Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Create an Effective Call to Action

By Karen Preston-Loeb

One of the most important elements in advertising and marketing is the call to action, or CTA. This tells the consumer what you want them to do.

A solid call to action will grab the user’s attention and direct them to take a desired action, whether it be to purchase an item or click through to a website. The call to action can boost conversions; it is the difference between a user bouncing away from a website and a reader becoming a customer by signing up to receive blog posts, reading your website, requesting a free trial, or even purchasing a product.

Good CTAs need to be compelling. Here are some tips to create an effective call to action:

Be direct
Tell your target audience exactly what you want them to do, and use a strong command verb. Text should be short and to the point, enabling the reader to grasp exactly what you want them to do at first glance, while also creating a sense of urgency. The CTA is your sales clincher, so be persuasive.

Make it stand out
The CTA can be a button or a clickable line of text, but if it is not easily found, it is not going be effective. Make sure your CTA stands out on your ad. Place the CTA in an expected logical position. Use graphic elements of color, size, and surrounding white space to visually direct users to the correct spot. And remember to size the CTA appropriately for mobile devices. It is always a good idea to test different graphic elements to see what works best for your customer.

Get creative
Keep your content fresh. The call to action text is part of your advertising copy and should be treated as such. Use engaging copy that ties into your ad and gets your customer to act. Steer clear of bland words like “submit” and use friendly dialogue. Using the voice of the customer in a personalized approach such as “Show me my plan,” or “Yes! Take me there!” can be effective. Readers should understand the copy and be able to relate to it without too much technical jargon. Be clever while staying clear in your message.

Entice your customers with a unique selling point
Make sure your call to action gives your customers a reason to click through. A unique selling point (USP) is a factor that differentiates a product from its competitors. This could be a lower cost, a complimentary consultation, a free trial, or even a blog post that would benefit the user to read. The unique selling point differentiates the resulting product from its competitors.

Offer instant gratification
While we have heard the notion that good things come to those who wait, in marketing, waiting can result in a high bounce rate. People want instant satisfaction. When persuading a user with a call to action, it is important not to delay giving them what they want, as this can affect your conversion rate. Reward the user immediately, and use action words such as “now.”

An effective call to action that customers cannot resist will boost traffic, improve click-through rates and convert prospects into customers. An effective call to action also can vary according to the target audience. Be sure to test yours to see what works for your company.

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