Thursday, September 8, 2016

Do Something! Boost Customer Engagement Through Effective Calls-to-Action

If you haven’t given marketing too much thought, it may seem logical that all you need to do is present your audience with a compelling offer in order to get sales. That might work to a certain extent, but it’s a simple fact that you need to tell them what to do in order to get the sale. You need to provide a clear and effective call-to-action (CTA) that entices customers to click that “Buy” button and make the order, for if you don’t, you may not maximize your potential sales.

A CTA should only be used when it’s obvious to the visitor that they’re reading a sales letter, or promotional piece. A white paper, for example, is primarily for educational purposes, and a strong CTA inserted at the end of the paper would only serve to erode trust. To a large extent, the same goes for most social media platforms where a CTA could be seen as intrusive.

In order to boost customer engagement through an effective call-to-action, a strategy is required. Here are some rules to follow when incorporating CTA's into your marketing message.

Always be visible and obvious
On a website sales page, a yellow, or yellow/orange, rectangular button saying something like “Buy Now” works well. It is highly visible and obvious, and when placed near the end of the sales page, it becomes the culmination of the promotional piece; the call-to-action. An alternative could be the use of larger bold text in a different color that stands out and clearly delivers a simple action message.

Use simple words that clearly express action
The words used in your call-to-action should be kept simple and should inspire the reader to take action. Words like, “Click Here”, “Buy Now” and “Call Today” convey a clear intent and will not confuse your visitor. Words like “Submit” are impersonal and clinical and should be avoided.

Don't be ambiguous or have more than one action listed
A single CTA always works best. When you say something like, “Click the buy button now, or call our number, or alternatively fill out our contact form,” a potential customer will become confused and unsure of which action they should take. The result will often be that they take no action at all.

Inspire a feeling of urgency
You need to instill a sense of urgency into the call-to-action. You don’t want the visitor to think they can always come back and do it later. They probably won’t. Use words like, “Now” and “Today” to create a feeling of immediacy. You could also say that the offer will only be available for a short time before the price rises.

Lead to a short and simple engagement path for the customer
Provide an engagement path for your customer that is short and easy to follow. If they call a number and are then presented with 10 menu options to navigate, they will probably give up. If they have to fill in a form with their name, email and home address after clicking a button, they will probably give up. Keep the engagement path simple and easy.

Incorporate A/B testing
This can be achieved by changing only a single element of the CTA (button color, action word, etc) and then compare the results against the previous version. Improved results should be kept and any decrease in results should be rejected.

Do you need help developing marketing strategies to boost your online sales? Contact CC Communications today to learn how we can put our 22+ years of experience to work for your business.