Last week, I talked about how email marketing is far from dead and that it remains a key part of your demand generation activities and most importantly your lead nurturing. But there may be one element that’s even more critical to your demand generation activities than email marketing… that’s your call to action or CTA.
I am still surprised that quite often a call to action is missing from many marketing campaigns or done so poorly that the audience misses it. The call-to-action must grab the visitor’s or prospect’s attention and make them want to do something. If that doesn’t happen then what’s the point of the campaign in the first place.
What the specific call to action and where it goes could vary by campaign. In the case of a lead gen campaign, for example, the CTA would direct the person to a landing page where you can collect their info in exchange for the offer. In a blog post, it could be getting the reader to share the post using social media or start a discussion in the comment section.
While this may seem obvious to some, take a look around and see how many emails, web pages, blog posts, and ads don’t tell the audience what to do next. The call-to-action is so often missing and it will make the difference between a successful marketing campaign and a failure. Even for campaigns that have a CTA, studies show that tweaking this element properly can make the difference between a good and a great campaign.
So where do you start? For a call-to-action to be successful, you need to make sure it links to a compelling offer. That’s why it’s important for you to look through your most recent campaigns and see which offers did the best in terms of conversions and create more CTAs for them. Or, you may need to develop a new offer for a new campaign if one that will spur the action does not already exist. In fact, you’ll want to start to build a library of offers which could include educational white papers, research papers, ebooks, webinars, newsletter sign-ups, courses, demos, free trials, and many more.
Once you have these offers lined up then you need to draft the copy for these calls-to-action so your audience will click on the link or button and convert. There are a few key aspects to a compelling CTA including:
- Make it clear in terms of what the visitor needs to do and what the offer is if they do it.
- Make sure it stands out where ever it’s placed and that people don’t need to scroll on the web page or in the email to get to it. If people don’t see it, then it won’t be clicked on.
- Make sure the call-to-action is relevant to the page, where they are in the sales funnel and that the offer is the right content for that call-to-action. Remember the key is to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.
If you follow this process, then you will be well on your way to some compelling calls-to-action that convert but after you’ve gone this far you will want to continue to optimize the CTA and the landing page. That’s why it’s equally important to measure the effectiveness of the call to action including the click-through-rate (CTR) and conversion rate for those that followed through and performed the desired action. With these results you can experiment with and keep testing different offers, landing pages and different aspects of the call-to-action including text, colors, images, etc.