A call to action (CTA) is a phrase designed to get someone to do something. It is usually intended as a trigger to launch a prospective customer on the path to conversion.
A great CTA can rally website visitors or ad viewers to move ahead with the purchase process by creating a sense of urgency or a possibility that must be acted on immediately.
A CTA should create a sense of well-being or offer a solution to a known or perceived problem. It should spell out clearly how a person should proceed and answer the universal question that drives so many actions: “What’s in it for me?”
A CTA has three elements: the action you want people to take, the words you use to inspire the action and the physical appearance of the CTA (font, design, placement).
Be realistic and clear about what actions you want your CTA message to prompt and what a recipient can expect for taking the action. A CTA works when:
•It triggers an emotional reaction.
•It creates a sense of urgency.
•It provides an incentive that motivates action.
•It tells clearly how to proceed.
To create urgency in your CTA, give a deadline for taking action.
The urgency may suggest an impending price increase or a limited supply, offer an upgrade, or include a free gift or extra accessories. Try to make the cutoff date in the same month as your materials will be received.
A good CTA delivers a lot of information in just a few words and also includes compelling action words. Following are some examples:
•Use this coupon today for a 20% discount.
•Learn more now about the benefits of distance learning.
•Click here to get the full story.
•Contact us at once for a free report on health insurance options.
•Learn right away how to increase your earning potential.
•Call right away and ask for our web discount.
•Subscribe now for free tips on starting your own business.
•Call today for a free consultation.
Sprinkle CTA links generously throughout your website. You can also include CTAs in email messages and newsletters and on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Be sure that your CTA links to the landing page where the action is to be fulfilled, such as where the product or service can be purchased or the offer redeemed.
You may need to experiment with several versions of your CTA in order to find one that really resonates with your audience.
Remember to craft your CTA based on your target market and what you are offering, and clearly indicate what you want respondents to do.
As with any marketing technique, trial and error will help guide you to the most effective CTA for your business and your customers.