You often hear how the ‘call to action’ is one of the key parts of a good marketing campaign. But what exactly is it and how can it turn prospective customers into buyers?
The ‘call to action’, or CTA, is the key action you want someone to take once they’ve read or looked at your marketing. This could be reading more information, buying a product, getting in touch, or a range of other actions.
But why is it so important and how can you use it to increase the number of people who buy from you?
The ‘call to action’ is important because:
It helps people understand what to do next
It moves them towards your marketing goal (whatever that is)
It makes sure your marketing has a purpose
Without a call to action, your marketing could be well-written and beautifully-designed – but it won’t have a clear purpose. People will be unsure about what they should do next and it won’t help you achieve your goal.
The key to a successful call to action
The key to make a call to action successful is to really think about what you want someone to do next. You might want them to do lots of things – call you, buy from you, visit you and more. But for each piece of marketing, you need to just think about the one very important thing that you need them to do immediately after seeing your piece of marketing. Try and see it from their perspective, and ask yourself “What will encourage them to take the next step?”
It’s important to just give people one call to action; using more than one call to action can be confusing and can often result in them not taking any action. This call to action can take many forms, depending on what your marketing goal is. For example, if you’re running a print advert to get more people to ring your business for a free quote or to book a table, your call to action would focus on getting them to take this step: “Call us now”. You could also consider testing a couple of different CTAs to see which one is most successful. For example, you could try ‘Call us now’ and ‘Book with us’ to compare results.
Alternatively, if you’re using online marketing (such as social media, an email or online advertising), your call to action might be to get them to click a link. Your call to action should be very clear to your audience as well as specific to the action your customer wants to do next. For example: “Click here to read more”, “Request a call back” or “Sign up for free”.
Three main elements of a successful call to action
To make sure your call to action is as effective as possible, there are three rules to follow:
Be concise: don’t be too wordy or make it too complicated for readers
Be clear: think of the right action to use that will make people take the next step
Be creative: ensure your call to action stands out by making sure it’s large enough to see and using bold colours and a simple font so it’s easy to read
Following these three Cs will help you create the most effective call to action for whatever you need.
Having a concise, clear and creative call to action can make the difference between a good piece of marketing and one that directly leads to increased sales.