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I suppose it’s not surprising when a new client contacts our agency about taking over their digital marketing, content marketing or email marketing, the reason they are contacting us is that in one way or another in its current state, it simply isn’t working. That makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense to me though is the immediate snap reaction conclusion these potential clients come to about the viability of those marketing channels.
More often than not, our conversation starts out talking about how they’ve never had success in “marketing channel X”, and they want to give it one last go to see if it can turn around or if the channel just sucks. The truth actually is that the channel doesn’t suck at all.
The first thing we do with every new client we onboard is a full audit of what they have been doing in the past. We analyze what worked, what didn’t and what specific reccomendations we have to ensure that their experience working with us will be a profitable one.
One of the most common mistakes we see in Facebook and Instagram ads, blog articles and even email marketing is either a complete lack of a call to action (CTA), or a CTA that just doesn’t move the needle.
The sad truth is even if you’ve built the most amazing, compelling ad copy with the most vivid, eye-catching imagery if your CTA stinks, your campaign is sunk. With that in mind, today I want to share some tips with you on how you can build a kick ass call to action.
Remember, At The End Of The Day, You Need People To Click On The Button
Once you’ve created a really creative, attention grabbing facebook ad, blog post or email message, sometimes it’s hard to keep from making your CTA just as creative. You have to avoid this urge.
A successful CTA is written to be obvious to your lead. You have to draw them in and you have to make sure they have no doubt in their mind what you want them to do. Never forget. You want them simply to do one thing and one thing only.
For instance, what if you sent out an email to an email list, advertising your chef school? If your CTA at the end of the piece is to get people to sign up, and you used a creative catch phrase such as, “Let’s prep the courses”, while “courses” is a pun in the sense that it also refers to school, it could be confusing to people that would potentially sign up to apply for admission. Perhaps instead you could use something more like, “Register Now And Begin Your Path Towards A Michelin Star”.
ALWAYS Apply The K.I.S.S Method
This may seem silly, but this is quite possibly the single most important factor of your CTA’s. Simply put, these days we all have A.D.D. the only way to hold people’s attention and getting them to absorb what you want them to learn is to keep it simple. The more you can break down complicated ideas and the simpler you can make the language, the higher the conversion rate you are going to have on your CTA.
One tip I offer people struggling with what the length of a CTA should be is to suggest that they take whatever they come up with as a first draft and figure out a way to reduce it by 40-50%. While you may not be able to hit that percentage range, this exercise will ensure that your CTA is much more concise and understandable than where you began.
This is somewhat related to the tip above, but it’s important to point out that your CTA is only going to be effective if your audience actually understands what you are saying/asking. When considering this, consider the type of language you use.
Don’t use poor grammar or slang. Don’t use industry jargon that the average jane citizen wouldn’t understand. And most of all, be sure that your CTA is a clear direction of exactly what you want your reader to do.
For instance, if you are promoting a blog, a CTA like “Read this blog post”, or “Read the latest article from my blog” both are clear, don’t run on and don’t use any confusing words. These are simple and get the job done.
Make Them Want To Act
Your CTA needs to use verbs and strong words that are going to evoke an emotional response from your potential lead. You want them so excited about what you are offering them that they are ready to jump in with both feet, click that button and move on to the next stage of their relationship with your business.
For instance, if you run a non-profit that focuses on global warming initiatives and your call to action is soliciting donations, you might write something like, “Commit to give to a cuase that’s bigger than just yourself”.
It’s emotional, asks for action and drives home the true essence of what you do and what you are asking for. Exciting CTA’s make people excited for what’s to come. The more excited you make your leads, the higher the probability you are going to get them to do what you want them to do.
Time Is Of The Essence
This is perhaps my least favorite part of effective CTA’s, but it is important nonetheless. Simply put, you don’t want your prospects to think they can come back to this later. You want them to have in their mind that they just have to take advantage of it right now. To do this, you have to inject a sense of urgency into their minds.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily need to be a specific measurement of time. It could be a general feeling that you convey or a charge to get in on the ground floor of a new fundraising campaign. What’s important is you extract urgent tidbits around opportunities that might not come around again and include them in your CTA.
For instance, if you are selling a new product and your CTA is a discount to purchase, you could include something like, “Take advantage of this discount now before supplies run out”.
CTA’s can be tricky. They require trial and error and lots of A/B testing. The more you do them, the better you’ll get. If you are stuck and looking for feedback on your CTA’s, or advice on where to begin with drafting great CTA’s, please contact us anytime.
Chris Leo is a Silicon Valley, CA entrepreneur, complete workaholic, top notch inbound marketer, dad to the coolest kid on the planet, type “A” personality, shameless self-promoter and never ending “connector”.
Even though he is seemingly always working, when he does take breaks, the “work hard, play hard” motto takes on a whole new meaning. Most people talk about “wanting to do things”, Chris goes out and actually does them.