This October I attended SHSMD 2015, and in many of the great sessions, two themes emerged time and time again: the importance of data and content. Of course, this makes sense.
Data informs our understanding of who our audience is, how they behave and what they want. Building from that data, we create compelling content which educates, encourages, supports and guides our audiences.
There is, however, one thing that connects both: calls to action (CTAs).
In writing this article, I looked at websites of both big and small hospitals. Investigating different service lines, I discovered many organizations are using phone numbers, links to additional site content, request an appointment buttons and quizzes/assessments as calls to action.
At first glance, these may not seem like valuable calls to action. But they can be.
A good call to action generates engagement and action, allows you to identify and cultivate a relationship with the visitor, and can be traced to dollars flowing into your organization. Good calls to action:
- Move visitors toward becoming a patient.
- Give visitors an opportunity to identify themselves as interested in your topic, service or event.
If your call to action is doing these and you use them to start a conversation, they can be very valuable.
Let’s look at four examples of calls to action that can help you build relationships with your website visitors.
The value of an online health assessment or quiz is what you do with the information you collect. By taking a quiz/assessment, your visitor has indicated they are interested or concerned about a particular health topic. What a great opportunity to utilize an automated email marketing campaign! As part of the quiz/assessment, make sure to collect their contact information. Then set up a campaign that helps them navigate the ins and outs of discovering and deciding on their next step.
Request More Information
If your site has comprehensive information on each topic, why do you need to offer to send more information? Because it’s possible that the visitor has all the factual information they need, but still isn’t ready to take the next step. By giving them the option to request more information, you are able to identify prospective patients that might be invisible to you now. It also gives you the opportunity to send information that might make them more comfortable, such as patient stories, doctor spotlights, and related event information. This is another great opportunity to use an automated email campaign to follow up with visitors.
Sign Up: Emails & Newsletters
Allowing site visitors to sign up to receive emails targeted to their interests enables you to identify prospective patients and continue to engage them long after they leave your website. Not only will your organization benefit from the ongoing conversation, but you will also be delivering a service that your site visitors want and need. Win-win!
The strongest call to action on a website is, of course, a request an appointment/contact us form, because you can use them to track engagement. But phone numbers can also have a place on a hospital website. Make the most of the phone numbers on your site by linking them to a trackable code that can be monitored using Google Analytics. And as a tip, try to use only one phone number for any given call to action; multiple numbers can be confusing to your visitors.
Ultimately, a strong call to action is needed on every page of your website. When you consider how crucial they are, it makes sense to invest the time needed to get them right. Once you do, your online efforts will achieve the success you’re working toward.
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