How to Create Stellar Call-to-Actions
The “call to action” (CTA) is an essential component of any marketing initiative. It’s the answer to “what now?” after any article, video, advertisement, blog or other promotional offer. The call to action represents a compelling message that is intended to get your prospects to do what you want them to do. It’s a vital step to lead generation (which 63% of marketers state it is their biggest challenge) and also guides prospects through the buying journey. Without a call to action, content on a web page or marketing channel can become a dead end for prospects that otherwise could turn into qualified leads.
Tips for Better Call-to-Actions
- Every marketing communication needs a CTA. That means marketers need to have a goal of what they want website visitors or other prospects and customers to do as a result of reading a blog, email, article or other form of communication. In other words, it is the built-in next step. A CTA may be to read the next blog, visit your company’s “about us” page, schedule an appointment, sign up for a free trial, download a white paper or make a purchase. This is the way CTAs support lead generation and engagement and also improve the SEO and crawlability of your website.
- Get graphic. Create CTA buttons that stand out without killing the design elements of the website or marketing piece. Consider using slightly different and less muted colors than your usual design with bold and clickable graphics. Test and find the right one that works for your audiences and brand. For example, button-shaped CTAs created a 45% boost in clicks for CreateDebate, while SAP found that orange CTAs boosted their conversion rate more than 32.5%. Keep CTAs visible or anchored, and ensure optimization for all devices.
- Evoke trust, urgency and value through messaging. While many variables and possibilities exist when choosing a CTA, there are three aspects that stand out above all else: trust, urgency and value. Depending on your brand, product and service, you can promote trust, urgency and value in many different ways. Some considerations are:
- Evoke emotion, excitement or enthusiasm.
- Stay concise, relevant and meaningful.
- Get creative with brand voice.
- Don’t “over-promise” and keep messaging results-driven.
- Use numbers or statistics when possible.
- Use strong command verbs or first-person language.
- Be exclusive with membership benefits or limited-time offers.
Review + Revise = Results
CTAs are no different than other aspects of marketing in that companies need to track and measure performance. It’s hard to know what your audience will respond to until you start experimenting. Continue to review and adjust the placement, design and wording of your CTAs based on observations and the data you collect from your target audiences. Just like the mantra in real estate is “location, location, location,” the mantra in marketing is “test, test, test.” Attention to continual refinement and improvement is the process that will generate the best results and ensure your CTAs are producing the results you seek.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gerri Knilans is president of Trade Press Services. As marketing communications strategists, serving organizations of all sizes and types since 1995, the company provides writing, media outreach and general marketing support to help clients accelerate growth and generate more visibility, credibility and name recognition in their marketplaces. For additional information,