Including a persuasive call to action (CTA) in your marketing efforts can help drive your visitors to take immediate action. A call to action urges your readers and visitors to do something at once, such as click a button, submit an email address, or call for a free consultation. Their action provides them with something valuable, usually information, in exchange for entering your marketing funnel.
Having a great offer is not enough if your reader doesn’t know how to respond to it. Here are some effective CTA strategies you can put to use right now to boost inquiries, customer data capture, and eventually, sales.
1. Have More Than One Call to Action
The most common calls to action occur in a sentence at the end of marketing materials (be it an email, website, or blog). “Contact us today for more information” or a variant is probably the simplest CTA format. Your content must have at least one call to action to tell the reader what to do next. To improve response even further, include more than one CTA.
2. Choose Strategic Locations
Above the fold: Include a CTA above the fold on the first page of your site, sales letter, or other content. The term “above the fold” originated in the newspaper industry where the most important news and headlines were placed at top of the page, which would be visible when the papers were folded and stacked for sale. Putting a CTA “above the fold” on your site means placing it where it can be seen immediately without scrolling.
In the utility navigation: A “Get Started” or “Learn More” button in the navigation bars at the top or bottom of your page can encourage visitors to take action.
In the margin: You could include a signup button or offer along the side of your content where readers will see it as they scroll.
Above the footer: The end-of-page CTA can be a good anchor for your page, providing a reason for site visitors to take action while the information they’ve just read is still fresh in their minds. If they’ve read all the way to the end of your page or sales letter, they are likely interested, so provide a means to further engage at the end of your text.
3. Know How Much is Too Much
While CTA strategies recommend more than one call to action, be careful you don’t err at the other extreme by including too many. If you do, site visitors will be overwhelmed and may view this as a sign of desperation or insincerity. And if the CTAs all look different, it will imply that they all are different, and become confusing.
4. Clearly Communicate the Offer
Tell your customers exactly what they’ll get when they respond to your call to action. Don’t just say “Enter your email address and click here to receive a newsletter.” Make it clear what kind of newsletter it is, what types of subjects will be covered, and how the information in the newsletter will help the visitor solve their personal or professional problems.
Compelling content is a powerful marketing tool, but don’t blunt its edge by being mysterious about what you’re going to provide. If it’s a series (such as an ongoing newsletter) be clear about how often they will receive it. You might offer subscription management, such as letting people choose a weekly round-up over a daily email.
Hidden or difficult-to-find CTAs don’t benefit either you or your potential customer. The layout of your page should ensure that your CTAs are easy to find. Don’t hide them on other pages, tuck them in beside small-text telephone numbers, or make them available only after multiple clicks or searching.
Place CTAs in conspicuous places on the page so they can be easily and quickly seen.
Highlight CTAs in some way to make sure they are visible, such as with graphics or visual embellishments.
Use clear type that is large enough to be easily read.
Use contrasting colors that let your submission buttons and other CTA elements stand out from the background of the page.
Include all relevant information within the CTA, such as phone numbers and email.
6. Prioritize Your CTAs
Remember, not all CTAs carry the same priority. A call to action urging a customer to “Buy now!” will be a higher priority than one that offers a white paper to read. Make sure the highest-priority CTAs are the most convenient to reply to and the easiest to find.
7. Use a CTA That is Contextually Relevant
This “Submit” call to action button follows a survey and is completely relevant to the context. Without this call to action, the prospect would have no way at all to take the next step, which is giving you their all-important contact information. If this call to action were to download a white paper, it would be an abrupt, confusing shift in subject.
Another example: if you’re writing a blog post is about pre-season maintenance for furnaces, don’t include a CTA that references air conditioning.
As buyers increasingly turned to the web to educate themselves, a company’s website has become their single most important asset to catch attention and generate interest — and generate leads. That’s where our eBook, How to Attract More Prospects, can be extremely helpful. Read about the most effective demand generation tactics, including crafting compelling CTAs, and learn how to turn your website into a lead generation machine.
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