What do you really know about how to optimize a call-to-action?


Take ActionWhat comprises a compelling call-to-action?

The key ingredient in every marketing plan is its call-to-action. If you don’t ask for the sale, the answer will always be NO. In postcard and email campaigns, you’re limited in scope to a very small space in which to reinforce interest and tip prospects over the edge to buy. So what makes for an effective call-to-action?

Location (repeat that three times)

When my wife and I were writing the business plan for our Salon, she told me our success depended heavily on location. In fact, she repeated location, location, location over and over. Why? In the hair styling industry, you need a constant flow of walk-in traffic to augment your existing clientele, if you want to maximize your growth. It’s not much different cross-industry.

You need to capture your prospects attention immediately
In an email broadcast, positioning your call-to-action above the scroll puts your message where? In the preview pane! So many people never scan beyond their preview panes. In a world dominated by immediate gratification, this compares to being in the top ten of search engine results. You need to capture your prospect’s attention immediately. How? Location! You want them to be able to simply glance at the preview and click.

Do you use more than one call-to-action?
Is just one call to action enough? Strategists reason by giving multiple calls to the same action, in different sections of your broadcast, you lend weight to the call. The first call to action may be intriguing, prompting your prospect to read further (benefits/solutions), followed by second call-to-action that puts them over the top. If you change the wording or offer different solutions in multiple calls-to-action, you risk confusing your viewers. A confused prospect never buys!

Sales are emotional transactions

Setting the right tone puts your prospect in a buying posture. Using power words that demonstrate force (in your face) and personality make a strong impact. You’re looking to prompt specific reactions from their point of view. And it isn’t just the words, rather it’s their perception of the words. What’s more appealing to you (on the same product)? 20% off or $ 150 off? My guess would be $ 150 off. Why? Because 20% is an unknown quantity. It sounds good, but requires some calculation. I understand $150 off immediately.

Text or Images?

The goal is to draw attention to your call-to-action. Extensive testing has shown that what works for some doesn’t work for everyone . Changing up between text and images works better than locking into one or the other. A word of caution when using images for your call to action is that some readers may have images disabled, so always add ALT text attributes to your images.

Size and color matters

In testing, it’s been surmised that bright colors outperform other colors, and orange in particular, does very well. I’ve seen a lot of red calls-to-action, but subconsciously, red means STOP. A good test to determine if your call-to-action is the proper size and color is to stand about 10 feet away from your ad and see how easy it is to pick out.

My Recommendation to Increase Conversions

Wording is key. Instead of using Buy Now, Buy, Order, Order Now or any similar wording, change your call-to-action to ADD TO CART. Put it where it’s easily seen and your conversion rates will increase.

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