What is a call to action?
A call to action (sometimes abbreviated CTA), not only applies to Web marketing but any type of marketing channel, and is quite literally a “call to make an “action”.
It could be in line text, or possibly an image which prompts your visitors to maybe call you, get a coupon, download your e-book, make an e-mail booking or many other such desirable “actions”.
Your call to action is important because it’s what leads your visitors on from hearing about how great your services or products are and then pushes them in the direction you’d like them to go. It’s a little out of scope for this post, but believe us when we say having a call to action on important pages on your website is crucial for converting customers into your sales funnel.
A lot of web designers forget the main reason most websites are built is to find new website visitors and convert them into customers. Your call to action is a very important part of this process and when you understand the concept it’s something you can easily check on your website and make changes where needed.
Maybe you’re still unsure of what we’re talking about so we’ve got a great example below. This image has two very clear call to actions which leaves nothing to imagination on how to sign up to Mail Chimp’s service…perfect.
Mastering the Art of Creating a Compelling Call to Action
Here’s a truth that can totally change the way you approach your online projects. It’s acknowledging that you can have really wonderful content, but still be selling yourself short if you’ve not mastered creating a compelling call to action. It’s a secret that separates those that over perform from those who “just do okay” with their marketing. Knowing what works and what doesn’t in a call to action is a game changer.
The good news? They aren’t hard to master once get your head around their importance, and put some effort into understanding what works and what doesn’t. The tips that follow will give you a big head start.
1. Be Clear About Your Goal
The goal of your call to action should be clear, first to yourself and then secondly to your prospect. If you aren’t sure what the desired end result is this uncertainty is going to carry over into your writing and these results will be less than spectacular. Be clear and focused.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
Hopefully this is a principle you have been exposed to in the past. It’s one of the basic strategies in sales and you should always keep it in mind when you are creating your call to action, trying to drive home that your prospect needs to act NOW. Coming back later on is not a good option.
You can do this by offering a “limited time” special of some kind or offer information that if not accessed immediately will leave the prospect at an incredible disadvantage. Strive for this to be as clear and black and white as possible. The deeper your sense of urgency strikes, the better the response to your call of action will be.
3. Use Numbers and Images
In marketing circles it’s universally agreed that using numbers and images in calls to action translates to drastically improved results. There’s something about both which builds trust and interest, two things that deliver the “action” you’re looking for. On top of this, using a good image will also make sure your call to action isn’t skipped over, which is the last thing you want. So make sure each and every call to action contains both.
4. Make It Easy to Respond To
Your calls to action should be as easy as possible to answer. This means clickable links, obviously. If there’s any confusion at all how to respond to your call, you’ve made a big mistake that you need to fix as quickly as possible. Some campaigns we’ve been called in to adjust have gone from cold to red hot by fixing this one simple, but crucial, error.
5. Repeat Yourself
There’s a certain power in making sure your call to action is absolutely clear and then repeating for good measure. This drives home what you’re asking the prospect to do, and makes sure that if they missed the point at first they’ve caught it the second (or third) time.
The art here is in doing this in a way that doesn’t seem desperate or overbearing. Another good tip is to take a look around at some successful big company websites. Many have huge marketing spends with marketers who know how to play the game. This works wonders in speeding up the learning process of mastering it yourself.
Make these simple changes and you can expect your call to actions to be much more compelling and effective!