“What is a CTA?”
In the marketing world, “CTA” stands for “call to action.” These are the sections of linked text or buttons that take your visitor or reader where you want them to go next. Once they’ve taken this step, they’ve expressed interest in whatever you have to offer and have “converted” from visitor to lead.
“What should a CTA do?”
It may seem obvious what a CTA should do, but this is where many marketers slip up in their language and terminology. “Well, it’s obvious — what a CTA should do is allow them to buy from me.” Errrt, wrong. How many times has a salesperson approached you in a store while holding merchandise and said, “Hey, you — buy this.” Probably never. Why not? This is a terrible, pushy way to attempt to get someone to convert. Instead, the CTA should first-and-foremost benefit the visitor. While your goal with the piece is to get the visitor to convert by providing their contact information, you need to make doing so seem worth their while. Offer a free exclusive e-book, slide deck, video class series, or just the opportunity to learn more about your business in a non-pushy way. Approaching your CTA in a client-centric manner will help you create a call-to-action that they will actually want to click.
“What should a CTA be?”
You may expect the answer to this question to be, “a button or link that leads where you want the visitor to go or an action you want them to take.” This is true, but first and foremost, the CTA needs to be relevant to the content they’ve just consumed. If you’ve written an authoritative article about the benefits of chemical demolition for those interested in that subject, your CTA should not offer the reader a free e-book on the best dog breeds for condo dwellers. The content should be relevant to the CTA with the call-to-action being the next logical step in their research process. The CTA, in this case, should invite them to obtain a free demolition estimate or to download a reliable tool to help them determine the efficacy of chemical demolition for a particular structure. The CTA needs to play off of the website content and be the next logical step.
“Where should a CTA go?”
Even more profound than the CTA link or button placement on the page is where it transports the user — to a landing page. A landing page is an informative website page with tremendously limited options. It may seem counterintuitive to limit your visitor’s options, but this increases the likelihood of the user taking the action you want them to take. Imagine sending someone into a room where you want them to press a red button. If the room contains five buttons of varying colors, the likelihood of them pushing the red button goes down. By only offering the red button, you increase the possibility of them pressing it.
If you’re concerned about the lack of options, remember the last section — the CTA needs to be relevant to the content that leads to it. By doing this, you’re making sure that only higher-quality traffic will take the recommended action.
As far as the placement of your CTAs on the page, there is no hard-and-fast rule. The button or link text needs to go where it makes sense. If you want someone to take action immediately after watching a video, place the CTA directly below the video. If you want them to do so after reading an article, do so at the end of the article. Remember to not bombard them like the pushy salesperson saying, “Hey, you — buy this!”
“When should the CTA follow up occur?”
If someone has found your content and is willing to convert to a lead, they’re looking for immediate or near-immediate answers. Any CTA follow-up action should be an automated process that occurs immediately after they convert — whether that’s a download or newsletter signup confirmation email. If the CTA is the ability to connect with a person, it should be made to be a high priority by sales staff that is following up. One of our clients told us, “If we don’t follow up with a lead within four hours, it’s as good as gone.” Why is this so? Because during the lag time between a visitor clicking on your CTA and hearing from a person, they’re continuing their research until they find what they want. In that amount of time, they’re likely to find answers from someone who can provide them faster than you can.
4 Tips for Creating CTAs
- Make CTAs personal and unique. Avoid being cliche or salesy with your CTA language. “Buy now” and “Try me” feel spammy and generic. Instead, you may even consider writing them from their perspective — “Tell me more.” “Send me my free e-book.”
- Reduce associated risks. When building your CTA, consider the main reasons people may be hesitant to click. If it’s a free trial, you may want to include “no credit card necessary.” If it’s an email subscription, maybe mention, “Feel free to unsubscribe anytime.” Counter their fears before they keep them from navigating away.
- Generate urgency or exclusivity. To remove hesitancy, consider language that will make your CTA more exclusive. “The first 100 subscribers will enjoy…” “Offer available this week only.”
- Show social proof. To instill the legitimacy of your CTA, provide some evidence of how others have benefitted from it or your services. Consider including testimonials, the logos of businesses who have used your services, or metrics that back up your claims.
In this piece, we’ve covered:
- What a CTA is.
- What a CTA does.
- What a CTA should be.
- Where a CTA should go.
- How quickly a CTA should work.
- 4 Tips on Creating CTAs
If you’d like to work with a marketing team in Tulsa, OK with clear-cut results, the kind professionals at Brookside Studios are excited to help. For over 20 years, we’ve helped hundreds of companies just like your’s grow their business with exceptional marketing strategy.