I’ve witnessed beautifully crafted marketing campaigns unfold, activate the target audience and then crash and burn at the very last step — the call to action. Pitfalls proliferate the path, from poor visual design to vague copy. However, one of the greatest sabotages of an effective CTA is not necessarily a swirling synergy of marketing tactics. It’s the lack of specificity.
How Specific Can You Go?
In a world of “don’t make me think marketing,” users seek an optimal conversion experience that yields the desired solution with minimal effort. And as the user’s threshold for “minimal effort” decreases, marketers must continue to simplify choices with laser-point specificity. We have to make it easier to match the user’s need with our offer. Here’s a great example that popped into my inbox recently from TheSkimm.
I read TheSkimm every day, and every day, I bypass its consistent tout asking readers to share the newsletter. Elaborate sweepstakes and posh prizes couldn’t persuade me to bombard my contacts (whoever those might be) with this email, as witty, concise and helpful as it is.
It wasn’t until TheSkimm dished out a specific CTA that I perked up. They defined a precise target audience to direct my efforts. The term “best friend” immediately called two or three specific individuals to mind that might enjoy TheSkimm, and that was certainly two or three more than I’d ever pinpointed previously! Simple, right? But that final degree of exactitude — telling me now just what to do, but to whom — tipped the scale.
Techniques to hone your CTA.
Run Through the 5 “Ws.” It’s a great safeguard checklist to ensure your CTA addresses all of the “who, what, when, where and why.” A gap in any of those factors weakens your conversation rate.
Demonstrate the Value…backwards. Naturally, a tried-and-true approach highlights the benefits directly in the call to action, such as “get the latest trends straight to your inbox!” or “grab your free car-dancing guide here!” (Alright, I haven’t seen that one, but it could exist.) Don’t pass up the opportunity to also show the losses users will experience by opting out or ignoring the call to action.
Pick Your Terrific Two (or three). Resist the common marketing pitfall of offering something for everyone. It’s certainly tempting to ensure your messages have an appeal for any customer visiting your site, reading your email or perusing your Insta feed. However, research shows that more options are not always better. Trust your target marketing strategy to connect your message with qualified leads at the appropriate place in the marketing funnel. Limit your calls to action to two or three choices.
Want a little more? Shoot us an email about your own call to actions!