iStock_103266319_XLARGE.jpgCalls to action are in your content, on your ads, in social posts and on your site. Without a clear call to action, your audience is left to decide on their own what action to take and are often not motivated enough to do anything.

We all know that everything you create should have a clear call to action.

Aside from making it clear what you want the audience to do, what else do you really know about CTAs?

Let’s explore what makes a good CTA and how to get the most out of yours..

At the most basic level, a CTA is simple as asking your visitors to take an action.  People look for guidance and often will do exactly as they are told - especially when the ask is simple!  Looking to build your social juice?  Asking for a Like or Retweet or Share is a good social CTA and it’s often as easy as “Please RT” or “Please Like”.  

When the ask is a little more demanding - when you are asking someone to part with their contact information or money, you have to work a little harder.

A great call to action works when it:

  • Clearly triggers an emotional reaction (I must have that, need it, want it, etc … )
  • Provides instruction on how to take the action. (Click right here to purchase.)
  • Creates urgency to act immediately. (Offer ends at midnight tonight! Buy now!)
  • Offers incentives or added details that make it impossible to refuse. (Free shipping!)

Kick It up a Notch: Use Sensory Words to Improve Response

A study by Spanish researchers1 stated that sensory areas of the brain activate upon seeing sense-related words:

“When subjects looked at the Spanish words for “perfume” and “coffee,” their primary olfactory cortex lit up; when they saw the words that mean “chair” and “key,” this region remained dark…”

“The singer had a velvet voice” and “He had leathery hands” roused the sensory cortex, while phrases that said the same thing in a less descriptive way did not.  For example: “The singer had a pleasing voice” and “He had strong hands.”

Brainstorm a list of sensory words that are relevant to your offering and keep them handy to insert into Calls to Action to supercharge them.  Create a list of words for sound, sight, taste, touch and smell. Use a thesaurus if you are struggling to find words.

Test the location of the Call to Action on the page and also test image versus text based calls to action. While there are best practices to guide you, ultimately you need to test for yourself and determine what your audience responds to.

Improve Conversions with Your Own “Click to Call” Approach

70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page, according to Google’s The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase2.  If it works for ads, why not test the concept on your site and Blog and social posts?  Ensure your CTA includes a click to call link.  Mobile traffic can easily click and make the call right then and there, creating a better user experience and increasing your response rate.

Tip: Check your stats to determine which pages are getting mobile traffic and ensure those pages have “click to call” links.

Advanced Tip: Don’t let these calls go undetected in your data analysis. Your data will have a gaping black hole that will impact future results, if you aren’t properly tracking offline activity like calls.  Use call tracking numbers and/or Dynamic Number Insertion to gather vital data.

We can’t talk about CTA’s without mentioning that the sole burden is not on the CTA button or text alone.   

While a great image or well thought out few words can excite and compel your audience, it is the job of your content and ads/posts that are driving traffic to your site to educate, inform and prime your audience before the big CTA moment.

Consider the entire experience from how they found your page, to how they may feel experiencing your content.  Through every step of your marketing funnel use imagery and text that elicits some kind of emotion.

Use Data to Determine Where You Can Improve Response

  • Use in-page Analytics to see what is and isn’t getting the click.
  • Use, (we use it!) or to see how your audience interacts with your page.
  • Use Call Tracking or Dynamic Number Insertion to track the onsite behaviour through to the offline behavior (phone call, textingl).
  • Use Google Analytics to see which pages aren’t converting well and figure out what is wrong with the flow and CTA.
  • Use landing pages to drive traffic (paid or social) to and test CTAs, then implement throughout the site

Look at flow through the site, the more you know about user behavior, the better you can use your CTA to target their pain points and increase your conversions.  You can craft a stronger CTA if you understand your target audience and their pain points and motivators.

Build up the problem, agitate your readers enough that they want to take action, and then work the solution into your CTA. It’s a winning formula.

Remember that every link you present for someone to click, as well as every video or social icon you place are all calls to action as well.  Be strategic about what you place on the site so you don’t distract from your core objective.

Test CTAs on social media posts to see how the socialsphere responds.

Uncover the CTAs that drive the most clicks and calls using your Analytics. Next do some analysis on them to isolate the elements that you feel are creating the success. Now you can create new CTAs with the same elements.

Looking for more information on call analytics to complete your ROI picture?  Request a consultation today to determine how this data can transform your  results.

1. Annie Murphy Paul. "Your Brain on Fiction." New York Times. March 17, 2012.

2. Google, The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase


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