The call-to-action is the heart and soul of any marketing effort. It’s the part of the advertisement that urges customers to do something about the ad they’ve just seen. A call-to-action can be directly stated or subtly implied but every advertisement should have one. A weak call-to-action can lessen the effectiveness of an otherwise great advertisement. Here are seven tips for improving your call-to-action.
Keep it simple
The best calls-to-action are simple and easy to follow. A straightforward, short call-to-action is much more likely to get people to take action than a long and complicated one. Complex calls-to-action can frustrate or confuse consumers and produce the opposite of the desired effect.
Use action verbs
Verbs denote action. Because action is the key part of the call-to-action, verbs need to be the focus of your call-to-action. Choose an action verb that clearly says what you want consumers to do. Avoid using verbs ending in ing.
Make it stand out
Your headline and your call-to-action are the two most important parts of your advertising message. Just as you want your headline to stand out from the rest of your message, you want the call-to-action to stand out. Consider using a larger font or appealing graphics to draw attention to your call-to-action. You want your call-to-action to be prominent and unmistakable.
Call-to-actions are most effective with combined with some kind of incentive. Marketers often make the mistake of throwing a QR code on a package and calling it a call-to-action. But without an incentive, a QR code is just a short cut that most consumers won’t take because they don’t see what’s in in for them. Make sure your consumers know what they’re getting in return for following your call-to-action.
Incorporate social media
A great way to use a call-to-action is to get consumers to connect with you via social media. Don’t settle for Facebook “likes.” You want to engage with consumers on a deeper level. Get them to post to your wall or share one of your posts with their friends. As with other calls-to-action you’ll want to offer an incentive to encourage them.
Have more than one
If your call-to-action can only be found in an image, your call-to-action may not ever be seen. For example, a person’s email provider or web browser might not render the image correctly or may block it altogether. It’s best to always have a back up call-to-action especially when you’re using one in an image.
When it comes to calls-to-action, it’s okay to repeat yourself. You can use the same call-to-action two or even three times in the same message. You might even offer different incentives with each repetition to reaffirm the value of your call-to-action.
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