How to Use Calls-to-Action Effectively for Maximum Benefits
One of the major motivations behind implementing a marketing strategy is to inspire someone to do what you want them to do. However, that raises the question of how one can be sure that their audience reacts they way they want them to? The simple answer: by using a call-to-action.
Calls-to-action, or CTAs, are the utility knife in a marketer’s toolbox--with a few quick adjustments, they can be used to help facilitate almost any marketing goal. As such, they are a critical component to include on your website. Perhaps most recognizably seen in television infomercials that repeatedly shout “CALL NOW” at a viewer along with a phone number, a well-crafted CTA does its job with considerably more finesse. A quality CTA is built to draw your audience toward advancing in the sales funnel to ultimately become a client. A common example of a CTA might be to request that a site visitor provide their contact information in exchange for access to a piece of bonus content, thereby allowing you to build a list of prospects to pursue.
Of course, a CTA may be used to reach other goals as well. With strategies that evolve as they progress through the sales funnel, many contacts can be nudged from “lead” status to become a fully-fledged “prospect,” and can even be encouraged to draw in other, new leads. This is achieved by adjusting the action a CTA calls for: whether your audience is encouraged to make contact with you for more information, continue their activity on your site, subscribe to some of your other materials, or even close a sale. These lead nurturing activities are what ultimately draw a lead through the funnel, and are generated through the inclusion of a CTA.
Of course, not all CTAs are created equal. Without a careful strategy, they could very well present themselves as gracefully as the shouted “CALL NOW” of an infomercial, becoming less effective in influencing the behavior and actions that they are intended to. To avoid self-sabotaging your own efforts, it helps to follow these best practices when constructing your CTAs.
- Incentives and Benefits to Encourage Urgency - When writing out your CTA, emphasize the benefits that completing the action will bring. It often helps to offer an incentive for doing so, such as a free downloadable resource, as this will motivate your audience to act. Putting limits on these offers will also motivate your audience to act sooner rather than later, when they risk forgetting all about your efforts.
- Keep it Super Simple - There’s truth to the acronym tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) and the tried-and-true KISS rule. If your initiative requires too much work on the part of your audience, or is more complex than filling out a few fields with their information, fewer potential contacts will be willing to complete the action that you called them to.
- Make it Match - You will want your CTAs to hit a balance between standing out and blending into the rest of the page. This will require a little bit of planning in advance, as they will be influenced by both the language and syntax your site uses, along with the visual design scheme your site follows. You end result should be easily noticeable without detracting too much attention from the page content. It is also best to keep your CTAs above the fold of the webpage, so a visitor doesn’t have to scroll to see it. It is never a bad idea to generate a few options and test them out individually before deciding on a set of CTA guidelines.
Once you’ve created your ideal calls to action, you will need to put them somewhere that they will be seen. The most natural place is on the pages of your website, where you can customize them to tie in to the content of each page, or even the point in your sales cycle that the typical page visitor has reached. However, don’t feel confined to incorporating them exclusively on your website--CTAs have a place in just about every aspect of your marketing. You should include them in your email blasts, incentivizing your readers to take action throughout the subject line and body of your message.
Blogs are another excellent space to include a CTA or two. Including one on the page’s sidebar and in the conclusion of a blog entry provide your readers with multiple opportunities to follow through with the actions you’ve recommended. Finally, as has been briefly mentioned, advertisements are an excellent place to include a CTA, especially when retargeting previous visitors and enticing them to return.
Calls-to-action can be an excellent method to guiding your prospects and leads through the steps of the sales cycle, although developing them properly will take plenty of practice. However, considering the increased lead development you can enjoy (plus the added benefit of a more authoritative web presence) makes it all worth it in the end! Try them out for yourself, or reach out to us at http://jmct.io/letstalk (see, CTAs can go everywhere)!