A call to action (or CTA) is a marketing strategy that you can use to get people to take the kinds of actions that will get them involved with your business. Examples of a CTA include a request to fill out a contact form in exchange for a free goody (also known as a lead magnet), an offer for a free phone consultation, or a suggestion to subscribe to your newsletter.
Different Kinds of CTAs
Effective CTAs get people to take immediate action, such as exchanging their contact info for a freebie, which you can then use to add them to your sales funnel. There are many different kinds of CTAs, and you should be intentional with choosing the CTAs that work best for your target audience.
Whenever someone Googles anything (say, your business, for example), the results come up on a search engine results page (SERP). Often the first results you see on a SERP are ones that have the word “Ad” to the left of the title, indicating that they are paid search results. Every time someone clicks on that result, the company pays a fee to Google (or whatever search engine they are using).
Whenever you have a link in your ads or on your blog, social media, or email that takes people to a place where they can submit their contact information in exchange for a service or product or to join your list, that place is called a landing page.
It’s a good idea to include more than one prompt on your landing page so that people have multiple opportunities to enter their info, as well as to create a CTA that educates or provides a lead magnet as opposed to trying to make a hard sell.
While you can make different landing pages for different marketing campaigns, make sure you only have one CTA per landing page!
You may have personally experienced “the paradox of choice” when you go to the grocery store for a jar of peanut butter and are suddenly overwhelmed with options: crunchy or creamy? Natural and organic or toxic and delicious?
Decision fatigue can be so paralyzing that you don’t end up getting anything at all!
To make it easier for your audience to make decisions and take the kind of action that will put them in your sales funnel, give them one option at a time!
SEO Meta Description
If the words “meta description” make your eyes glaze over, you’re not alone! But the concept isn’t as complicated as it might seem to the less techy of us–an SEO meta description is simply the information that shows up below the title and URL of your page on a SERP.
You should write your meta description in a way that tells people how your business stands out from the rest, and appeal to an emotion. Make sure to keep it short–1-2 sentences–and to incorporate your target keyword. And don’t forget your CTA!
How to Use CTAs to Get Leads
Leads are what you need if you’re wanting to boost sales and increase your revenue. Using a CTA to get people to subscribe to your newsletter or email list is a great way to create a customer database.
Free trials or lead magnets such as e-books, guides or templates are excellent resources that you can use to entice people to sign up or subscribe.
BONUS TIP: You can put another CTA inside of your newsletter or emails to encourage people to take the next step in your sales funnel!
How to Use CTAs to Increase Conversion Rates
Conversions are when a user takes the action your CTA is asking them to take–whether that’s subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for a free trial of your membership program, or making a purchase.
To calculate conversion rates, you take the number of people who engage with your content (such as how many people visit your website or open an email) and divide it by the number of conversions. In general, you should aim for a conversion rate of around 2-5%, although certain industries may have lower or higher average conversion rates.
To increase conversion rates (and ROI!), you can use active language such as “join today” or “buy now,” or write CTAs from the point of view of your users: “Yes, I’m in!”
You can also show users how your product or service will improve their lives, and add reviews to back up your claims to your website.
How to Use CTAs for Purchases
There are several CTAs that are used to nudge people into making purchases. Here are just a few of the more popular ones:
Contact Us Today
Use this CTA to attract customers to make larger purchases or get involved with more in-depth services that require a conversation with your sales team.
Everybody loves shopping! This CTA is great because it’s not overly pushy and it’s not asking directly for a purchase, it’s simply inviting people to come take a look at what you have to offer.
Get ____% Off
Everybody also loves a good deal! When you use this CTA you are giving people a gift, and many people will spend money on a sale that they wouldn’t otherwise spend.
Whether it’s a free consultation or discovery call, or a paid session for members, a “book now” CTA encourages people to take the kind of action that will help to solve their problems.
Free shipping can be for any purchase amount, or for purchases over a certain amount, or for purchases made within a certain time period. Many people delay purchasing items because of shipping costs (which is why Amazon Prime is so genius!), and will make a purchase when they see that they don’t have to pay for shipping.
How to Use CTAs to Educate
One of the first things you should think about in your business, before you even think about trying to make sales, is what you can provide for your customers. What pain points are you helping them to solve? How can your product or service help to improve their lives?
Using CTAs to educate people is a great way to expand your audience, increase your reach, and add potential clients to your customer database. These are a few simple and effective CTAs you can use to educate your audience:
Use this CTA to link people to your landing page where they can subscribe or sign up for a lead magnet.
This CTA is great for businesses that want to give customers an opportunity to find out more about their products or services on their own terms.
If your business offers courses or memberships, use this CTA to give people the satisfaction of feeling like they are embarking on an educational journey with your business.
How to Use CTAs to Increase Brand Awareness
If your current goal is to build brand awareness, you can use a CTA that encourages people to spread the word about your business and what you have to offer.
Like and Share
We’ve all seen this CTA before on social media! You are asking people who enjoy your content to let the world know. It’s a good idea to thank people who share your content, as word of mouth is one of the best forms of free advertising you can get.
Enter to Win
Contests and drawings are super appealing to people from all walks of life: who doesn’t like winning free stuff?! To make this CTA effective, make sure that the prize is something awesome (like a little more thrilling than a free phone wallpaper) that people will be excited about and want to share with their friends.
How to Write Powerful CTAs
If words aren’t your forte, don’t be afraid to hire someone to write your CTAs for you! The language you use for CTAs is important, and needs to be intentional and designed to appeal to your target audience. If you’re writing your own CTAs, follow these tips:
How annoying is it when you click on a CTA link for something you thought was free only to find out that you actually have to pay “a small fee” to access the promised content? Don’t be that person. Tell people exactly what they can expect to get in exchange for responding to your CTA.
Suss Out the Competition
Not sure how to write a CTA? Look at what some of the leaders in your industry are doing and take cues from them. That doesn’t mean to copy them verbatim, it simply means to conduct market research and make moves based on what is working for your competitors, or filling the gap if you see anything that is missing.
Use Emotional Language
Using words that generate feelings in your audience is a great way to persuade them to take action. Think about what kind of problems your audience is facing, and how your product or service can help solve them. How will your customers feel once their problem is solved? Take a look at this list of high emotion words for some ideas of how you can write persuasive CTAs.
Using verbs in your CTAs such as “buy now,” “click here,” or “join today” is a great way to encourage people to take action.
Some people respond to FOMO CTAs, but be careful with these, as they can be a turn off to certain demographics. FOMO CTAs such as “for a limited time only” or “only 10 spaces left” can invoke a sense of urgency that inspires people to take immediate action.
How to Conduct Market Research for CTAs
To get the highest possible conversion rates from your CTAs, you need to make sure you do your research first! There are a few key market research areas that will have the biggest impact on the effectiveness of your CTAs.
Research Your Target Audience
You should know exactly who your target audience is so that you can use language that they vibe with and are responsive to.
You want to pick keywords that accurately describe your content so that when people search for a business like yours they will be able to find you. Think about what kinds of words your target audience would use to search for your product or service, and make sure to avoid keyword stuffing and use them only where they feel natural.
Research Your Competitors
When you know what your competitors are doing, you can emulate what they are doing well, and avoid any mistakes they are making. You can also see areas that your competitors might be missing, and create CTAs that fill those gaps.
Knowledge is power, and when you know how to use CTAs effectively you can expand your reach, grow brand awareness, add to your customer database, and increase your revenue.
Need help figuring out keywords or crafting CTAs that actually work? Give us a call today and let us help, we love helping small businesses meet their potential!