The terms "Call to action" sounds fairly straight forward but, in reality, many business owners, sales teams and marketers fail to grasp what a call to action is - or should I say, what an effective call to action is.
In this article, we will discuss what a call to action is, how it should be use and how to make it as effective as possible.
What is a call to action in marketing campaigns?
A call to action is, as the name suggests, a call or message to prompt someone to take action - and while this sounds straightforward, it's often under used or under-estimated in how powerful it can be.
Many marketers either fail to have the right call to action, position it badly or don’t have a call to action at all in their marketing!
The call to action (or CTA) can vary depending on various factors such as the type of campaign, the channel being used and the how ready a customer is to buy. In printed marketing and on a website the CTA could be a special offer and with a face-to-face meeting or phone call with a potential customer the CTA could be to arrange the next meeting or to email more information.
Take it steady, or get to the point?
For most businesses there are always customers who are ready to buy and customers who want to find out more about your brand, what you offer and if you are a trusted brand to buy from. Both types of customers should be targeted with different marketing campaigns.
The customer who is willing to buy is more likely to accept a call to action that’s direct, such as ‘if you order today then you will receive an extra month for free and 20% off’ but a customer who is still in the early stages of making a decision is more likely to need a softer approach as part of a longer sales. In this case, offering a call to action such as a free guide on how to achieve something or another offer that isn’t immediately going to get the sale is more effective.
In my next blog I will include more detail on how to make call to actions more effective but here are some ways you can be more effective in your marketing:
A call to action needs to be easily accessible and having it at the top and the bottom of marketing materials and landing pages is more effective. If your website has lots of images and words then the call to action needs to stand out and having it visible at the top makes it easier to find.
Have a CTA!
It sounds obvious but it’s easy to forget a call to action. Check your marketing and communications to make sure you have a call to action as much as sensibly possible. This should include web pages, marketing materials, blog posts and your email signature - even if it’s just a link to drive someone to read your blog posts.
Make it desirable, even irresistible!
Sorry but ‘click here’, ‘sign up’ and ‘submit’ don’t get me excited and want to take action. Signing up and submitting are also considered negative subconsciously (are you ready to submit or commit to ‘signing up’ even if it’s just for a regular email newsletter?). Phrases such as ‘save me money’, ‘show me how’ and ‘join’ are more powerful and more likely to prompt a potential customer to take action.
In my book, How To Create A Perfect Landing Page, I talk about how CTAs are possibly THE most important element in a landing page if the aim is to convert visitors into paying customers. You can find out more by grabbing a copy of my easy to read book on Amazon.
If you need help designing more effective marketing campaigns and call to actions then get in touch for a free marketing review.
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The opinions in these blog posts are those of marketing expert and book author Darren Hignett.