So you’ve done everything that you were supposed to do to optimize your website. You’ve done the keyword research, tweaked the meta tags, wrote a killer headline, scored some highly-respectable links, and gotten your customer to click a search result and land on your website. So the question is: what was it all for?
Just like in all other facets of life, this whole process was about making a sale. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, a lawyer, a painter, or a spoken word artist, life is always about making the sale. A call-to-action is an imperative statement that compels the reader to do something. You could have the most eloquent, well-written, specifically-targeted marketing copy in existence, but odds are without a proper call to action, you are going to end up letting the customer get away.
Since you are probably a regular reader of our blog, you already know what a call to action is and why it’s important, but it couldn’t hurt to give you some helpful tips to get the customer to click that button. In our experience, these are the 3 best tips for writing a great call to action.
- Understand your reader
This might sound incredibly simple, but trust us – we see a lot of companies skipping straight to a half-hearted call to action without even giving the reader a reason why. People are looking to buy things because they have problems that need solving, and your best bet is to position yourself as the solution to what is ailing them. Your copy needs to paint your product in a certain way so that the idea of following through is seeded in the customers’ mind before they are even faced with clicking the button.
So be sure to say what your service or product is, why it is a perfect fit, and how it will benefit them. A great example is one that we worked with for a joint pain athletic wear company that sold knee and elbow sleeves. The user was sent directly to a page with the sleeve front and center; the copy was specifically targeted to those with knee pain and said things like “knee pain can make even the simplest of tasks difficult, and that’s why our product is specifically designed to take away your knee pain both when you stand up, and when you walk.” Then, below that wonderfully-targeted copy, a button said “End your knee pain now!” See how understanding where the reader was coming from let this company craft a winning call to action?
- Use clear, urgent, powerful words
Again, in the marketing world this should seem like a no brainer, but we often come across weak, unenthusiastic, and downright lazy copy that doesn’t make people do anything. Watch Braveheart, and you tell us if Mel Gibson, covered in blue face-paint, rallying his fellow Scotsmen to fight the evil crown of England is using dull, lethargic words like “try”, “attempt,” “debate,” or “soon” or if he is on horseback shouting words like “fight,” “freedom,” “now,” and “one chance.” Notice the urgency in his voice, his clearly stated purpose, and the strong words he uses to will his men to victory. The Scotsmen knew why they were there, how much time they had to do it, and what they should do. Your copy and call to action need to be like the words of William Wallace. Use urgent words like now, right away, immediately, or today. Be sure to be clear about the purpose with words like buy, or download, and do it powerfully with verbs like boost, win, or achieve. Do these things and your reader will become your customer.
- Get creative
A little creativity goes a long way. Although there is nothing wrong with going with the classic staples of the marketing biz, branching out and trying new ideas is always a good thing. Take for example the athletic wear company that we mentioned before. They could just have easily gone with the good ol’ fashioned “buy now” or “get it today!”, but instead they chose the more creative “end your knee pain today.” See why this is better? It clicks with the reader because that was exactly what they were looking to do in the first place, wasn’t it?
Creative calls usually involve a more complex, but still clear type of phrase. For example, if you are writing for weight loss, instead of going with a simple call you could try “change your life now” or “get on the right track today.” Make sure it relates to #1 in the end, though. The call needs to relate to the reason why they came to you in the first place.
Everything you have done up until this moment in your marketing campaign has been about trying to get your customer to click that button. You want them to purchase, download, or sign up for whatever it is that you are offering. Just a few simple tips can turn a lacklustre call into one that rallies the troops to victory. Be sure to relate to why the customer is coming to you, be clear, urgent, and concise, and don’t hesitate to get a little creative. Add these tools to your arsenal, and get ready to reap the spoils of victory.