Whether you’re writing an email, blog post or the next bestseller, you want your readers to be listening and responding. Your goal may be to get them to keep reading, or maybe you’re asking them to make a purchase, leave a comment or visit your website, but usually you want them to do something. Online content uses the call to action, or CTA. Don’t let the fancy acronym fool you; calls to action are not some mysterious entity. Instead, they’re clear, concise instructions for the reader to respond to.
So here is how to make your call to action more…actionable.
Create a Sense of Urgency
You’ve probably heard this a million times for titles and subject lines, but this also applies to the CTA. Online retailers use urgency by displaying “Only 2 left in stock” or “You’ll save $5 today” while educators post how much space is left in their classes.
If you have something that’s being offered for a limited time or is very time-sensitive, then communicate this urgency with your readers.
Don’t create obstacles that prevent you from getting more responses. Obstacles include:
-Lengthy text the reader doesn’t want to muddle through and asking them to click on multiple links to reach the end goal.
-Design of the page can also become an obstacle. According to KISSmetrics, a dark background with light text can be between 50% and 200% less readable than a light background with dark text.
Make sure your call to action is easy to read, respond to and comprehend.
Grab Their Attention
Getting their attention may only be a matter of changing a word or adding an image to attract more attention. One site found that changing “read more” text to more active verbs like “find” or “discover,” yielded over 50% more click throughs. Another study by MediaPost reported a large technology vendor increased click throughs by 67% when they changed a link from text to a button, while Email-Worx found just including a small, relevant image near the CTA lifted clicks by 50%.
Use active verbs to encourage readers to respond, and make your design catchy with relevant images.
Your CTA may require readers to provide anything from an email address to credit card information, or maybe you’re just looking for data and need them to complete a survey. The more you’re asking, the more reluctant readers will be about sharing.
Test, Test, Test
Testing is the key to learning what works and what doesn’t. Split testing allows you to test two or more variables against each other to see which one brings in more results.
The studies above wouldn’t be valuable if they weren’t compared against something. Whenever you plan to change any aspect of your marketing campaign, set up a split test first.
Implementing these tips will help you learn even more about your audience. You’ll see what they like and what triggers a response, and you’ll be able to apply this information to other aspects of your campaign.