with clear, action-oriented CTAs that guide them down the funnel. By being consistent in your design and placement, using active and descriptive copy, and indicating forward progress in your design, you’ll be on your way to improving the conversion rate of your site. And if you liked this post, but missed the rest of our SlideDeck Survival Guide, be sure to check out our other Survival Guide posts here.

Have a favorite call to action? Let us know in the comments!

Did you know your SlideDeck content slider can handle all types of content? It’s true. Sure, text and images work great, but SlideDeck is also adept at handling interactive elements too. So get creative, add a video or music player, embed a contact form or photo gallery. Each slide in your deck is fully equipped to deliver your message in the most compelling and relevant way possible, regardless of media format. In this post we’ll look at some creative uses for your content sliders, along with examples of how embedding different content types in your SlideDeck can really help bring your message home.

Video and Audio Embeds

Some say that video is the most compelling form of content there is on the Web, and who are we to argue? With SlideDeck the choice is yours, you can add video to any slide you want. And it’s a breeze with either our jQuery or WordPress version. Videos are great for showing off your product, store front or happy customers.

For WordPress users, simply paste the embed code in the HTML editor for the slide you want it to appear on. That’s it. Your video should be ready to roll. Some video formats play better with SlideDeck than others, so be sure to check out this FAQ if you have trouble getting your video to display properly.

Don’t have video but have a great sound bite or interview you want to share? No sweat. Simply embed the or other code snippet for your audio player into the slide you where you want it to appear. Your visitors will be able to listen to their heart’s content right from within the SlideDeck experience.

Learn how to add audio or video here.

Forms

SlideDecks are great for converting visitors into revenue. Just ask Neil Patel of CrazyEgg.com. They saw a 21.6% increase in conversions on their site within just 21 days of adding SlideDeck. Whether they’re joining your mailing list or requesting that a sales person contact them, getting a visitor to provide you with their information is a key step in any conversion funnel. That’s why adding a form to SlideDeck is an easy and smart way to drive conversions while reducing funnel abandonment and lost revenue.

Adding a form is easy. SlideDeck can handle any of the standard form elements and submission protocols. And, if you’re a PRO user you can use our slide control API logic to create multi-step forms that let you gather information incrementally, especially useful for longer forms.

Image Galleries

A SlideDeck makes for a great portfolio. You can use one of our themes, like Super Simple, or if you’re a PRO user you can use the background image features and turn off the slide spines. Either way, you can embed photo galleries that let you show off a set of images in a clean, easy-to-use and intuitive manner, right from within the SlideDeck.


Great for photographers and designers, showing off product shots, or shots from around your business, in-slide galleries are a powerful way to let your visitor learn about you, without having to jump from page to page to do it.

Get Interactive

Hopefully this post inspires you to take your SlideDeck to the next level by adding rich, engaging content that brings your business to life in a way that is easy and enjoyable for your visitor to experience. By creating rich experiences within SlideDeck you’ll engage your visitors while moving them towards conversion in a way that reduces confusion for them and abandonment for you. So try a form, add a video or load up on some of those glossy product shots. With SlideDeck you can get as interactive and creative as you want, and rest easy knowing that your visitors will have a cohesive, intuitive experience that leads to more customers for you.

Every single one of the visitors to your website has a question or two they need answered before they seriously consider committing to you. Whether you want them to sign up, download, or buy, they need some information to help them make that decision. The better you are at identifying and answering these questions, the more confidence you’ll inspire in your visitors. And more confidence means more conversions. Fortunately, there area a set of basic questions that every user needs answered before pulling the proverbial trigger. Answer these questions right off the bat with your SlideDeck to build confidence with your visitors:

  • What your product or service is or does
  • How it works
  • What the key benefits are
  • What it looks like in action
  • How can the visitor get started and take action

It’s up to you how you answer these questions. You can answer them one to a slide, or you can weave them through your SlideDeck narrative. It’s up to you how you answer them, the important part is that you address them in a way that builds the visitor’s confidence in you. Let’s break these down and examine how to address each of them to answer any questions your visitors might have.

What would you say you do, exactly?

If people don’t have a good understanding of what your product or service is or does they aren’t going to sign up or purchase it from you, period. Think of an ‘elevator pitch’ for your product or service. Can you get what you do down to one or two concise sentences? That is your goal.

You must explain what it is you do (or what your product does) in straight-forward language so that people who aren’t intimately familiar with it (read: you and your team) understand it right off the bat. Far too often, we’re so close with our own products and services that we think everyone just “gets” what we do. The reality is often far from it. So ask people who haven’t used your product before to check out your SlideDeck and see if they can clearly articulate back to you what you do. If you’re surprised at what you hear you might have some more work to do.

awesem slidedeck

How does it work?

The more a visitor understands how your product works the more likely the are to convert. This understanding builds the confidence they need to make an informed decision. Explain how your product or service works and the features that set it apart from the competition. Help your visitor frame your product against other options. Use plenty of visuals where possible.

You also want your SlideDeck to hit the highlights. Identify and promote the “killer features” that make your product stand out from the rest. Hone in on those key differentiators and promote them. If you have a complex product, like a cell phone, you can use vertical slides to go into greater details about specifications and features without cluttering your main product/service overview. And remember, you can use more than text and images in a SlideDeck. Throw in a video demo, add a gallery, or an audio testimonial, SlideDeck can handle it all.

What’s in it for them?

Identifying and promoting the key benefits is critical to your success on the web. People buy solutions, not features, not products and services. Too often companies lead with features, when really the selling point is the benefit, the solution to the visitor’s problem. Identify the key benefits of the service. If possible brainstorm with your team to capture and prioritize them all. Ask past customers which benefits were the ones that stood out to them and made them pull the trigger. Take your top benefits and make them a top priority in your SlideDeck.

retargeter slidedeck

Show, don’t tell.

Every car salesman knows this. Get a user to take a test drive and your odds of turning that visitor to a customer go through the roof. People want to get a sense for what your product or service looks like in the wild. If you can’t give them a test drive, give them a SlideDeck packed with insight into the product in action. Use case studies of happy clients or provide a step-by-step walk through of your product. Incorporate testimonials and use video and images to present the key benefits of your product or service in a compelling way. Show how you create success for your customers or users.

Let’s get it started

Once you’ve got your visitor excited about committing don’t leave them hanging and don’t make them stumble around to take the next step. Take a tip from the movie theaters and their clearly-marked exits, make the next step action clear, prominent and compelling. And remember, every visitor has a different information need and decision-making process. Don’t assume that all of your visitors will reach the end of your SlideDeck before being ready to commit, add a call to action at each step of the way, and make sure the path is clear and well lit.

Any other questions?

By answering your visitors’ key questions you improve their confidence. Improving confidence improves conversion. Identify the information that is most important to your users and make sure you address their concerns in your SlideDeck. Use vertical slides to provide more detail, and create product tours and case study galleries to showcase your product in action. Build in video testimonials and other content to provide compelling real-world proof of the benefits of what you do.

The more you understand about your customers and what they need in order to feel comfortable committing, the more success you’ll find on the web. Want more tips to maximize the performance of your SlideDeck? Check out the step-by-step guide to increasing conversions with SlideDeck and how to use vertical slides with SlideDeck. These recommendations work best together, so read up, tune up your SlideDeck and watch your results head in the right direction.

Vertical Slide NavigationIn the first Survival Guide post we showed you how to tell your story and build the perfect SlideDeck. In this post we’ll show you how to use vertical slides to win over visitors who need a bit more convincing, without losing the user flow or conversion funnel.

SlideDeck is designed to help you clearly communicate with website visitors who are looking for answers. But what if a potential customer needs more information before making a decision? No problem. With SlideDeck Pro, you can integrate vertical slides that let you expand on any key point, providing extra detail without sacrificing the user experience. Whether your goal is sign-ups, downloads or purchases, SlideDeck gives you the ability to add the extra detail you need while pushing your conversion rates higher than ever.

Vertical slides come with SlideDeck Pro. If you’re using SlideDeck Lite you’ll need to upgrade before implementing any of these tips. You can upgrade to SlideDeck Pro here.

Why Go Vertical

On the web, the adage that less is more is certainly true. But there are just some instances when you need a bit more depth to communicate the value of your product or service. But why take visitors to some random sub-level page, out of the main flow of your conversion funnel, when you can add that detail seamlessly within SlideDeck?

Here are a few reasons to go deep with your SlideDeck:

  • Promote the services of your company. Let’s say you’re an iPhone app development firm who is using a SlideDeck to showcase your business offering. A slide in your main (horizontal) SlideDeck may display previous projects. You can use vertical slides to drill into the details of each project, right from the slider.
  • Sell a product. If you’re using SlideDeck to sell a product, use vertical slides to drill down on product features. If you’re selling a cell phone you can dive into the detailed product specs without losing the main message and flow of the funnel.
  • Sell yourself. If you’re a freelancer, SlideDeck makes for an awesome portfolio. Use the top-level slides to talk about the value you bring to projects while using vertical slides to back that claim up with previous work, concepts, case studies and testimonials.

How to Go Vertical Like a Pro

Multi Diimensional Slides
It’s never smart to add slides to your SlideDeck without good reason. Random slides of little value are dead ends for your web visitors and conversion killers. Avoid those traps with these tips on how to make vertical slides work for you:

  • Go vertical when you need to reinforce the key benefit on the main slide. If you claim a laptop is is fast, a vertical slide highlighting the RAM and processing power gives the reader the backup they need.
  • Don’t go vertical all the time. Save it for the parts of your story that really benefit from more detail, like a gallery, product specs or testimonials. A good rule of thumb is no more than one or two vertical extensions in your SlideDeck. If you need more than that, consider multiple SlideDecks, like one on each product page.
  • Keep the vertical slides short, sweet and powerful. Make sure they’re answering key questions and reinforcing product benefits.
  • Keep calls to action driving people back to the main flow and towards conversion.

See Vertical Slides in Action

The SlideDeck we use to showcase the benefits and features of SlideDeck on the homepage of this site is a prime example of how and when vertical slides can really add to the user experience and drive conversion. Let’s break down this SlideDeck and see how the vertical slides help drive new customers for us.

The main SlideDeck is only four slides and walks the user through what SlideDeck is, the benefits of its powerful features, its ease of use and how to get started. For more tips on how to construct your story with SlideDeck see the Tell Your Story Survival Guide.

Slide One gives a quick video walk through of what SlideDeck is.

Slide Two highlights the different use cases for SlideDeck and uses vertical slides to show how SlideDeck excels in those situations. This let us communicate the variety of ways that SlideDeck can be used without getting in the way of the overall flow. We also talk about its vertical slide functionality with a vertical slide. Very meta.

Slide Three highlights the different features of SlideDeck including the SlideDeck API and easy-to-use WordPress GUI.

Slide Four is the call to action to download SlideDeck. After seeing how powerful and easy SlideDeck is to use, readers are primed to click download.

Putting Vertical Slides to Work for You

Ready to get started with vertical slides? If you’re using the jQuery version, view this post on how to add vertical slides to your SlideDeck. It includes code samples and tips to make implementing them a snap. And if you’re using the WordPress plugin, adding vertical slides is a breeze, handled right from the WordPress admin.

Vertical slides are a powerful way to expand on your key messages without degrading the user experience and taking customers out of the conversion funnel. You can use vertical slides whenever your main message point needs more backup, such as case studies, product features, customer testimonials and more. Remember to keep vertical slides to a minimum and demand the same short, sweet and powerful content as your primary slides. If you’re using the Lite version, upgrade your SlideDeck now and see how vertical slides can improve your communication on the web, and increase your conversions – driving more business for your business.

SlideDeck is designed to help you tell a powerful, engaging story that connects with visitors and compels them to take the actions you want. Whether you’re selling a product or service, SlideDeck lets you clearly communicate the value of what you’re selling in a way that makes it easy for readers to understand and act on. The more compelling the story, the more conversions you get. It’s really that simple. Here’s how you can use SlideDeck to tell a story that increases conversions from your website visitors.

If you like these tips, be sure to follow our Survival Guide Series. We’ll be tackling more ways for you to get the most out of your SlideDeck in future posts.

What’s the Story?

Designing the perfect web slider with SlideDeck

From the World’s Most Interesting Man to the mailman, each and every person, product and service has a story to tell. And stories are what sell. Tell a story that resonates with your website visitors and they are more likely to turn into a customers. SlideDeck is built to help you tell your story. But first, you need to determine what story you need to tell. The questions below will help build the base of your story.

What do you want to communicate in this SlideDeck?

  • Your company
  • A new product
  • A line of products
  • A brand
  • A book
  • A non-profit
  • A film

Who is your audience?

  • A business buyer
  • A consumer
  • A reseller
  • Do you sell to a specific niche?
  • Do you target a specific demographic?

What information does your buyer need to make an informed decision?

  • What are the key benefits of what you’re selling?
  • What is the return on investment?
  • Testimonials
  • Product specifications
  • Photo galleries
  • Video demonstrations
  • Pricing

By identifying what you’re trying to promote, who you’re trying to promote it to, and the information they need to make a  decision, you’ll begin to shape a story that will resonate and drive conversions.

Break It Down

Once you know what story you want to tell and who you want to tell it to, you need to break it down into its component parts. These parts will become the slides in your SlideDeck. For example, if you’re selling a consumer product you might want to break down your SlideDeck into the following slides:

  1. What your product does – answer the big question, what problem is it solving?
  2. What your product is and what’s the primary benefit?
  3. What are the other core benefits?
  4. What are the product details and features?
  5. What does the product look like and how does it work?
  6. How do you buy the product and what does it cost?

Notice that we’ve broken down the story into a six slide SlideDeck. To keep readers engaged we recommend no more than seven slides.

Nail the Copy

Getting the perfect copy for your web slider

SlideDeck is all about clearly and concisely communicating your key message. Writing tight, powerful copy is critical to achieving that goal. On the Web, less is definitely more. For each slide in your SlideDeck write one headline statement supported by either a brief sentence or one to two bullet points. Too much copy on any slide adds visual clutter, reducing the ability of the reader to quickly grasp the key takeaway. If you make your readers muddle through too much copy you’ll lose all but the most diligent visitors.

Use Meaningful Imagery

Using meaningful images for your web slider

Writing is only part of the story. The images you choose are equally, if not more, important to visitors who are quickly skimming your site, trying to assess whether your product or service is right for them. Choose images that are relevant to each slide and complementary to your copy. Visitors must be able to quickly understand the main point of each slide, and the right photography and copy can work together to create a cohesive, clear message.

It’s All About the Call to Action

develop calls to action with your web slider

There’s nothing worse than visiting a website and having to figure what you need to do next. In fact, without clear direction, most people bounce. Don’t leave it up to your visitors to figure out what you want them to do. Build your SlideDeck so that each slide has a call to action that leads to the next, with the last slide being the big payoff – the conversion you want from each and every visitor.

By setting up your SlideDeck this way you’re creating a logical flow and funnel that walks the visitor down the path towards conversion, building your case the entire way. If you’ve done it right, your visitor is primed and ready to convert when they reached that last slide. This step-by-step funnel is what makes SlideDeck such a powerful conversion tool. And it’s how SlideDeck drives real improvements in conversion performance for websites.

Show Me the Money

increasing conversions with slidedeck web slider

CrazyEgg.com, a company that sells heat mapping software for websites, reported a 21.6% increase in conversions after adding a SlideDeck to their homepage. By creating a step-by-step walk through of their products and services, CrazyEgg is able to more effectively communicate the benefits of their service, leading to more new customers per visit.

Wrapping it All Up

The first key to creating a powerful SlideDeck is to create a story that engages and connects with visitors. You do this by:

  1. Identifying the story you want to tell
  2. Identifying who it’s for and what they need to know
  3. Breaking the story down into easy-to-digest pieces
  4. Writing great copy that drives action
  5. Picking images that help tell the story
  6. Having a strong call to action

Do these things well and you’ll have a SlideDeck that drives conversion, leading to more sales and more return on your website traffic.

Want to see a few great SlideDecks to get you started? Visit our SlideDeck gallery here.  And stay tuned for most tips on how to get the most of your SlideDeck in our Survival Guide Series.