Writing Great CTAs (Calls to Action)

Samantha Ruff
February 8, 2020 ·
6 min read
Writing

Read this article and you will be happy!

Now, of course, this is an impossible thing to guarantee, and so, is a hollow promise, but in marketing terms, it is what is called a Call to Action (CTA). CTAs are everywhere, particularly online, because nearly everyone wants you to buy something, like something, share something, sign up for something, and so on. CTAs are what achieve this.

What is a Call to Action (CTA)?

Quite simply, CTAs are the part of a marketer’s message that asks, or rather, persuade, you to do something. Usually, there is a trade: do this and you will get this! This is clear from the example at the top of the page. What do you have to do? Read the article. What will be the result? Happiness.

What is the value of Calls to Action (CTAs)?

In marketing circles, CTAs are integral to the sales approach, because CTAs are part of the process that turns leads into customers. In short, effective CTAs boost that all-important conversion rate, which can be defined as the number of leads who actually buy from you.

But CTAs are not all about selling. Or at least, they are not all geared at selling first up. The marketing route can be a little longer, so first, the marketer wants you to become part of the community (sign-up to our free newsletter) or begin a relationship with someone in the company (contact one of our team today). The sale might be the end reward, but CTAs can be seen regularly on this journey from initial interest to the sale.

Examples of Calls to Action (CTAs)

Here are some examples of classic CTAs, some of which have already been seen here:

·  Read this article to learn more

·  Sign up to our free newsletter to get the latest news and offers

·  Enter your email address to enter our free prize draw to win a great prize

·  Contact one of our dedicated team to learn more and see how you can benefit

In these four CTAs, you can see examples of the classic ‘exchange’ between the marketer and the potential customer (you). Each time there is a request for you to do something, and a reward is promised. It’s a simple premise, and unsurprisingly, it can be highly effective.

How can you produce great Calls to Action (CTAs)?

There are a few simple tricks which can be utilized to produce effective CTAs:

What does your audience want/need?

As always in sales, it relates back to what is a fundamental point for any marketer: what does your target customer want or need?

If you sell cars, then the simple answer to this question would be ‘a car’? But, of course, you need to have much more information than this. What kind of car, and what is the problem that the customer needs solving? Enough space to transport the family? Something economical that won’t break the bank? Something energy efficient? Once you understand in great detail who your audience is and what they really want, then you can write CTAs that really entice.

Keep the CTA simple

No one wants a complicated and ambiguous CTA. If the potential customer has to pause for one second to think, ‘what is in this for me?’, then you have failed. Make it clear what the ‘reward’ is.

Be persuasive, and original where possible

The average person will be bombarded with literally thousands of CTAs in a relatively short period of time, so why will they take notice of (and complete) yours when there are so many choices and noise? Originality works beautifully – stand out from the crowd. And be persuasive, which means using the right language (not being too pushy) and connecting to the very first point, which is understanding deeply what that potential customer wants or needs (and then making it clear how you can solve that want or need)!

Make the CTA simple

This is an obvious point, but another example of where CTAs regularly fall down. If you want someone to sign up for a newsletter, or similar, why give them a form with 20 fields to fill? The vast majority of people will take one look and think ‘no chance, I’m too busy for this’. So instead, ask for only three. If you need more, then don’t lay everything out in one go, but instead have steps to the activity which mask cleverly how much there actually is. This is a typical trick that savvy marketers employ.

And there it is – simple ways to turn your CTAs into effective conversion tools!

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