Four effective “calls to action” to use on your union campaign website

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Calls to action should be the life-blood of your union’s campaign website (and indeed, your main union website). Whether you want the visitor to join your union, send an email, donate to a strike fund or subscribe to your union newsletter, your website should be geared around encouraging visitors to your site to do something.

Making a great call to action is more of an art than a science – there is no magic formula, since different unions, websites, actions and campaigns will have different challenges and backgrounds. However, what can help your union is testing – A/B Testing lets you try two or more variations of your call to action and see which gets the best results.

Another thing unions can do is look at organisations and campaigns that have a lot more money, time and expertise – and see what they do. After all, why should unions reinvent the wheel? And of course, there are some unions that are as good as the best non-profit and political

Barack Obama

Obama’s website and online strategy was credited for leading his campaign’s fundraising efforts. Not only did the Obama campaign regularly change his site’s splash page (aimed at signing people up), but they made extensive use of A/B Testing of content, buttons, colours and photos vs videos.

His main site (the image above is from the splash site) has three prominent calls to action “above the fold” (that is, the section of the website that is visible without scrolling). Obama’s site is a good example also of strong verbs linked to the call to action. Each of the call to action buttons have been extensively tested – and different buttons appear when you are logged in to MyBO, depending on how often you interact with the site, donate or do something.

National Union of Workers

I’ve written previously about the NUW website, designed by Publicity Works, as a good example of a union website. The NUW website has three prominent calls to action (only two are visible above) – which are “join”, “get active” and “get help”, which are clearly tied to the main reasons visitors would go to the NUW site.

The NUW call to action buttons are different from the other examples here, because they don’t look like buttons. If I were the NUW, I’d do some A/B testing to see if people interact with the buttons more if they looked different. Nevertheless, they are prominent and different. The good thing however is that the buttons are consistent and throughout the site have a similar slanted design for other buttons.

Finally, the buttons sit across “the fold” – that is, for many screen resolutions the calls to action may not be visible without scrolling. Luckily, the main menu items at the top of the site are similar to the three main calls to action – “get active”, “get informed” and “get assistance” – so the site really has two prominent calls to action.

Firefox Internet Browser

Firefox is the web browser that has given the juggernaught Internet Explorer a run for its money. In just a few short years, Firefox went from no presence to more than 10% of global browser usage, and directly caused Microsoft to introduce modern features.

The Firefox website is effectively a campaign site aimed at explaining why the visitor should download Firefox, and then providing a very clear instruction on how to do so. Compare the simplicity and clean design of the Firefox site to more colourful, busy version for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer site. The entire site almost entirely fits “above the fold” – there is no extraneous text or images, and it’s all geared to it’s core purpose: getting you to download the browser.

The call to action not only has a beautiful icon of Firefox’s logo, as well as a nice large, green button with clear explanatory text and secondary information (which you can bet had its colour and text A/B tested).

Australian Services Union

The Australian Services Union have just got a new website. I’ve chosen this example to show how unions can integrate a strong call to action in their banner image. While the site does have a lot going on – including news, a large menu, campaign graphics, photos of officers and so on, the main image on the homepage has a clear call to action: “join”.

The call to action in this case is preceded by the question “not a member” – so the “join” button is placed in context.

These buttons are built into the flash image – so the background image changes, and the buttons change when you hover your mouse over them (a nice feature).

This site could probably have its homepage simplified a bit, to make its core purpose(s) clearer – in this case, joining, info for new members, and a delegates’ portal seem to be the primary actions on the site, but at the moment they are all competing for attention.

[box type=”info”]Read about how to make the ultimate union campaign website here.[/box]

What do you think? Do you have any other examples of good union calls to action (or any good calls to action generally)?

2 responses to “Four effective “calls to action” to use on your union campaign website”

  1. Jason Mann Avatar

    Hey Alex,

    Agreed. Strong (and well tested) calls to action make BIG differences.

    Driving 3 times the amount of traffic to a campaign website is HARD – but tweaking a website through A/B testing to produce 3 times the results is EASY.

    At Strategic Organizing we did a case study showing how a union more than doubled their organizing leads for the year – not by doubling their organizing budget – but by changing 6 words on their website.

    The case study is here

    I'll put a link to this article on our Facebook page – this is a good resource.

  2. Alexander White Avatar

    Hi Jason,

    Good point about trying different messages that resonate on the "join" page – this is something that very few unions do, but is standard practice for other membership based organisations.

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