I promised it to you in my last blog – here’s how to create an effective CTA. Whether you are handing a prospect a physical marketing piece or digitally telling your story via your website, a call to action (CTA) is the linchpin for lead generation.
What is a Call to Action?
It is a functional marketing element that builds upon the content of a marketing piece to generate a positive cognitive or emotional response that compels a person to take action. A CTA can be a graphic, copy only, video, or other communication methods.
3 Components of a Strong Call to Action
First and foremost, a CTA will only work if it is the capstone of a compelling marketing piece that connects with your target audience. If the content doesn’t pique the interest of a viewer, they will more than likely never see the CTA, much less take advantage of it. Content still reigns supreme, with context ruling the roost as queen.
Assuming that your CTA is being placed within a strong marketing piece, it must have the following three elements in order to be successful.
1. Visible – The offer has to be visible. Not a little visible…highly visible. So obvious that it will leap off the page and scream to a person “take action.” High visibility is not limited just to quality design or creative copy, but also the placement. Depending on the marketing piece, the CTA could be in the beginning, middle, end, or even a combination of all three depending on how you structure the flow.
2. Relevant – Whatever you are trying to hook your audience with, it has to be tasty. Imagine trying to catch a fish with a stick as a lure. Not going to happen. To catch the fish you have to lure it in with something that looks, smells, and moves like something yummy. The same is true with your target audience. If you want them to bite, you have to give them a compelling reason to take the risk of pursuing the bait by providing them with something of value.
3. Easy – Once you have motivated a person to take action, make it easy for them to do it. If you want them to call you, make the phone number super easy to find. If you want them to give them some information in exchange for a digital download, don’t ask them to give you 39 pieces of information, just get their email and give them what you promised in the CTA.
Once a person has responded to your CTA, you need to delight them with the unexpected. This could be providing them with more than what they expected or wowing them with an amazing customer experience they won’t forget. Getting a person to respond to a CTA is challenging, but motivating them to become a customer is the ultimate objective. This happens after the CTA has been clicked and you demonstrate the level of service and value they can expect to receive from you and your organization in the future as a customer. Don’t make the mistake of effectively generating leads and failing to convert because of providing a poor experience once they enter the marketing and sales funnel.
Test, Test, Test
Creating the perfect CTA is not easy. It is a combination of knowing your target audience, marketing chops, and a little bit of luck. Some CTAs will work and some won’t, it’s just the way it works. If they are honest with you, no marketer can say they get it right every time.This is why creating an analytics system that measures performance results is so important in all facets of marketing. If version A of a CTA isn’t working, try version B. If that works better, but still doesn’t achieve the desired results, try version C. Don’t be afraid to test, measure, and refine. In my opinion, this is the secret sauce that makes your CTAs successful in the long run. You have to know if a marketing tactic is working or not. Without this knowledge, you are simply guessing about whether something is working or not. CTAs are too important to leave to chance, they are the capstone of most of your marketing pieces.
As with most things, there are no shortcuts or easy success formula. You have to develop a plan, take action, and adjust as you go. If your current CTAs are underperforming and you aren’t sure what to do next, connect with our team at The Marketing Squad. We earn our living by helping organizations just like yours tell their story and generate new leads via compelling call to actions.
What good would a blog post about call to actions be without a compelling call to action to end the post? The first three people* to click here and respond to this offer will receive a free hour-long consulting session with me along with a cup of coffee or lunch.
* To be eligible, you must live in the Louisville, Kentucky metropolitan area and may not be a current client of The Marketing Squad.