The Definitive Guide to Developing Your CTAs

As a small or medium sized business, you know the importance of creating the most effective marketing strategies to convert browsers into customers, readers into subscribers and maybes into yeses. Developing a persuasive call to action is a critical aspect of those marketing strategies for your business. You wouldn’t go through an entire face to face presentation with a client, without asking for the business and closing the deal, right? Don’t go through the process of implementing new digital and traditional marketing campaigns without asking the audience to transition to the next level of the buying stage. There are a few key points to consider when creating your CTAs. Today, we’re shedding some light on where to start, how to apply them and get results.

What is a CTA?

Let’s start with the basics. What is a call to action? Your call to action is any statement or message that prompts the reader or viewer on what to do next. A variety of simple examples include:

  • Call today!
  • Subscribe now!
  • Tell us what you think!
  • Enjoy a free trial!

Why use a CTA?

If you’re not using some form of CTA with each marketing message you have, you’re essentially just telling a story or making a statement, and hoping your customer buys from you. Use a call to action to ask your audience to do something specific. Apply some science to your marketing and instead of hoping they choose to do business with you, ask them to be your customer. Ask them to engage with your brand or agree with your cause. Once you effectively create a cause to action with your customers, getting them to the buying stage for conversion is simplified.

Creating your best CTAs

The key to developing the best call to action steps is first to identify and understand your buyer’s cycle. Know when and how your customers engage with you at the various stages of needing your product or service and develop your CTA to help move them through to their next phase of the process.

Introduction message

For those customers who encounter your message or brand for the first time, you will want to develop the message that best introduces your brand and creates a favorable response. These people may not need your product or service now, but you’ll want to keep them interested and generate top of mind awareness. A call to action step at the initial engagement could be to subscribe to your channel, sign up for news and coupons or forward to a friend, to prompt a referral response. Here, you’ll ask them to stay engaged with your company until they’re ready to buy.

Consideration message

For the potential buyers out there who may be looking for your product or service casually, without a direct need, you’ll want to cater your CTA accordingly. You might luck into an impulse purchase with these customers, but most are just out to gather information about what products or services are on the market. They’re in the discovery phase of the buying cycle, and during this phase, they will usually narrow down their options two or three businesses, from which they will most likely buy. Your CTA for this group should ask to be one of those few businesses. Ask these potential customers to call you for a free quote that’s good for 30 days. Depending on your specific business model, maybe ask them to schedule a private tour of your location to see inventory. Offer additional information on what it’s like to be your customer. This group is excellent for promoting testimonials, online reviews and client quotes as well. The key is understanding that when your buyers are in this phase of the buying cycle, they are hungry for additional information to ensure they make the best purchasing decisions. Be sure to meet them where they are and use your CTAs to offer answers to any questions they have and make the path to buying from you a clear and well-lit one.

Ready to buy message

For those customers who are actively looking to make a purchase, you must create the call to action that asks them to do so from you. Promote more than one option for your customers and eliminate the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Prompt them to choose ‘A, B or C’ instead, as their preferred method of purchase. Your buying process must be efficient and inviting to your customers. Your CTA should also reflect just how easy and positive it is to do business with you. Also, be mindful of the competitive landscape and know what your customers have to choose from out there. Sometimes, a strong call to action is your unique differentiator or seasonal price point that encourages the buyers to engage right now and with your business.

Testing your CTAs

Before launching an official campaign and hoping your call to action actually converts customers, consider testing your CTAs first. You can test run your call to actions digitally, prompting for response and then tracking the data. You can add several CTA buttons on your website, for example, asking for two or three various next steps.

  • Add to cart
  • Download eBook
  • Send my free sample

If you find one particular CTA outperforms the others, you can use that data to best apply your CTAs in your over-arching campaigns. Find what works best and lead with your best marketing foot forward.

We encourage you to explore creating CTAs on your own and take a look at those past campaigns that worked well as well as those marketing efforts that weren’t so successful. Maybe your CTAs could use a little tweaking. The good news is, as a small or medium sized business, you’re not alone in the land of conversion marketing. Defined Digital is here to help and can help you explore every stage of developing your conversion focused CTAs. To learn more about how to examine your customers’ buying cycles, creating and testing your CTAs, contact us! (See what we did there?)

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