The Perfect Call to Action

How important is the perfect call to action (CTA)? Well, according to this most recent study found in Dan Pink’s book “To Sell is Human” a good CTA can increase your conversions 300% or more.  I do not really care to go into all the nitty gritty details about the study so here is the last paragraph:

“A specific request accompanied by a clear way to get it done ended up with the least likely group donating food at three times the rate of the most likely who hadn’t been given a clear path of action.  The lesson:  Clarity on how to think without clarity on how to act can leave people unmoved.”

Whoa! This simple paragraph has made me reconsider all my marketing efforts.  I noticed my home page needs a CTA along with a thousand other pages.  We can do better. In the next 500 words, maybe 700 if I feel long winded, I am going to educate all of us (yes, I am included) on ways we can improve our marketing efforts through simple CTA statements.  Does that sound good?  Of course it does! Why else would you be reading this article if you were not interested in improvement.  So let’s get started!

When you create your video, a website, or marketing material, you have to remember to give a very strong CTA.  A CTA is a statement that moves your audience from a passive state of mind to an active one.  In other words, it is saying the right thing to get the person up off the couch.  A great CTA does not just benefit your business; it can also benefit the user because you are giving them direction on what they need to do to take advantage of your product or service.  If a user watches a video, visits your site, walks into your store, or reads your material, they have two options, proceed or leave.  If they leave, they will have left feeling unsatisfied. Nobody wants that.

A great CTA is irresistible.  It moves the user to a predetermined goal that you have set.  It can be as simple as “Download” or as complicated as “This Tuesday at 10:00 pm log into the website to join a conference call.  There is a Join Now button directly below this video.  Click on it to sign up!  We will then send you a reminder.  “Join Now!” Ok, I just made that up on the fly, so I would not recommend using that one.  But you get the picture right?  A CTA can range from 1 word to a full site. I do not believe in absolutes, because as we all know, a Sith Lord believes in absolutes and I myself am not part of the dark side. So please do not buy into the fact that there is only one way to create a CTA.  Sometimes, the most random CTA’s will produce the best results.  We should all test and keep testing to see what works the best.

Firefox Call to Action

Call to Action Samples

Firefox has a simple call to action “Firefox Free Download.”  If a person is going to visit Mozilla, obviously they are looking to download their browser.  They make it fast and simple. This is something that goes a long way with today’s confusion.

KissMetrics Call to Action

Call to Action Sample Kissmetrics

The owner of Kissmetris is really good at creating compelling content. I have gone through a couple of his pages and they all are very well written. His home page CTA is “Find your most valuable customers.  Sign up for free to learn who your most valuable customers are and how to get more of them. Start Your 14-Day Free Trial.”  This is a great example of a good CTA. When in doubt, simply use what someone has already created, but put it in your own words, of course.

Scribecontent Call To Action

Call to Action Scribecontent

Call to Action Scribecontent 2

These guys are also great at creating compelling content.  Their whole page is targeted toward getting people to take action. They use words like, headline, sub-headline, testimonial guarantee, risk free trial, and a pricing plan labeled “our most popular plan.”  They are all good! Go to scribecontent.com if you want to check out their entire site. One thing everyone can take from scribecontent.com is their ability to focus on feelings and benefits.  They use words that express how the customer will feel and what benefits will come into their life if they have their product.  We often times get caught up in all of the features when we should really focus on the benefits and how our product will make them feel.

Benefits Sale, Features Tell

Adobe Call to Action

Call to Action by Adobe

When it comes to Adobe, we all could learn from what they say and do.  I attended a conference in San Francisco where I heard one of Adobe’s Head marketers give a presentation on conversions.  Adobe will drop hundreds of thousand of dollars just to test which color of button converts the best.  They are always testing. Check out the page above and identify all the different ways they are hitting your hot buttons- the buttons that will make you take action.  Whenever I see something from Adobe, I will pay attention and find a way to apply their ideas to my sites.  Let’s just hope I do not use one of the sucky testing pages.

The fact is you can’t make people do something they do not want to do, nor should you really want to.  Often times those are the people that turn out to be the worst clients.  Although you should not force anyone, that should not stop you from persuading them. If you provide a great product or service that can help people, you should get them to take action.  Use Video, Words, Buttons, Free Stuff, and images- these are all powerful.

Our Action Plan!

I am hopeful that you now understand how important a CTA is.  Now, it is time for our action plan.

CTA Step 1. Identify places you should put a CTA.  If you are like me, I have to go back through my old material like webpages and videos to see what needs to be changed.  Like I said earlier, I am going to start with my home page.  Where are you going to start? Does each one of your pages, videos, or marketing material have a CTA?

CTA Step 2.  Identify the action that you want your audience to take.  Why are they searching for your product?  What action do they need to take in order to take advantage of your service?  What is your objective? Make sure to spell it out for them.  Tell them exactly what you would like them to do.

CTA Step 3.  Call Your Mom and Tell Her You Love Her.

And there you have it.  By following this ‘call to action’ advice you can live long and prosper and if that doesn’t happen you will at least get some business coming through your doors.

Happy Birthday

+Jace Vernon

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