What is a call-to-action?

DSM Digital School of Marketing- call-to-action

The term ‘call-to-action’ (CTA) refers to the part of a story, webpage, advertisement or, alternatively, a piece of content which gives the audience encouragement to do something. In digital marketing, CTAs assist a business to convert a viewer, visitor or, alternatively, a reader into a lead that the sales team can convert into a paying customer. CTAs can drive a variety of different actions depending on the content’s goal.

A CTA is generally utilised at the end, or sometimes throughout, a sales pitch (such as a sales letter) in order to let potential clients or customers know what to do next if they’re interested in buying what you offer.

It seems clear that you need to let people know the next step is in doing business with you. However, the truth is that many new freelancers don’t have calls to action in their digital marketing and sales pitches. This is usually to accomplish one of two aims:

  1. A conviction that the prospect already knows what to do if they’re interested in learning more about the company, or
  2. Worries that calls-to-action are obnoxious and will irritate the potential client or customer.

No matter what the reason, omitting CTAs out of your digital marketing materials can translate into losing money. Calls to action play a pivotal role in directing a prospect to the next step of the sales funnel or process.

A CTA is an enduring marketing principle

Marketing has transformed a lot over the past decade or two with the advent of the Internet and the consequent ushering in of digital marketing. It seems as if there’s constantly a brand-new feature that becomes available on the platforms that most of us are already using. Just as regularly, it seems as if there’s a totally new platform that blogs and other industry publications are calling the next ‘big thing’.

However, some aspects of marketing haven’t changed much over time. One of these aspects is the way in which we write CTAs. If you’ve spent a lot of time searching for ways in order to boost your conversion rates, you’ve most likely noticed that most companies use the same handful of CTA phrases in order to encourage users to take action.

It’s a fact. Marketers have been making use of similar CTAs in order to drive action for years. This is even before they were writing the ‘commands’ for websites as well as digital ad campaigns as while the platforms and channels we use develop, the basic aim of a CTA hasn’t changed: Driving potential customers to take a particular action which is relevant to their stage of the conversion funnel that these people are in.

How to write a CTA

There are some basic principles marketers have been using for years, during the process of writing CTAs, that continue to drive results.

  1. Visibility

 Your CTA is absolutely useless if nobody sees it. This means that you need to pay attention to the following tips to make it more visible:

  • Many argue that CTAs should be placed above the fold as 80% of website visitors never scroll down.
  • Visitors won’t see your CTA if it blends in with other landing page elements. This means that you should consider using different colours in your appeal as opposed to others that are found on other parts of the web page.
  • Rounded CTA buttons tend to stand out best which further increases the number of visitors who take your desired action.
  1. Clear and convincing message

If your CTA is weak, viewers won’t be motivated to follow through. However,  if it’s too strong, they’ll resent being compelled to do something that they don’t want to.  Every CTA needs to quickly answer two important questions for your visitors: What do you want them to do and why should they do it?

  1. Choose supporting elements with care

 Be aware that making use of images and other supporting elements near to your CTA can boost conversion rates however they need to be used carefully. For example, utilising testimonials, case studies as well as other social proof near to your CTA can improve the rate at which people become paying clients of your business by as much as 68.7%. However, any such elements you include need to be both believable and impressive. Don’t make up your testimonials just to try to appeal to readers.

As with many other digital marketing strategies, testing different CTA options ensures that you’re getting the best results that you can. Test a variety of options, switch them out one a time and then check to see if one results in more responses and sales as opposed to another.

CTAs are a vital part of digital marketing that is the lifeblood of any business.

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