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VOL. 41 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 12, 2017

Call to action: 3 plays to make it happen

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Marketing experts and sales pros alike know calls to action are essential. But simply including any CTA just doesn’t cut it in today’s marketplace.

Take a moment to think about how much business you might be losing each day because prospective customers simply aren’t inspired by your message.

Is the number too scary to imagine?

A study conducted by the University of Southern California used neuro-imagery to show that consumers primarily use emotions rather than information when evaluating brands.

Do your sales emails and marketing pieces motivate your would-be customers with clear, compelling calls to action, or is your message dismissed and largely overlooked?

Testing a new CTA, or simply making small changes to your existing one, is the best way to answer this question.

Even the most minor update to your CTA can have an enormous impact. ContentVerve saw a 90 percent increase in the number of people who subscribed via their website by switching to first-person phrasing: “Start my free 30-day trial” vs. “Start your free 30-day trial.”

You don’t have to rewrite the book on CTAs to develop a winning strategy. Take a page from companies that have tried, tested and proven some of the most effective CTAs out there.

Play #1: Update your photography. Fuelzee increased cart adds by 49 percent when it added a beard to the male model on one of its product pages.

Beards may not make sense for your business, but consider updating the photography on your website, emails, social media posts and sales sheets.

Even introducing a new color can drive results. Quicksprout found that orange and red CTA buttons got 32 percent more clicks than other colors they tried.

Play #2: Reconsider message placement. The last item in a series draws as much attention as the first item in a series.

Capitalize on this psychological trait – known as the serial position effect – by including a P.S. in your next sales email.

For example, “P.S. I understand making a decision on this is not easy, and just so you and I are clear, there is no commitment on your end if you try our introductory offer.”

Remember Hotmail? It practically put the P.S. tactic on the map, using it to grow signups by 400 percent.

Play #3: Ask for less. Don’t overwhelm your audience by asking them to do too many things.

Focus their attention on the most important action you want them to take in each communication. Whirlpool increased clicks on its email CTA by 42 percent by providing one single button to click instead of four clickable links.

Your calls to action are living things. Test small changes and analyze the results to ensure you aren’t missing out on business.

Jenny Jo Conner, marketing & sales strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.