Just do it: 10 tips toward a powerful call to action

Powerful call to action
by: Shannon Givens , January 29, 2019

When you’re crafting the copy of an ad or promotional email, the call-to-action portion may be more important than you think.

After all, the CTA is the part of the narrative that gets to the point of whatever you’re trying to accomplish. It’s the bottom line, the crux of the matter, the heralding of trumpets aimed at focusing the consumer’s attention on your most important message. That’s why taking time to formulate the best possible call to action is kind of a big deal.

“Businesses rarely understand the importance of clearly asking their customers to do something through a CTA,” writes Tasin Reza on industry news site Marketing Tech News. “(But) when you consider that more than 90 percent of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy, it’s critical for businesses to learn to do this well.”

An effective CTA may be doubly crucial when staging a call marketing campaign highly dependent on your ability to motivate viewers to either click to call or dial in.

Fortunately, writing an attention-grabbing CTA need not be difficult. Consider these suggestions the next time you’re strategizing promotional copy.

1. Segment your customer base and customize your CTAs accordingly for best possible results. A multitude of tools are available to help you parse the demographics and characteristics of your audiences; use that information to your advantage.

2. Keep it short and sweet, with 35 characters at the very most. Save product features and benefits for other parts of your ad copy; the CTA is supposed to state clearly and succinctly what you’re asking the consumer to do, e.g., “Sign up here for our newsletter,” “Download our whitepaper” or “Call us for a price quote.” Leave out unnecessary additions such as “Remember to” or “Be sure to.” Overly long or complicated CTAs drive fewer responses, studies show.

3. Succinct doesn’t have to mean boring. Plain and simple may be effective, but you can also try to inject a sense of excitement by optimizing compelling wording and exclamation points. Examples: “Call us to solve your debt woes!” or “Claim your free prize here!”

4. Avoid wording that connotes uncertainty, such as should, could, might, may, or think about. As Nike tells customers, just do it.

5. Include numbers when applicable. They tend to jump out at consumers, especially as applied to discounts, promotions, and incentives. Conversely, they can weed out those unlikely to convert. “If a user sees your pricing information in your ad and decides to click through to your site, you know they are still interested,” notes Bill McCaffrey on Wordstream.

6. Try creating a sense of urgency to appeal to customers’ FOMO (fear of missing out). An example: “Shop now! Sale ends tomorrow.”

7. If your CTA includes a form asking for customer info, limit the blanks to name, company, and email to better capture time-starved customers.

8. Experiment with the best location and visual elements for your CTA depending on the ad and venue. Font, color, negative space and amount of repetition should all be considered.

9. Conduct continual A/B testing to ensure you’re getting the best possible conversions.

10. Because ads on mobile draw different user behavior, strive for different CTAs. Desktop users are often still researching potential purchases, while mobile users are typically more susceptible to instant gratification and more likely to call you immediately when prompted.

Creating highly effective CTAs may take practice, but the time and energy you put in is likely to pay off.

“A CTA that works consistently is a creation of art and beauty. Its effectiveness is up to your imagination and your skill,” writes Jeremy Smith in MarketingLand. “Start creating CTAs, keep testing your CTAs and allow your conversions to rise.”

Custom Toll Free can show you how to optimize conversions by incorporating highly memorable phone numbers into your CTAs. Call us to learn how at 1-800-CUSTOMIZE.

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