Calls to action are a great way to guide visitors towards their goals, but there are a lot of factors influencing whether or not a visitor is actually going to take action. Plenty of digital marketers run A/B testing on their calls to action to see which colors, symbols, CTA copy, button placement, and images convert the best.

And while it’s true that design elements coupled with A/B testing is a way to optimize conversions, there are many strong psychological factors that influence a lead’s choice to take action or not. Let’s take a closer look at the core qualities of a digital marketing campaign that eliminate barriers to action taking, instilling trust that the lead’s decision will not be made in vain.

Establish and Build Authority

Authority is arguably the most important factor that drives website visitors to take action, because it builds a foundation of trust. People want solutions to their problems, and an authoritative source is much more trustworthy, proven, and credible than a source that lacks authority in an industry. There are a couple ways small businesses can build authority to encourage visitors to take action.

First of all, you should be pursuing a content marketing strategy that provides value to your audience and proves you know what you’re talking about. Visiting a website full of free resources, guides, recommendations, reviews, and other useful and informative content shows your audience you are competent and knowledgeable in your niche.

Secondly, you can demonstrate authority by displaying awards to your audience. If you or any employees have any special industry certifications, display them loudly and proudly on your website. If the business as a whole has won any awards, such as BBB accreditation or other similar accolades specific to your product or service, it’s beneficial to show them to your audience.

Leverage Availability

The more scarce a resource is, the more people will have to compete for it – such are the laws of supply and demand. Making a product, service, or savings opportunity limited, it’s possible to light a fire under the rear ends of your leads and drum them up into an action taking frenzy.

If you don’t think limited availability has much of an influence, consider Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other similar shopping events. Hoards of frenzied shopper literally stampede through big box stores to snag the hottest deals and products in order to claim their prizes while they’re still available.

Another popular example is how McDonald's controls supply and demand by continually cycling the availability of the McRib. Whether you love it or detest it, McDonald's has mastered its sales cycle of the McRib by bringing it back to the delight of millions of customers, only to snatch it away time and time again to stimulate sales.

Use Social Proof to Your Advantage

Customers experience a certain amount of risk when trying something new for the first time, and are more hesitant to take action if a product or service lacks social proof. Leads are more inclined to trust peers who have already had a good experience with a business than they are to trust a company they’ve never interacted with. For that reason, it’s imperative to alleviate perceived risk with genuine customer reviews.

It should come as no great surprise that a skeptical lead will more easily convert if a business has a healthy stock of glowing reviews. Prime examples of social proof are any rating and feedback systems, such as Yelp! reviews or Amazon’s five star rating system. An effective marketing strategy to encourage leads to take action includes presenting visitors to your website with genuine, bonafide reviews of happy customers.

Have Responsive and Fast Web Pages

Lightening quick pages are undoubtedly a factor that has the ability to influence whether or not a user takes action. By now, you should be shooting for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) to deliver content to mobile users as fast as possible. Though it is true that AMPs are not a ranking signal metric that influences organic rankings like other factors, such as HTTPS and backlinks, it does provide for a better user experience.

It must be considered that some fraction of your audience is going to be on low-bandwidth connections or have weak and crummy signals, which is already going to hinder the speed of your pages, especially on mobile devices. By refining your pages and making them as efficiently as possible with tools like image compression, you can whittle down the number of leads who would have otherwise bounced due to a slow and unresponsive page.

Use the Ol' Give and Take

Have you ever met a selfish person, or worse, a business that never gives anything back to its customers?

For instance, I’ve seen a handful of online services like cloud storage and VPN providers that lack a money back guarantee. Instead, they have a strict “no refunds” policy, which is a real pain in the neck. When I see their “no refunds” policy, it instantly makes me wary and extremely critical of the service.

With regards to economics, there may not truly be anything as a “free lunch,” but your leads can still perceive they are getting free value in the form of savings, coupons, limited time offers, or access to free content like an ebook. The point is you’ll be able to foster trust and encourage users to take action if they understand your business gives back to its customers. In this sense, loyalty programs and points-based systems (like the classic punch card) can encourage customers to come back again and again to redeem their prize.

Getting Leads to Raise Their Hands Can Be Challenging

Small businesses can find it challenging to influence leads into action taking, especially when they’re new to digital marketing and lack an established digital presence. With exception to driving traffic to a website via paid ads, it can take significant amounts of time to build a following and become an authoritative influencer in your niche or industry.

Navigating the challenges of building an online reputation can feel tedious if you don’t have the time or energy because of the demands of your business. In such a scenario, I would recommend reaching out for the help of a qualified and reputable professional to help drum up leads and grow revenues – the future of your business could depend on it.