Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you are an amazing writer. Or perhaps you’ve hired a skilled content marketing strategist. You know you have the content nailed.
But it’s still not converting sales. It’s not engaging your readers. Your messaging, even though it rocks, isn’t cutting the mustard.
I know why.
It’s your call to action, or CTA (or maybe even lack thereof).
The call to action is, in its own right, a sophisticated consideration that requires a deeper understanding of your reader’s point of view. Every page of content should have one, and the CTA has to be presented strategically and thoughtfully.
What is a call to action?
A CTA moves your reader to do one of a few things:
- Request more information (Download our free guide)
- Engage more intimately with your brand (Leave your comments below)
- Make a purchase (Take advantage of our 20% discount today)
When your call to action moves readers to ‘request more information’, they might fill out a contact form, sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper or make a phone call. In this case, you will have created access to your target client – via email or phone.
A CTA might encourage a reader to engage more intimately with your brand by leaving behind a comment, participating in a contest, filling out a questionnaire or requesting a free demonstration/trial.
And finally, your CTA might move a reader to make a purchase. The ultimate conversion and the most powerful impact of a carefully crafted CTA.
So how do you do it? How do you write a call to action that will yield the intended results?
I’m going to tell you.
Harness the power of words
Just like anything else that you write online, you want your call to action to be engaging and meaningful. ‘Click here’, for instance, is a pretty bland and generic call to action.
- Be specific & direct
- Articulate expectations
- Offer a sense of urgency
Learn insider secrets TODAY to engage employees and drive sales through the roof!
This CTA lets the reader know what they are getting, what it will do for them, and that they should do it today.
Leverage your online real estate
Studies reveal that the most valuable space on your website is in the upper right hand corner, above the fold. The eye travels here naturally, after it has had an opportunity to discern what your website is all about.
Notice that on the MarketingWise website, the subscription box is located precisely on this prime piece of real estate.
Some other website locations where CTA’s tend to convert are at the end of a post or landing page, or on the banner, so you might want to do some testing to see what works best for your readership.
Use design to your advantage
So now you have a CTA that is written well and you know exactly where to place it on your website.
You also want to make sure that it pops – really jumps out at the reader – and you can do this with design.
When I say ‘pops’, I don’t mean as in ‘pop up’. At MarketingWise, we don’t actually believe in pop up ads. They are annoying (don’t you agree?) and too ‘in your face’.
We believe in designing CTA’s that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, simple to navigate, and provocative enough that they inspire a sense of curiosity and interest.
We think our ‘Contact Us‘ tab, in the upper right hand corner, is a good example of CTA design that ‘pops’.
Coordinate your call to action with your sales cycle
It’s unlikely that someone who is newly familiar with your brand and product will initiate a purchase right away.
Every B2B executive understands the importance of nurturing your lead through the sales cycle, and your calls to action should reflect this strategy.
Use a good analytics tool to track visitors’ interest and activity and coordinate your CTA’s accordingly.
Have you given much thought to your calls to action? Are yours working for you?
Share your questions and reactions in the comments section below, and be sure to tweet and share this post if you found it useful!