Paul Cheney

Sales Call Optimization: How to get more prospects on the phone with a banner

September 19th, 2011

No matter how well you optimize your website, there’s still no substitute for getting someone on the phone with your best salesperson for a complex product. People buy from people, and having a human talk to a prospect on the phone, answer questions, and tailor the presentation of the product on the fly is invaluable for guiding the prospect through the buying process.

One of our recent Web clinic attendees submitted the below page for live optimization (the part of our Web clinics where we have our research analysts review what could work better for audience submitted pages), and is trying to accomplish just that with a banner on their own page:

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Click to enlarge

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So, how can you effectively get your website visitors to call a sales rep with a banner?

As we learned in Banner Design Tested, the Web clinic for which this banner was submitted, there are three key objectives every banner must accomplish to drive conversions:

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  1. Attract attention
  2. Generate interest
  3. Ask for a click

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With these principles in mind, I asked MECLABS Research Analyst, Taylor Kennedy, to help me come up with a few ways to improve the banner for more phone calls.

Here’s what he had to say:

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1.  Attracting Attention

If there’s one thing this banner does well, it’s attracting attention. The banner has great positioning right at the top of the page and uses color to effectively stand out from the other calls-to-action on the page.

Transferable Principle: Attracting attention is the first key objective a banner must accomplish to get the click. There are five ways which you can adjust elements on your webpages to guide your visitor: Size, shape, color, motion and position.

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2.   Generating Interest

However, once you’ve gotten their attention, you have to generate interest. And that’s precisely where this banner is probably losing a lot of prospects.

To generate interest, a banner must have its own value proposition. In other words, the banner should answer the question:

If I am the ideal prospect, why should I click on this banner rather than take another action on the page?

Here are a few suggestions for getting the value proposition of this banner straight:

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  • Clarify which product the prospect will be sold over the phone.
  • Clarify what the phone-only special is.
  • State how it can be cheaper over the phone than on the Web. Quantify the savings with something like, “Save 20% when you buy product X over the phone.”
  • The audience is probably Internet-savvy, and therefore, unlikely to call in the first place. Add some credibility with specifics about what they will receive when they call.
  • “Save more today” is attempting to create urgency but doesn’t succeed. Take it out or consider creating real urgency by actually making the offer time sensitive.

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Transferable Principle: These are some key points for this single banner. But to generate interest in your own banners, you need to clearly communicate: Appeal, credibility and exclusivity.

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3.   Ask for the click

Even if visitors are still interested in this ad the way it is, you’re likely losing even more of them by not asking for the click. I realize this is asking people to call, but the very nature of a banner makes it more intuitive and convenient for the prospect to click.

I would certainly test a button on the banner that says, “Click to call,” which enables prospects to dial straight from their computer.

You might also try a button that says, “Learn more,” and directs them to a landing page with more information about the phone offer and a “Click to call” button at the bottom of the page that again lets the prospect dial straight from the computer.

Transferable Principle: Even on a banner, you need a call-to-action. We’ve run tests where simply adding a button to a banner significantly increased clickthrough. Always ask for the click.

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Related Resources:

Banner Design Tested: How a 35% decrease in clicks caused an 88% increase in conversion

Display Advertising: How your peers optimize banner ads

Online Advertising: The 3 obstacles you must overcome to create an effective banner ad

Marketing Intelligence: 3 ways to better serve your customers (and your bottom line)

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Categories: Clinic Notes Tags: , , , , , ,



  1. September 20th, 2011 at 16:58 | #1

    Great post Paul.

    It is always great to read others opinion on our type of business. I run a business development agency and I’ve recently been testing all sorts of different banners on our site to get more people contacting us. I constantly do A/B testing as well to make sure I am getting things right – and improving on them in the site.
    I am pretty new to all of this internet marketing, but I’m learning quickly and it is great to see a post as yours, because I learn more again.
    We are also about to do a guerilla marketing exercise and this has given me food for thought about the landing page we use when we are out and about in our local vicinity. I can’t give you too much detail about what our plans are yet, but keep on reading our blog and you’ll find out. Plus, we’ll be pretty open about how it all went!
    Anyway, I am going to read more into banners now. Cheers again Paul

  2. September 26th, 2011 at 20:23 | #2

    Thanks for the kudos Graeme. Looking forward to hearing about it.

  3. Ollie Brown
    October 6th, 2011 at 15:44 | #3

    It is interesting it see how click to call can mean so many different things. I guess no one has the name trademarked yet. Until I had read this article about how click to call dealt primarily with banner ads on the landing page I had always thought of click to call as a service to help sales reps improve the amount of calls they actually made to leads. This approach of using click to call to direct customers to sales rep right there from the web site seems like it could be an even more effective measure at generating revenue. Thanks for information on how to improve my company’s marketing strategy.

  1. June 4th, 2012 at 03:03 | #1