The most likely culprits for poor digital marketing performance are weak call-to-action phrases. A call-to-action (CTA), when properly executed, should convince prospects to take the next step in finding out more about your product by completing a specific action. However, if your calls-to-action are vague or require prospects to jump through hoops, your outbound campaign won't produce the results you were hoping for. The good news is that repairing a poor CTA is a relatively quick and easy process.
1. Define Your CTA Goal
PR thought leader Gini Dietrich suggests evaluating your possible call-to-action phrases and organizing them into three distinct goals:
- building and engaging a community
- generating qualified leads
- driving sales.
It's up to you to prioritize these. Depending on which of these buckets your campaign falls in, your CTA phrases will differ. For example, if your goal is to drive prospects to register for a webinar, your call-to-action phrase should clearly encourage them to do so with a "Register now."
2. Make the Path Short and Simple
It might seem simple to use snappy phrases, such as "click here," but in the perilous world of the Internet, most users are reluctant to click on a button that doesn't give them a clear indication of where that click will take them. A simple tweak, such as "click here to register" or "click here for a demo," will make a huge difference in terms of gaining customer trust and helping them understand what comes next. For inspiration, take a look at B2BOnline Media's list of 20 effective verbs for use in call-to-action phrases.
3. Placement Matters
Once you've identified your goal and made the call-to-action phrase more succinct, the next thing to evaluate is the location of the CTA buttons on your website landing page, email or newsletter. This is where A/B testing comes in. The human brain is drawn to visual patterns that give clear signals. The right mix of text and graphics will not only appeal to customers, but it will also spur their brains into action. The website eConsultancy published a series of case studies on how strategic placement of CTA buttons can drastically improve conversion rates.
4. Sweeten the Deal
If you've tried the above steps and you're still not seeing the level of interest you're hoping for, perhaps it's not your call-to-action phrases, but what you're offering at the end of the action that requires evaluation. If your prospects are inundated with invitations to webinars or your industry is flooded with white papers on a particular subject, you may need to offer something more unique to entice customers to follow through. The Content Marketing Institute suggests using such deal sweeteners as free trials, a free demo, coupons, discounts or even a giveaway.
The right call-to-action phrases ensure success by enabling communication with your prospects and removing any barriers preventing them from taking the next step.