Creating A Call To Action That Works

Inaction. The opposite of something happening. This is exactly what you don’t want for your website or online business. A Call To Action, or CTA, that inspires action can lead to increased engagement, more subscribers, and greater conversions. 

What is a Call To Action?

A CTA is a button (or a part of your copy) that motivates your target audience to take some form of action. It gets people to do something. Online shopping uses CTA’s to get people to ‘Buy Now’, to ‘Purchase” or to “Check out your shopping cart’. But anyone can make effective use of a Call To Action. 

Maybe you want to grow your subscriber list. Or perhaps you want to increase donations. You might just want people to read more, or become better informed. If you want your audience to take action, in any way, you need to provide them with an opportunity to do so. 

But getting people to click a button isn’t as easy as it sounds. For one thing, most of the sites you visit use this tactic. Users have become wary of Special Offers and Limited Time Deals. So you need a fresh and effective approach. 

Creating a CTA

Where and When

There is plenty of discussion over where to place a Call To Action. Some argue it should be above the fold (and therefore visible as soon as you arrive at a page). Others don’t think this makes a significant difference. Some prefer pop-ups. Personally, I find pop-ups distracting and generally I close them before taking the time to read them. 

With Gutenberg and block plugins like Stackable, you can add CTA blocks to your copy, like the example below. Alternatively, you can use pop-ups that appear when someone enters a page, when they’re half way through or when they’re about to leave.

Your Main CTA goes here

Add some text to make your point and get your readers motivated

There are plenty of options – you just need to find out what works for your audience. If you’re not sure what works, do some A/B testing to see what gets the best response. 

Position is probably less important though, than timing. You want the CTA to be placed where it will have the greatest impact. If you want someone to ‘Read more…’ then they need to have read enough to know they want more information. To ‘Buy Now’ you need to first showcase what you’re selling. 

Consider your Audience

Knowing your audience can go a long way towards helping you make the right decisions for placement and timing. But there are some other factors you should consider when it comes to your users. 

People, no matter who they are, don’t have time anymore. Fast-paced interactions are the norm. So whatever you’re offering, make sure it isn’t going to cost anyone their time. Quick results, quick transactions, quick engagements!

Speaking of cost, your audience isn’t likely to want to spend money. If it’s free, or discounted, you’re on the right track. If it’s easy and painless, even better. 

Now you need to convey this in your Call To Action. You need your audience to see what’s in it for them, what the benefits are, while noting that it won’t take up their time or cost them too much. Here are some ideas on how to do that:

Call to Action examples

You can also create a sense of urgency. Nobody wants to miss out out on anything. So make use of this FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out); limit the time frame or the number of items on sale. Make it essential to BUY NOW!

Overall, an enthusiastic results-driven approach to CTA’s works. It shows your audience what they can get by clicking on the button. They need a reason to take action, so give them one. 

Watch your Language

The language you use is probably one of the most important elements of your CTA. It can inspire action, or stop your readers dead in their tracks. 

The tricky thing with a Call to Action is that you need to be concise. You can’t add too much info or your audience will stop reading long before they get to clicking the button. In other words, get to your point quickly. 

The best way to do this is to use direct, actionable language. Giving your users a specific action to take makes it easier for them. Words like ‘Buy’, ‘Play’ or ‘Read’ tell people exactly what you want them to do. It makes the action clear, while avoiding any confusion.

It also helps to use the right pronouns. Have you seen a pop-up promising quick results or a free course, or something along these lines? Then you are given two choices: ‘Yes, sign me up’ or ‘No, I don’t want instant success’.

The words may change, but the sentiment is the same. And it works because it gets you thinking about what you need. Clicking that No button often makes you pause and reconsider. Don’t I want instant success? Don’t I want to learn more, be more or do more? The use of first person pronouns makes it personal and it makes people think consider the answer. 

Make it look amazing

Your CTA’s appearance is another important factor. You can have the best wording in the world, but if it doesn’t stand out it won’t get any clicks. 

There’s some debate over which colour buttons work best, but all you’re really looking for is a colour that stands out. Use a colour that contrast with the background. If you’re using a picture, make sure it stands out and adds emphasis to your CTA (rather than just looking pretty).

When it comes to the button itself, go for something that looks like a button. Don’t make it difficult for your users to figure out where to click. You need to make your button clickable. 

Use numbers. Have a big 50% off or make the 1/2 price stand out. Promos, percentages and other numbers are eye-catching and appealing. They’re sure to grab your audiences’ attention and help you convert. 

Some final tips…

Your Call To Action should be emotive and encourage your readers to take action, whatever that may be. Get creative, keep your ideas fresh and original, but most of all, make sure it is clear what you want your audience to do. 

On that note, stick to one main CTA. Too many choices and your audience will be left feeling overwhelmed, and probably opting out of taking any action.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t have a secondary CTA: ‘Sign up now! Already a member? Login to continue reading’. The Call To Action is to sign up or register. But for people who have already done so, there’s a second, relevant CTA. This way you’re not losing any existing clients, and your appeals are both applicable to the action you want people to take. 

Keep your Call to Action fresh and relevant to your audience. Make it stand out and be clear about what action you want people to take. And remember to use A/B testing to figure out what works. Most of all, use your CTA to inspire action. 

Featured image by Ash Edmonds on Unsplash

Marketing Email Tips You Can’t Do Without

Once you’ve got your Marketing Email list ready to go, you’ll need to start sending newsletters. Regular newsletters or marketing emails can improve your communication with your customers and help you build good relationships. The tips below will show you just what you need to do to create an awesome newsletter.

Marketing Emails Should Be Consistent

Whether you send once a week or once every two months, your newsletters should go out regularly. When someone signs up for a weekly mail or a monthly newsletter, that’s what they expect. They don’t want to wait three weeks for their weekly news, or conversely, get mails every week instead of once a month.

Regular communication also helps build your relationship and lets your customers know that you’re still around and still relevant.

Craft Your Subject Line Carefully

The first thing someone will see in your newsletter is your subject line. For Email Marketing to be successful, you need a good open rate (among other things). So your subject line has to entice people to open the newsletter.

To this end, subject lines should be relevant and interesting. HubSpot says your subject line should include “actionable language” such as verbs or something that implies action. Something like ‘Don’t Miss out on Opening Day Specials’ implies action: you want to make sure you buy items on Opening Day.

HubSpot also recommends creating relevance by personalizing your subject line. You can use the person’s name, but this tactic has been done before. Rather try segmenting your lists and using language that speaks to each groups’ location, gender, or age, for example. Most importantly, maintain relevance by ensuring that the subject line conforms to the body of the email. Don’t promise one thing and deliver something different.

Catchy subject lines are a great idea, but they first need to be clear. If someone doesn’t know what they’re going to get, they’re unlikely to open their email. So begin by writing a clear, interesting subject line. Then if you can, tweak it to make it catchy.

Preview text, the copy which appears after your subject line in the inbox, can also be used to your advantage. Use it to amplify the message of your subject line, or add something humorous here.

Write Compelling Copy

Once you’ve convinced someone to open your email, you now have to entice them to read it. Hopefully this will also result in click throughs to your site, thereby driving traffic and helping you convert this into revenue. This is why you need compelling copy.

Your choice of words is important. If you sound too much like spam, or you use over-exaggerated, too-enthusiastic marketing lingo, you’ll lose your readers. The same is true for copy that is boring. A conversational tone, with easy-to-read language should be your goal.

You also want to avoid overloading the newsletter with cluttered content. It’s easier to focus on one specific topic says HubSpot, and include a mix of educational and promotional content (with the emphasis being on educational). Use white space to help avoid the feeling of a cluttered newsletter.

Besides, your copy should offer a taste of your site’s content. Use compelling wording to entice your readers to click through to longer blogs and articles. This way you can keep the newsletter content short, sweet and to the point, while driving traffic to your site.

Remember to read through your copy! This applies to anything you write, whether for your newsletter or your site. Your content may include all the right keywords, but if your spelling, grammar and general language is poorly written, your readers won’t stick around for long.

Add a Call To Action

Email marketing can be used to inspire and motivate your readers to take action. But you need to tell them what action they need to take. This is where your CTA (Call To Action) comes in.

You can use a CTA to encourage people to buy your product or try out your service. But it’s also handy for building your social media following, or getting people to rate your service, or asking for a donation. The possibilities are many.

But your newsletter should only contain one main CTA – there can be others, but you should only really focus on one. Make your Call To Action clear, to-the-point and simple to do. Use links, use active language, and create a sense of urgency. OptinMonster says that people really do have FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – so use this to your advantage.

Make Use of Images Wisely

Visual aids can go a long way in helping you communicate with, and appeal to your subscribers. Images can brighten up your newsletters, draw attention to promotions or new articles, and help you get your message across without being too wordy.

But you need to practice caution. Too many images can be as distracting as text-heavy emails. Try to avoid adding clutter to your newsletters with lots of little images, and rather select just a few to convey your message.

Also remember that not everyone will download or open your images. So you need to include Alt Text (the text you see when an image doesn’t open) with your images. You also need to ensure that your email can be understood without having to see the image.

And Remember…

You need to give people the option to unsubscribe. Be sure to include an Unsubscribe button or link, and make it obvious. There is little more frustrating than searching for an Unsubscribe link that’s been hidden in complicated language in tiny print at the end of a very long email.

Finally, test your campaigns. Use an A/B split to find out what appeals more to your readers. See what works, and learn what doesn’t.

Using a marketing email is an effective way of communicating with your readers, and it’s essential for building your community. But everything from your subject line to your Call To Action needs to be carefully thought out, drafted and tested.

Featured Image by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash