Creating an effective call to action (CTA) is vital to your company’s overall success. Not only is an effective CTA necessary for marketing efforts, but it can greatly increase your financial bottom line.
What is a CTA?
“CTA” is an acronym standing for “call-to-action.” Typically located at the end of content, a CTA tells the consumer what action you’d like them to take next. For a CTA to be effective, it needs to be clear, concise, relevant, and create a sense of urgency. Examples of a good call-to-action might look like this:
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Step by step information on how to ensure your call-to-action is effective are outlined below.
Step 1. Know your goal
Before you craft a single call to action, you should have clearly defined marketing goals. This will ensure the best results because you’ll be actively working towards a goal instead of choosing something at random.
If your quarterly marketing goals are to increase your company’s two main social media accounts likes and/or follows by 25%. You can then create CTAs that refer people to your Facebook or Twitter pages (or whatever social media sites your company uses).
If you didn’t have defined marketing goals, you might craft a few CTAs directing content consumers to social media, try to grab a few eBook downloads, and snag a few email subscribers. While that might do some good, it isn’t going to build a lot of momentum.
Step 2. Relevant content creation
Defining your marketing goals will do more than drive results and allow increasing momentum, it will also tell you what kind of content your company should be creating that month, quarter, year, etc. The content needs to be relevant to the CTA.
This is where a lot of companies become confused. While there are occasions where great content ideas simply come to you and you decide to craft a call to action around that lightbulb idea, it should generally be the other way around. Since the CTA is one of the primary ways content marketing drives results, content ideas should be formulated around that goal.
Aligning your content creation with your call to action (and thus, your marketing goals) will also allow you to target the appropriate keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). All these content marketing techniques intricately connect to drive results.
If you want consumers to download a free eBook so you can gather their contact information, you would want your blog or website content to be on the same topic as the eBook.
If your company’s free eBook is an in-depth marketing guide for small start-up businesses, your content might include topics like “How to Market Your Start-Up on Social Media” and “10 Free Marketing Tactics for Small Businesses.” The CTA could then be “For more information on marketing your small start-up business, download our free eBook today!”
Step 3. Write the CTA
The time has come to write the call-to-action itself. While it may seem easy (and perhaps even mindlessly so), an effective CTA can’t be thrown together. Before writing a CTA, think about the checklist items below. After writing your CTA, go over the checklist to ensure all points were met. This will ensure you are writing effective CTAs that will garner results.
- Be concise. Be brief and get directly to the point.
- Be clear. Get directly to the point and tell consumers what to do – don’t ask them. This might sound rude, but asking sounds less certain and can confuse consumers.
- Use words that create a sense of urgency. These words include: now, today, immediately, limited time, urgently, fast, etc.
- Choose only one desired action. More than one desired action confuses customers and garners fewer results.
- Use contractions and simplified phrases. This helps the CTA become more concise. Instead of “can not or will not” say “can’t or won’t.” Instead of saying “even more simple” say “simpler.”
Step 4. Edit the CTA
You should edit the call to action along with the content it is attached to. The goal should be to get rid of any misspellings, grammatical errors, or typos. Check there are no extra words. Ensure the CTA reads naturally with the content. During the editing process, it’s usually a good idea to go back over that simple CTA checklist discussed above.
Step 5. Insert appropriate link
An easy last step is to insert the appropriate link. A link makes taking the desired action easier on the customer. When taking the desired action is easier, customers are more likely to do it and your CTA becomes more effective.
You should place the link where it makes the most sense. If a customer is confused about where you are linking to, you defeat the point of including one.
Look at this example: “For more useful information like this, download our free eBook today.” Here, the words “free eBook” or “download our free eBook” should be linked.
Look at this second example: “Like us on Facebook today and never miss great content like this.” Here, “Facebook” or “like us on Facebook” should be the linked words.
Creating an effective call to action is vital to your company’s overall success, both in marketing and in terms of profit. After consuming this blog post, try writing a few CTAs for yourself. Practicing effective CTA creation will help you feel more comfortable and confident in this task.