The importance of a call-to-action and how to use them
Updated: Oct 5
We all see sign posts and directions in our daily lives and we are encouraged to create engaging content for our online profiles. But what's the point if you forget to sign post someone to do something having read your content: Here's one for you! Read on to find out why CTA are so important...
Not sure what a call-to-action is or which is right for you? Then you could be missing out on vital clicks and conversions, and essentially, contact with potential customers. So how do you get it right, and how do you know how to employ a call-to-action correctly?
Firstly, context is king. There are hundreds of call-to-actions to choose from, so you want to be sure you’re choosing the one that’s right for you. Look at your content and think about your end goal – what do you want your visitors/audience to actually do? Are they purchasing, signing up, making an enquiry? The desired action will naturally dictate the wording of the call-to-action, and it’s important to get this right as to offer your prospective clients and customers a clear pathway to achieving your goal.
After you’ve assessed what is you want potential customers to do, keep it short and sweet. Four words should be your absolute maximum, and at least one of these should be an imperative verb (‘click’, ‘buy’, ‘sign up’, ‘read’). These should be followed by words like ‘here’ and ‘now’ to add a sense of urgency. Creating the idea that your end product or service is dependent on a restricted time frame (even if it’s not) often encourages potential customers to seal the deal (nobody likes missing out on a bargain), and the urgent ‘now’ at the end of your call-to-action may be the final push they need to follow through.
Once you’re certain of what your call-to-action should say and how you want to say it, it’s time to start thinking about positioning. Instinctively you’re going to want to pop your call-to-action at the end of your content – and that’s great and really effective – but don’t feel like you’re restricted to just this. Bear in mind that your client may have found you through a search engine or Twitter link or email push, and that they may well just be interested in the product/service itself, and not what you have to say about it. In this day and age of instant information, some people can’t be bothered to scroll to the bottom of a page and look for your finally placed ‘click here’.
That’s why it’s important to make call-to-actions multiple and accessible. Always have one in the header – or at least towards the top – of any given web page. That way, no matter what page the prospective client is on or how quickly they’re planning to leave, there is a constantly accessible way of following through to the end goal. If your pages are content-rich or the layout changes, try popping one in a static sidebar or footer. Heck, why not embed a button into the body of your content? Mix it up – your audience will appreciate the variety.
If you’re posting ads to social media or in printed press, you’re going to be a little more limited when it comes to layout. In this case it’s not what you do with the call-to-action that counts, but what you do with the content. It’s important not to give the reader absolutely everything that they need to, or would want to know. Leave them wanting more, and your call-to-action will do the work for itself.
Not sure that you’re employing your call-to-action properly? Or worried that it’s not working as well as you’d hoped? Get in touch with EP Marketing today for a free and friendly chat – hey, we can even talk about how ironic it is that we’ve put our call-to-action at the bottom of the article. Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 07710689446 or tweeting @ep_marketing.