Optimizing Your Calls to Action

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Illustration of searching the web for calls to action

According to the conventional wisdom of marketing, prospects need to see an ad seven times before purchasing. Corporate juggernauts can afford to gain leads through sheer force, they have the ability to spread their message far and wide due to large marketing budgets that afford them the luxury of placing their ads in front of millions of consumers.

For small businesses, having to compete on the same playing field is simply not possible. That is why as a small business owner, your marketing needs to be airtight. When you get a user to your website, your conversion rate needs to be high enough to justify your ad spend. Furthermore, high conversion rates can be the key to your business’s sustainability.

What are Calls to Action?

A call to action is any method used for taking your prospect from the informative stage to making a purchase. This includes words or phrases that you can include in ads, e-mails and other sales scripts. Calls to action in internet marketing can be written, such as add to cart buttons and e-mail headlines. They can also be verbal such as in phrases spoken in a video or a webinar.

Creating Engaging Calls to Action

Creating an engaging call to action hinges on your ability to use concise language regarding your brand. It requires a deep knowledge of your target market and the stimuli they respond to. Both of these elements need to be present in order to maximize your effectiveness. By learning what to focus on, you will boost your results by creating eye-catching calls to action.

The problem many small business owners face with marketing is the inability to have their actions translate to sales. Knowing your products and services well can sometimes be a hindrance to your conversion efforts. This happens because though you have intimate knowledge of your offerings, your ability to communicate them effectively to your audience is clouded by this familiarity.

Small business owners that take their brand for granted assume that people will immediately recognize the quality of their offering. This results in a weak and ineffective call to action that fails to close sales. Even with a perfect sales funnel, a sub-optimal call to action can negate all the planning and implementation you’ve done.

It is a myth many small business owners buy into that a strong call to action can repel potential buyers. You may feel timid in the face of asking your audience for their patronage. Studies show that a single call to action in an e-mail can boost clicks four-fold while sales can be skyrocketed by 10 times.

You should strive to overcome any internal biases you have toward asking your audience to act on your marketing message. If you are confident in the service you provide, users will respond favorably and they will thank you for providing a solution to their problem.

How to Build Engaging Calls to Action

Now that you understand the importance of a solid call to action, let’s look at the mechanics of creating one. The research you do ahead of time will make your call to action creation more productive. Start by gaining a comprehensive understanding of your audience. What are their pain-points? Why do your customers buy from you?

This research can be done by getting the information directly from the horse’s mouth. Send out a questionnaire to a sample of your e-mail list. Alternatively, you can arrange a call or a face-to-face meeting with a segment of your clientele. Ask your customers what it was about your brand that drew them to your business. Also, be sure to find out what they respond to in relation to your brand.

Dos and Don’ts

A few actionable tips should guide you in creating a lead-generating call to action. You may need to shed a few preconceptions along the way about the way people respond to language and images.

Do Use Imperative Verbs

Small business owners often feel bashful when it comes to their own brand. This causes them to miss out on revenue because of their reluctance to ask for the sale. Using action verbs is the best way to get a user to commit to act at that moment.

Examples of strong calls to action using imperative verbs are phrases like: “Download Your Free e-Book Now!” or “Buy Now and Save!”

Don’t Use Unclear Language

When it comes to an effective call to action, clear and direct language is the key. Don’t use overly technical language when it comes to the moment that will judge whether a user acts or not. Make sure you get all the informational content out of the way in your sales pitch or ad copy.

The call to action should focus on the final step that takes the user by the hand and makes them click, pick up the phone or whatever the desired result may be. Don’t say something like: “Feel free to contact us using a method of your choice.” Rather, state the precise course of action users should take. For example: “For questions, fill out the contact form below.”

Do Personalize Calls to Action

Wherever possible, you should strive to make your calls to action as personalized as possible. Statistics show that a call to action that is personalized can convert over 40 percent more than one that isn’t. This is a significant increase for something as simple as making your message a little more precise.

E-mail autoresponder services allow you to personalize your communication. This means that when your audience receives e-mails from you, they will be addressed with the user’s name.

You may not be able to always speak to your users by name. However, you can do the next best thing. When running ads on social media, you can choose to target by gender and demographic. If your product is specific to women, for example, you can tailor your message to female users. One such call to action might be something like: “Ladies, sign up now for your free consultation!”

Don’t Overlook Mobile Users

Mobile devices account for approximately 40 percent of online transactions and that percentage is constantly increasing. You want to make sure that your call to action is easily visible to users that are not on a desktop computer. Test your ads or web pages on mobile devices or use a mobile-responsive theme that adjusts for non-desktop devices.

Build Effective Calls to Action Today

The viability of your small business depends on your ability to grow your clientele. A steady stream of customers can help you grow your brand and position your business as an authority in your space. The way to accomplish this is through lead-generation and closing sales.

Even the most compelling marketing campaign can be rendered useless without a strong call to action. Imagine running a marathon only to veer off into the weeds just before the finish line.

People respond to businesses that are confident in their products and services and direct calls to action are a sign of confidence. A good call to action should focus on the value your business provides the user. Keep your audience’s pain-points in mind and direct them to the best course of action that will allow you to help them overcome their problems. Start today with an ad campaign or with a blog post.

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