A little while ago we shared the five ingredients in a compelling call to action. As a reminder, here they are again:
- Good writing that tugs on a person.
- Solid contrast to other items on the page.
- Good use of color.
- Prominent placement.
- A reason to click.
Jakob Nielsen recently published a case study outlining how the Wall Street Journal iPhone app nailed all the ingredients we listed above with one compelling call to action — its "Subscribe Now" button — and yet still received abysmal ratings from users because the call to action was not a good fit for the app's audience. Subscribe Now was a good call to action for new readers, but not for existing WSJ subscribers.
When you launch the app, you receive a strong call to action to Subscribe Now. Press that button and you are taken to a screen where you're told that you have to pay $1.99/week.
That second screen says nothing about the fact that if you're already a WSJ subscriber you don't have to pay any extra fees and can just login to the app. Most existing subscribers ended up skipping over that Login button on the first screen and became annoyed, believing that they'd have to pay an extra fee to use the app.
This is a great example of a miss-fit between an app's call to action and the audience using that app. A call to action is a critical place on the screen that encourages the viewer to click on an item to accomplish a task. This task is typically one that's both good for the customer and fulfills a business objective.