CTA is a Call To Action. CTAs are a part of your website, online shop or marketing materials. Your overarching marketing strategy should include pointed and winning CTAs. They are essentially the way you are asking customers to interact. They range from short and sweet to more complex. You should have a coherent strategy behind the CTAs that you publish on your website and throughout your marketing content.
A good CTA has five basic elements:
These are the five most important things that every CTA should be. It is problematic when a single webpage has multiple ways for a consumer to interact. If you think about your website from a customer interaction perspective, this leads to being overwhelmed and can increase bounce rates or deter buy-in. If done well, CTAs will convert leads. Let's linger with this idea a little bit.
You need to be consistent with the way that you invite customers to buy from you. This can be as simple as using the same language across all of your CTAs. For example, you shouldn't use "Buy Now" and "Purchase." Pick one. Standardize your language so that it's recognizable. The more comfortable customers feel, the more confidently they will purchase from you.
When you think of CTAs in this way, they are part of brand-building and encouraging repeat customers. Pick a primary CTA for each webpage and be consistent with directing visitors to that CTA (through anchors, perhaps). You want customers to feel that they understand what they will experience when they buy from you. Consistent CTAs are part of that buying environment.
In a world of brand-building and storytelling, it's important that you get to the point. Don't overestimate your customer. People react to clear directives. Tell them what to do. At the very least, your CTA should tell them what you want them to do. Even if they're not ready to do it, this levels the interaction and provides clear communication.
"Sign Up Now," "Subscribe," "Buy Now," "Click Here" these are all direct and to the point. Don't muddle your CTAs with whimsical language, brand-specific vocabulary or other distinctive elements. Keep it very simple and straightforward. Just like with marketing copy, your CTA should very clearly delineate who you are, what you're selling and how a customer can buy it. Don't get it twisted. Just call them to action.
Every so often you'll come to a website and not know how to move around. This clunky customer interaction can be the result of unclear CTAs. In other words, if you've ever asked "where do I sign up?" "what am I supposed to click on?" that confusion is the result of poor CTA strategies. A good CTA strategy will create obvious CTAs. Again, you're not trying to get cute or creative here. Use what works. Simple, clear directives.
It should be painfully obvious what a customer is supposed to do. A giant easy button, if you will. Because you are probably writing most of these for digital spaces, you have the advantage of actual buttons. Make sure all of the buttons on your website look the same. In many website templates and creators, you will create a bank of CTAs that you then pull and place as you create each individual web page. This will help you keep your calls straight.
Many businesses I work with are small to midsize and owner-run. When your business is also your passion, it's easy to want to avoid some classic marketing techniques because they feel impersonal or manipulative. That's understandable. However, direct asking people to buy your product or secure your service is important to making money. You are in business to provide the best product or service and to make the money you deserve to make for providing it. This should empower you to boldly craft straightforward CTAs.
When this is a dynamic you are thinking through, whether you are brand-new or an established business, it's best to think of your CTA as an invitation. You are offering something awesome. People need to know about it and to have it. Invite them into the experience. Join now, sign up, click here... these are all ways to thoughtfully direct people to joining your customer base. Whether you think of them as family, community or part of your larger culture, you still want them to spend money. They are more likely to do so if you ask them to.
Many times, you will have a primary CTA that is prominent on your website and in ads. You will also run seasonal ads, offers and other kinds of marketing content. This direct B2C marketing needs thoughtfully designed CTAs that adds to the value of the customer experience. Sometimes, you will create campaigns that focus on offers.
Offer-driven CTAs provide an exchange: I'll give you X if you do Y. Offers are a basic structural element of a comprehensive marketing strategy. You want to offer coupons, freebies, add-ons and upgrades. These are important to incentivize customers. When you create and run a campaign like this, you will want distinctive CTAs that make the offer crystal clear. Be sure to think this through and be consistent with your wording and delivery.
Call your customers to action with CTAs that are consistent, direct, obvious, inviting and offer-driven. There are many ways that this strategy will be executed in your specific small business or company. Marketing copywriters, marketing strategists and freelance writers may be helpful to you as you create copy that is consistent and high-quality. Hire a writer or one of the many, other online platforms for hiring freelance writers can help you with that. Click here to learn more (see what I did there?)!
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