Ever watched an infomercial or television ad only to find yourself picking up the phone and ordering the 79-piece glow-in-the-dark frying pan set, even though you really don’t need it? Infomercials, like many other marketing channels, are masters of a technique known as the “call to action”. And if you want to build your business profits, you need to be too.
What is a call to action?
A call to action, or CTA, is a powerful tool to get people to do what you want, or get them to where you want them to be. It is usually worded as a command, such as “Visit our website” or “Call us now”. The reason for this is simple – people will often follow instructions. Think about how often you’ve obediently followed the words “click here” or “like this” without a second thought. This is the same trait you want to tap into with your call to action.
The power of a CTA
The call to action might only be three words on your flyer or email, but those three words hold the most power of them all. Changing your call to actions, or making a few tweaks here or there, is the fastest, cheapest and easiest way to see your conversions soar.
You don’t need to redesign your whole campaign; simply follow these eight tips on crafting a CTA that moves people to action.
1. Know what you want
How can you expect your targets to do what you want, when you’re not even sure yourself? You need to know what it is you want people to do when they receive your flyer or digital/online offer.
2. Don’t beat around the bush
The clearer your CTA is, the more powerful and persuasive it will be. Use commanding language and get to the point. Instead of “Why not give our team a call today?”, simply use “Call now”. Here are some more examples:
Book now | Subscribe today | Donate | Order now | Get to your nearest store today | Call us before August 1st
3. Give them a reason
To persuade people to act, you need to outline the benefit of following your CTA. For example, if they call you today, will they save time or money? Will they get the best offers that are only available until midnight? Whatever it is, make it super clear.
4. Make it easy
There’s no use in telling people to call if you don’t include your phone number, or if your phone number is difficult to find. Place the number prominently next to the call to action. Better yet, use SMS response to offer the customer a call back service. If it’s your website you want them to visit, make the web address as short as possible. You can even use a QR code to direct them straight to the website. The easier you make it for people to act, the better the results.
5. Quick! Make it urgent!
The most effective call to action will create a sense of urgency. The person must act now in order to get the best deal, secure a limited space, save with free shipping, etc.
6. STAND OUT
Your call to action shouldn’t blend in. It needs to be the life of the party, shouting “look at me, look at me!” You don’t need to redesign your whole flyer to achieve this; you can use contrast to make it stand out. So while your CTA is in the same font and style as the rest of the text, it is sitting in big, bold box of contrasting colour. Maybe it’s hot pink on a grey background or orange on blue. Bright, lively colours are great for inspiring action. Remember to keep it readable, and they can’t miss it.
7. To the left, to the left
Beyoncé had the right idea – your call to action should be placed on the left-hand side of the flyer to get the most eye-traffic. Why? Because in the English language, we start reading from left to right and from top to bottom. So if you want your CTA seen, put it on the left.
8. Be experimental
Don’t settle on the first call to action you use. Try a few different approaches and see which works best. Remember, there’s not one call to action that will work for everybody. You need to tailor it depending on your message and target audience. As with any marketing technique, finding the right call to action is down to trial and error. And so long as you are following the guidelines above, it won’t be long before you discover The One.