A call-to-action or CTA is an image or text that prompts visitors, prospects and clients to take action. It is quite literally, a “call” to take “action.”
The action you want taken can be anything from sending a simple message, downloading a whitepaper, sharing a coupon, scheduling an appointment for a demonstration or even making a payment online. The CTA can be placed anywhere on anything—from your website, email or social media.
CTAs are a key element to lead generation and they should be used in every marketing tactic—emails, social media updates, press releases, trade shows, videos, webinars, and on your website. Ask yourself “what call-to-action will drive the desired behavior?” What steps in the sales process will the prospect complete before making a decision?
Simply slapping a “Click here!” won’t get you very far. There are crucial elements needed to include with a CTA if you want to navigate people to take action:
- Calls-to-action need to be clear, capturing the attention of prospects. This is critical in creating CTAs.
- Keep the copy short, concise. Don’t take your reader down the Yellow Brick Road, but rather, cut to the chase. This is true for press releases, emails and other media.
- Avoid technical terms and jargon. No one wants to read anything complex.
- Include a clear value proposition. Emphasize the benefits of the offer and how it can make your prospects’ life easier.
- Make the CTA big, colorful so it attracts attention without overwhelming the page. Separate the CTA from the rest of the content. Warm colors, especially orange, appear closer to the viewer and seem larger. Using contrasting colors can make your CTA more attractive, more dominant on the page. Using a different font can also create contrast, but always make sure it’s easy to read. Make buttons clickable and add alt text as you get the benefit of SEO.
- Include time sensitivity. That is, add an expiration date and corresponding verbiage. For example, “Hurry! Offer ends June 10!”
- Personalize the call-to-action, if possible. This will make the reader feel more approachable, more friendly.
If the copy or design doesn’t draw visitors in, then your click-through rate, conversions and sales will suffer.
A CTA does not always need to lead to a purchase of a product or service. It can lead the visitor in that direction, but one isolated marketing tactic rarely leads to a solid purchase. Instead, you may read a tweet with actionable copy leading you to a blog post with another CTA that leads you to a link to a free trial or a whitepaper. CTAs are guide posts, gently navigating the visitor to the end result: a sale. None of these CTAs cinched the sale, but together, they created a pathway to the sale.
This is why you should look at your marketing efforts as integrated, working together through different channels. Social and blogging are great for attracting traffic to your website, but you need lead generation tools to capture that traffic once it arrives on your site. Zephyr Salvo LiveSite is an easy and proven tool that provides effective calls-to-action plus a contact management tool to capture the lead. This two in one web engagement platform, combines calls-to-action and lead capturing to increase online opportunities by 200% to 300%.
Add an online scheduling link for a free demo or consultation to emails, social, blog and your website. A simple “Schedule Now” link is a great call-to-action and continues the journey for the visitor. Or offer a free whitepaper or for the prospect to share a document for a free consultation. These options ensure the prospect’s information is collected and automatically populated into a client management tool.
For current clients, provide the ease of paying online when you email the next invoice. Mobile users can conveniently pay online while on the go and you get paid faster. It’s a win-win.
Leverage CTAs in every marketing communication, every blog post, social media mention and of course, on your website. Make your online presence work for you!