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Why You Need a Call to Action

Call To Action

What is a Call to Action? And more importantly, why do you need it?

Calls to action (CTA’s) are as old as marketing itself. They’re those tag lines that tell you what to do at the end of an ad. Think about the radio ads that end with, “Come by today for the best tacos you’ve ever had!” They’re those phrases that help turn your audience into customers.

By now, the call to action has become so short that it fits on a button, and you have seen thousands of them all over the internet because they work. They turn clicks into customers by telling people exactly what to do and giving them the motivation to do it.

Clicking a little button on a page is the perfect transition from the sales pitch to the sale. People actually subconsciously want and expect this button because it makes it easy for them to take the next step. So they’re good for the customer and good for your business.

Are you looking to boost your conversion rates? If so, you should take a look at your CTAs and rework them to make them more effective.

How to Make Effective Calls to Action

You may have noticed that a lot of businesses use the same CTA phrases. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Shop Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Try Us
  • Book Consultation
  • Subscribe
  • Search
  • Sign On
  • Shop the Sale
  • See Our Plans
  • Get Started
  • Start Now
  • Get a Quote
  • Follow

Many of these are simple and to the point, but some of them lack the part that motivates the audience to take action. So ask yourself what your customer wants when they get to your website or landing page. Do they want pricing? Information? Or to schedule an appointment?

Next, think about how your audience got to the page with your CTA on it. You need to make sure the copy that got them there (the Google Adwords ad, the landing page) completely matches your call to action. It has to be exactly the same thing otherwise you confuse people and they will not click through and take the next step down the sales funnel.

Once you know what your customers want and how they got to your CTA, you’re ready to start crafting it. Here’s how:

  1. Use a strong action word that is exactly what you want them to do. Words like Shop, Order, Buy. For someone who wants people to book appointments (like a dentist, yoga, salon, etc.) have your CTA be something that gets them excited about booking an appointment.
  2. Highlight the benefit: use words like “new” or “free” and use dollar signs and numbers.
  3. Be exciting! You want to drum up some emotion. What does your customer want to get out of this? Fix it now! Instant Discount! 15% Off!
    Eg. Someone looking for a massage wants a massage, obviously, but they really want to feel better than they do at the moment, something like a mini-vacation. A call to action could be “Get Relaxed” or “Book Your Escape.”
  4. Use the rest of the page to draw the customer’s focus to the CTA: 
  • Make sure the button is visible without the need to scroll down the page.
  • Use visual cues on the page that draw the eye toward the call to action. It can be as subtle as a picture of someone gazing down at it or as obvious as actual arrows pointing to it. 
  • Place Social Proof near your call to action: success stories, awards, reviews, endorsements.
  • Make the button a colour that stands out. Light colours over dark backgrounds or vice versa.

Once you’ve decided on a CTA, create another one! Create a few, if you’re up to it. And then the next step is to test them against each other by switching them out and checking your web traffic to see which one performs the best. 

If yours don’t seem to be working, check your competition to see what they’re using.

Your CTA can be used to create a sense of urgency or simply show people where to click to get what they want. It’s up to you what you use it for. The most important thing is to use it. If your CTAs aren’t working like they should right now, it’s time to buff them up and make them shine!