The “call to action” (or CTA) is a fairly simple concept: just ask people to do something. In exchange, you’ll collect important lead information. Surprisingly, a lot of businesses fail to use CTAs effectively...and lose potential business as a result.
Let’s take a look at the what, the where and the how of compelling CTAs.
Defining Your Goal = The What
Your goal might be to gather information, sell a product, ask for donations, or get feedback. Regardless, each of these goals is part of a larger goal: to bolster your lead pipeline. So, ask yourself: What do you want viewers to do? Why?
The first step to crafting an effective CTA is to define your goal. For example…
- Want to build your mailing list? Okay, your CTA could lead visitors to a contest entry, a white paper download, or a newsletter signup in exchange for personal details like name and email address.
- Selling a product or service? Cool. Your CTA might be, “Buy now” or “Join for free.”
- Other goals might include enticing viewers to like, share, donate, retweet, or provide input.
Reaching Your Audience = The Where
Be aware that the language you use in your compelling CTA will differ on different channels. Even though your end goal may be the same (say, “build our mailing list”), how you accomplish it depends on where you’re posting.
On your website, your CTA is straightforward:
Download our FREE white paper: Growth Cycle Marketing: A Proven Process for Attracting and Growing More Profitable Customers.
This compelling CTA is detailed, specific and actionable. Visitors know what they’re clicking and why. Simple and straightforward—with zero deception.
On Twitter, while the end game is still the same, your real value might be in spread, so you need to go for the retweet. Social scientist Dan Zarrella analyzed Jet Blue’s tweet lengths and found the most retweets happen when tweets are short—just 50 characters. What can you fit in 50 characters? How about…
Want more sales? Click here to learn Growth Cycle Marketing: http://growthcyclemarketing.com/
It includes a dynamic enticement (Want more sales?) and a CTA (Click here to learn). Everything you want to say in a tiny tweet.
On Facebook, your goal is interaction. Engage your customers by asking for opinions.
Are you using Growth Cycle Marketing? Your opinion matters! Tell us what you think in the comments.
When your customers interact with you, their friends see the discussion. Direct engagement increases your visibility. Your CTA is the invite to comment...but you’ve also included a link to your site, of course.
In email marketing, there are a whole host of other concerns. Before your recipients even see your CTA, you have to entice them to open your email and the prevalence of mobile users adds a whole new dimension of complexity to email marketing design. Stick with an irresistible subject line to really pull them in, then keep your CTA short and sweet within the email body.
Be Succinct = The How
Crafting an effective CTA means using the fewest words necessary for the greatest impact. The best CTAs have a hook for WOW factor paired with a clear CTA. Here are some of the best:
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Each of these brilliant CTAs outline the benefits of signing up and then provide clear instructions for what to do next. That’s really all it takes.