4 minute read
Developing a Powerful and Successful Call to Action
One of the most important components of any marketing campaign – whether it’s email marketing, mobile, social media or traditional offline methods – is a clear and powerful call to action.
Successful calls to action can be used at varying levels of your marketing activities, depending on which method and what your goal is for each. For instance, you can have a call to action in your tweets that encourages people to click a link to read your blog post. Or, you could have a call to action on your website, driving visitors to complete a certain action, whether that may be signing up for your newsletter, downloading an eBook or purchasing a product.
Regardless of where you are in the process, calls to action are what will drive your audience to take that next step. Let’s take a look at some best practices for developing and implementing successful calls to action that will get you the results you’re aiming for.
Step 1: Define your goals.
You can’t begin influencing what people do until you identify exactly what it is you want from them. We mentioned previously that calls to action can be used at all levels of your marketing efforts, from getting your audience to connect with you on social media to actually pulling the trigger and becoming a customer – and every step along the way. You can (and should) be developing an effective call to action for each of these steps.
Step 2: Create a powerful hook.
Consider for a moment the 90/9/1 rule, which states that of the total number of people actively involved with social media, only 1% of them actually create content, 9% contribute and the remaining 90% simply lurk in the background. What this means to marketers is that in order to achieve overall goals, we must find a way to influence that 90%, or at least a portion of it, to stop lurking and take action in some way. To accomplish this, you must find a way to hook your audience and draw them in.
We live in a very “what’s in it for me” society. People aren’t going to take that next step unless they feel it will benefit them in some way. Determine what value you can offer your audience and you’ll have your hook.
Step 3: Create a sense of urgency.
Marketing isn’t just about outsmarting and outperforming your competition; it’s also about overcoming the inactivity of your target audience. Simply extending the offer of something your prospects may find useful, such as a coupon, isn’t always enough to get them to take that next step. Adding a sense of urgency to that, on the other hand, will.
Research conducted by Marketing Experiments showed that adding a sense of urgency to an email marketing campaign increased the click through rate by 15%. Make people an offer they can’t refuse, and more importantly, limit that offer so that it’s more compelling.
There are several ways to create a sense of urgency in your marketing. For instance, use urgent wording in your call to action (i.e. “limited time only”, “act now – supplies are limited”, etc.) and make offers time-sensitive. When people believe that if they don’t act now, they’ll miss out, they’re much more likely to pull the trigger.
Step 4: Optimize your messaging for best results.
There are a lot of ways to make your calls to action stand out and get noticed. Here are a few tips to hone your efforts for optimum results:
- Customize your message for each platform – I.e., simpler messages on Twitter versus more graphics on Facebook.
- Use engaging colors (yes, colors do matter in marketing).
- Keep it simple – Make taking the next step easy.
- Use verbs in with a strong imperative mood.
- Use strategic locations – make calls to action visible and place them throughout your site, not just above the fold.
- Be creative – Place calls to action in a variety of media, such as videos, not just on your site or in your SMM.
- Use eye-catching design – Not just “pretty” but effective. Test different designs, such as those that contain images and certain color patterns to see which get the best results.
- Include social sharing buttons.
Step 5: Measure and tweak accordingly.
You’re probably not going to hit the ball out of the park on your first try, so don’t get discouraged. Measuring the results of your calls to action on a regular basis can help you identify what’s working and what areas could be tweaked a little for better results. Set up some goals in Google Analytics and track the following:
- Click-Through Rate
- Completion Rate
This will give you a clear picture of how your calls to action are performing so you can hone your strategy moving forward.
Don’t just sit back and wait for prospects to do what you want them to do. Encourage them to take that next step by developing and implementing powerful calls to action in your messaging. This will boost your marketing campaigns to the next level and help to yield consistent results over time.
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Posted May 05, 2014 in Social Commerce