First of all, let’s review the concept of a “call to action.” The abbreviation for this is CTA and it’s a marketing term. This describes the part of your sales letter, email message, web page, blog post, article, a social media update and any other other content that you create that helps make the sale. It’s the “call” you create for your audience to entice them to “take action,” such as opting in for a free report or other gift, or making a purchase.
All the stages of your customers’ buying cycle need a strong CTA. The right call to action at the right time is imperative if you want to have a good return on investment, keep building your list, and influence your audience with your products and/or services. There are numerous places to put a strong call to action; let’s look at a few.
Above the Fold
When you see advice to place your CTA “above the fold,” this involves knowing what your audience sees when they click on your email, website, or other form of content. It is important when determining where “above the fold” (which is the time before your audience must scroll or swipe) to place your CTA.
This is not always right as your audience clicks through to the page because they may not know anything about you yet. You should find a way to tell them how you’ll solve their problems prior to placing the CTA. One way to deal with this is to use multiple CTAs.
Call to Action at the Bottom
Most people are used to scrolling today. Therefore, always putting a CTA at the bottom of your copy is a great way to ensure that your audience, who reads everything easily, locates the “what to do next” button, (i.e. your CTA button). You don’t want to make it hard for people who read and engage with your content to figure out what they should do next.
Below the Fold
Whenever you choose to place a CTA below the fold, it’s important that you use directional cues to point to the CTA. You can do this with content, images, and even actual arrows. This works great when you’re using a storyboard or infographic to explain to your audience the information they need to know in order to make a choice to buy from you.
You can put CTAs anyplace and in multiple places. For example, you can put a sign-up form under your blog posts so that if people want more information about that topic or your blog in general, they can get it just because they signed up. You can also put them on the sidebar of your site, within a blog post, and so forth. Putting them in multiple places allows your audience time to get to know you through your content so that they won’t miss out.
The biggest keys to “where to place your CTA” is to understand how your audience reads your content, where they are in their decision-making process, and what type of product, service, or information you want them to act upon. You learn all of this by testing different types of CTAs to find out what works best with your audience. You start with an educated guess and move from there to make sure your CTAs work as well as they should.
The Anatomy of a Good Call to Action
A good call to action has a lot more to it than a button saying, “buy now.” A lot of thought goes into placement, size, color, headlines, and more. You have to have a good understanding of your audience’s why, your own why, and how they mesh.
Sizing – It’s important to ensure that you pick the right size for your call to action. You don’t want it too small so that it doesn’t show up to your audience, but you don’t want it to look too big either. You need to ensure that the sizing is right based on the other things on your website.
Image Quality – It’s imperative that the authenticity of the images you use show through to your audience. This happens by understanding your brand and your voice as a business and choosing the right type of images to represent that to your audience.
An Effective Headline – Your call to action should include an effective headline that tells your audience what to do. For example, buy now, download now, sign up now, and so forth are all action verbs that won’t confuse your audience as to what they’re clicking on and what they’re agreeing to do.
Color – You also want to make sure that you use the right colors for your site so that the call to action stands out. Look at it and ask yourself whether it stands out or clashes? Does it look professional and command attention?
Form – You can create your call to action in many forms. For example, should you use a button or another type of image? Should you put a sign-up form under each blog post? What about a CTA to connect on social media? These are all forms of CTAs that get good results.
Text – When you create a CTA, should you put text on the button that gets attention? Should you give an example to your audience on what to write inside the boxes they need to fill out to sign up for something? It depends on your audience, but these actions have been proven to improve conversions.
Understand Why – One of the biggest things you need to know when you create your call to action is why you’re creating it. What do you want your audience to do and why? When you can understand why in terms that your audience understands and relates to, you’ll be able to get higher conversions on all of your CTAs.
Placement – The other thing you must know about CTAs is where you should place them. Placing them in multiple places is usually the best answer to make sure that you give your audience every opportunity to decide to answer it.
Crafting a good call to action takes some thought and consideration to ensure it works. You’ll need to place and test them to make them better; using A/B testing on the different types of CTAs that you can have and where you place them will ensure you are getting the results you desire.
I’m a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author, an independent publisher, and serial entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.