CTA – never used it, have you?


Marketing is full of acronyms, marketing-speak and what looks like complicated marketing funnel sequences. Yet, one of the simplest concepts is the CTA.

CTA’s, Call to Actions, are the direct invitation for a customer or stakeholder to act, to engage with a brand in a specific way. And this does not need to be a purchase.

Typical CTA’s we have all seen might say: “Click here for more information” or “Claim your discount now” or, of course, “Purchase here”.

It seems simple enough. Yet some CTA’s are better than others in the they achieve higher returns; one of the measurements in digital marketing being the Click Through Rate or CTR.

First of all, brands should not be shy in offering CTAs. Human nature enjoys the interaction with CTAs.

Anticipation – Expectation – Reward

We enjoy the idea that there is something special behind a closed door, a wrapped gift or an event about to happen. Being able to trigger the special moment via a click – or offline via a phone call or sms – is enticing. We anticipate and equally we expect the outcome to be positive, to satisfy a need, possibly just a feeling. When we click and then find our expectations met or superseded, even better. Our compliance to click, to act and our bravery in doing so as well as our patience in getting there is rewarded. The more CTA’s create a positive reward, the more likely we are to engage in the call to action in future.

This is where brands fall short. If the CTA does not result in a reward of some kind, and ideally in an additional reward, customers are unlikely to come back.

Which CTAs work?

FREE versus discounts

We tend to think more in terms of discounts, but offering a free trial can be more effective. Allowing the customer to ‘taste’ or ‘experience’ you product/service without payment is highly effective in turning onlookers into buyers.

Social media links

Never thought of social media links as a CTA? The simplicity of them hides the fact that it is an invitation to click and see more. Not offering social media links on your website, means that you are closing the door to further engagement with your brand.

Event link

This is an obvious one, yet we can forget that while the call to action might be to sign up for an event, it also becomes a valuable PR tool. Every possibility to find out more about your brand, be it simply to see, in this case, what an event is about, is another opportunity to promote all you have to offer.

Windows into products and services

When it comes to products and services a call to action need not be a purchase. Rather, it can be part of the exploration stage, offering prospects more information, potentially a case study to add third party support.

Form submission

This is the obvious one, but consider using quizzes rather than pure informational type forms. People love to find out more about themselves, see how they compare to others or discover something they did not know. Gamification of CTA’s is an ideal way to get prospects and existing customers to keep coming back for more.

Having a variety of CTA’s on your website or as part of your social media communication creates better engagement along the customer touch points. It ensures that prospects do not feel there is a constant sales pitch.

What CTA will you use next?

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