Marketing Calls to Action: What are they and how can I use them?

Posted on   by Sarah Hickman
Marketing calls to action

A call to action (CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your customers - and potential customers - to take action.

This action could be anything: download an eBook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, get in touch for a quote, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing - on your website, in your social media posts, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.

CTAs are especially important on websites. Every site should have a ‘goal’ it wants users to complete.

So, how do you do it and what do you say?

1. Focus on the value your CTA provides
You need to communicate the benefits of responding. What will the user get out of completing the CTA? A special offer? Useful information? Early notification of an event or deal?

2. Address the user’s questions about the CTA
The user needs to trust you. They may have to make a payment or supply personal details. This means they often have questions which will need to be answered before they take action.
For example, make sure you tell people signing up for a newsletter how often you will email them. They will also want reassurance that you will not sell their details to a third party, and can unsubscribe at any time.

3. Don’t use too many
It’s important to focus your actions. If you use too many CTAs the user may become overwhelmed. Try to guide the user step by step. If you have more than one CTA, make sure they are distinct. If they are too similar users may not tell them apart.

4. Think about how you position your CTA
On a website, you should place it high on the page and in the central column. On other marketing materials, make sure it’s clear and easy to read.

5. Use blank space around your CTA
The more space you place around a CTA, the more attention you will draw to it. If you clutter your CTA with surrounding content it may get lost.

6. Consider using an alternative colour on your CTA
Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to your CTA. This is especially true if the rest of the website or marketing material has a muted colour scheme.

7. The bigger the better…within reason
The bigger your CTA, the more chance users will notice it. A large CTA also allows you to add more text. But don’t forget that size isn’t everything! As mentioned above, position, colour and surrounding space are also important.

8. Use urgency or scarcity to encourage action
Creating a sense of urgency by limiting supply will encourage people to act. You could use tactics such as:
- Offering limited time discounts
- Limiting supply
- Highlighting how quickly you are selling out
Some airlines and hotel booking websites show you how many other people are viewing that flight or hotel right now. This spurs people into action as they fear they might lose out.

9. Don't be annoying
You’ve probably experienced it yourself – people can be put off by the hard sell or an intrusive approach. For example, on websites try not to use too many pop-ups as users will simply click away from your site.

10. Follow through on your CTA
Consider what happens AFTER a user responds to your CTA. There might be a signup process or email confirmation. This process should be streamlined to ensure that users follow through to the end.

So here is our call to action....contact us to find out more about how we can help you create a website or marketing materials that work hard for you!

Posted on   by Sarah Hickman