How To Craft A Call to Action That Works

ctaYou do the work to drive the traffic, you do the work to ensure people don’t bounce.  So now you have a captive audience.  So, how do you compel them to take action?

In some cases, it’s as simple as asking.  People look for guidance and often will do exactly as they are told!  Unfortunately it’s not always quite that simple and you have to work to craft a strong and compelling call to action.

A great call to action works when:

  • It clearly triggers an emotional reaction (I must have that, need it, want it, etc….)
  • It clearly tells someone how to make a purchase (click right here to purchase.)
  • It creates some urgency to purchase immediately (offer ends at midnight tonight! Buy now!)
  • It provides incentives or added details that make it impossible to refuse (free shipping!)

Examples of common calls to action:

  • Click here.
  • Download now.
  • Try it free.
  • Start your free trial now.
  • Sign up for your free trial immediately.
  • Your free trial is just a click away.
  • Start now.
  • Talk to an expert.
  • Join now.
  • I invite you to…
  • I urge you to act at once.
  • I can’t wait to hear from you.
  • Why not give us a call to find out all the details?
  •  Call us this week to schedule an appointment.
  • For even faster service, call xxx-xxx-xxxx
  • To place your order, call us toll-free at ____________.
  • Just hit Reply and we’ll email you the details.
  • Order now, while there’s still time.
  •  Offer expires March XX
  • Order now and receive a free gift
  •  See it in action.
  •  Get it now!
  •  Request your FREE quote today.
  •  Reserve your spot now.
  •  Sign up now, while you still can.

While those are recognizable because they are used so often and while they are direct and clear, sometimes you have to work a little harder when you are asking people to part with their money.

Use Sensory Words Improve Response

According to a study by Spanish researchers, sensory areas of the brain will activate when seeing sense-related words.

“When subjects looked at the Spanish words for “perfume” and “coffee,” their primary olfactory cortex lit up; when they saw the words that mean “chair” and “key,” this region remained dark…

Metaphors like “The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex, while phrases that said the same thing in a less descriptive way did not.  For example:   “The singer had a pleasing voice” and “He had strong hands”.

While it’s important to create a strong call to action, the burden of action doesn’t fall solely on the CTA button or text.  It is not only about the right combination of two or three words. You have to consider the entire experience from how they found your page, to how you made your prospect feel?  In other words, through every step of your marketing funnel, incite some kind of emotion?

Use Data To Determine Where You Can Improve Response

  • Use in-page Analytics to see what is and isn’t getting a click
  • Use VWO.com
  • LuckyOrange.com
  • CrazyEgg.com

Use GA to see which pages aren’t converting well and figure out what is wrong with the flow and CTA

Use landing pages to drive traffic (paid or social) to and test CTAs, then implement throughout the site

Look at flow through the site, the more you know about user behavior, the better you can use your CTA to target their pain points and increase your conversions

As with all areas of marketing, you can craft a stronger CTA if you understand your target audience and their pain points and motivators.

If you do a good job building up the problem, agitating your readers enough that they want to take action, and then work the solution into your call to action, you will see good results.

You should also consider placement of the call to action on the page and when to use graphics to draw the eye to it.

Remember that every link you present for someone to click and every video and social icon you place are all calls to action as well.  So be strategic about what you place on the site so you don’t distract from your core objective.

It takes a while to learn to craft a strong call to action and to test all the various elements that can impact your results.  Practice writing calls to action and testing them on the site.  When you find one that wins, study it so you understand what it is that makes that one a winner.  The more you learn from each test, the more likely the next one will be an even bigger success.