We’re going to let you in on a little secret that just might change your marketing game. Are you ready for it? You will want to save this one.

Your advertising campaign is only as strong as your call to action is. That’s the secret sauce!

If you’re already scratching your head wondering what a call to action is, don’t worry. Let’s break it down.

A call to action, commonly referred to as a “CTA” by us marketing insiders, is that thing you want your audience to do. It’s a small but mighty word (or two) that is typically linked to the place your audience takes action. This could be a lead form, a landing page or a checkout page. When done well, it inspires and incites action. When done wrong, it causes confusion and can lead to missed opportunities. Here are a few ways to avoid the latter.

Keep the wording simple and strong. People are busy and they don’t have time to discern what you are trying to get them to do, no matter how seemingly simple it is. If it’s not clear from the get-go what they need to do to take advantage of the product or service you’re promoting, there is a good chance they will jump ship to the next business who does make it clear. Use clear, concise, motivational words that tell them exactly what they need to do.

Don’t intimidate. There is a delicate balance between motivating someone and scaring them off when they are considering whether or not to take action or give you their private information. Consider where your customer is in their journey with you and what you want them to do and then phrase your call to action accordingly. For example, using words such as “Learn More” may be appropriate for someone just getting to know your business who is requesting more information. Or, if someone has already had several touchpoints and is arriving at a checkout page, words that imply a higher commitment such as “Buy Now” may be more appropriate. If you hint at asking a lot in the form of time or money too early in their journey, you could lose them.

Consider colors carefully. Speaking of intimidation, color psychology plays a huge role in giving subtle cues to someone who is deciding whether or not to click your CTA. Believe it or not, using a powerful color like red can signal danger or alarm and have the opposite effect you’re going for. Do your research to decide which color complements your brand while also motivating the call to action.

Place it in an optimal position. Position your CTA button or link so that it’s clearly visible without sending customers on a scavenger hunt searching for it. Keep in mind the different mediums it will be viewed in; this is especially important for websites, where it’s easy to inadvertently bury them “below the fold,” which is the main frame that is viewed upon arriving at your site.

Reinforce it throughout your campaign. After you choose your call to action, be sure that it is used consistently throughout the various touchpoints of your advertisement or campaign. You will want to reinforce it several times and this is best accomplished by using language that supports it or repeats it in messaging on landing pages or ads.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what a call to action is and how important it is to the success of your marketing campaigns, the real fun begins. If you have questions about how you can improve your campaign performance, we are always here for a free one-hour brainstorm sessions. Schedule yours today.

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