This is a transcript of episode 8 of the OMGrowth podcast, published on January 6, 2021
The online world is the “new” field of dreams but instead of “if you build it, they will come”, it’s more like, “if you ask for it, they will do the thing you want them to do.”
And nowhere is this more evident than when you want to improve your conversion rates: let’s look at your call-to-action can better help you do that!
WHAT IS A CALL-TO-ACTION?
A call-to-action – or what the cool kids call a CTA – is basically how your website wears the bossy pants. It’s a way for your homepage, your sales pages, your blog posts, your emails or even your social media to tell your readers what to do and why they’re doing it.
—> Because here’s the truth: people can read your blog post and love it…. and then click away.
—> They can see your homepage and think you’re awesome-sauce… and then click away.
—> They can love your social media content and vibe… and then click away.
And they most certainly WILL click away… unless you tell them otherwise! Your audience isn’t clairvoyant and they don’t know what you have to offer them unless you tell them. Likewise, it isn’t anyone else’s job but yours to know what your client journey is, and it’s also your job to be the guide people through that journey.
Which is why it is so important for you to consistently remind your peeps that – hey! – I have more to offer you and this is where you get that.
Just like the airport has air traffic control, your website and your assets need online traffic control directing people to where they should go next.
And that’s exactly what a good call-to-action should be: guidance towards the next natural step that someone would want to take.
This will also typically fall along the lines of what I call the ABCs of marketing. For instance, you probably won’t have “BUY IT NOW” buttons on your blog posts but instead, you’ll keep those for your sales pages.
Because when someone is reading your blog post, you’re generally either in the “A” phase of ATTRACTING people to your offers and messages, and generating AWARENESS of your brand; or you’re in the “B” phase of BUILDING relationships and authority around your zone of genius.
A better call-to-action here would be to sign up to your email list or free offer, or join your Facebook Group, or even sign up for your workshop or webinar – something where you can do more of that relationship building before you get into the “C” phase of CONVERTING sales.
HOW DO WE USE CTAs
Each piece of content you have represents a specific phase of your marketing and the call-to-action you make should reflect that you’re meeting them there and making relevant offers to “where they’re at”.
And that’s actually part of the trick to creating an effective call-to-action:
If you’re clear as to your content’s purpose and where that positions your audience within your client journey, you can be as bossy as you want to be. In fact, the bossier, the better!
—> You’re picking up what I’m throwing down on social media? CHECK OUT THIS CONTENT I HAVE ON MY WEBSITE!
—> You like this blog post? SIGN UP FOR THIS RELATED FREE OFFER!
—> You’re looking for the products and services that I have to offer? BUY IT NOW!
If your CTAs are genuinely positioned to meet that person “where they’re at”, you can – and should! – use commanding-as-all-get-out, clear-as-crystal language as to what they should do next. They won’t know unless you tell them and you have to tell them like it’s your job – because it kinda-sorta-totally is your job, boss!
(That’s why you ARE the boss, right?!)
WHERE DO WE USE CTAs
You know how to meet people “where they’re at” and you know how to wear the bossy pants and get your people to where they want to go next… now where exactly are you going to place these calls-to-action?
You can’t bring up CTA placement without someone bro-ing out about the importance of being ABOVE THE FOLD – “you gotta get your CTA above the fold, man!”. And yes, it’s a good idea to put your calls-to-action front and center.
That’s basically what we’re talking about when we say “above the fold”: it’s an old-timey expression that dates back to newspaper printing days and the importance of getting that attention-grabbing headline above where the newspaper folds over so people are most likely to see it and can’t ignore it.
This now translates to your website – or really, any page you’re directing traffic to such as your sales page or blog post, where you want people to take a specific action – and the idea is to position the appropriate call-to-action in a way that is visible without scrolling on both mobile and desktop.
There are all kinds of add-ons you can include on your website like Hello Bar that will put a call-to-action at the very top of your site – above even your navigation bar – that can be an effective way of getting people to take action.
You can also increase your lead-generation and email list subscribers by including calls-to-action INLINE to your blog posts. Someone reading your content and finding value could be interested in your free offer, but they won’t know unless you tell them and that’s where those inline CTAs come in handy.
POP-UPS are another common way of letting people know what their next step with you should be, but these can also be a little tricky to use: have you ever been on a site that can’t-stop-won’t-stop with the flipping pop-ups? Yeah, we all hate those people and it really is that easy to be a decent marketer: put yourself in the user’s screen and be honest with yourself about whether your call-to-action is helpful or just plain annoying, especially where pop-ups are concerned.
One of the pop-up tools I’ve most enjoyed using was Opt-In Monster because you could put in some incredibly specific retargeting campaigns with their pop-ups – like, you can say “promo a discount on my offer to anyone who has been on your website for 10 minutes and has visited my sales page twice.” You can get incredibly strategic and intentional with these types of pop-ups.
Finally, EMAILS are a great place for a call-to-action. I like putting mine in the footer because the way I see it, if we’re engaging and you’ve read through my whole email, I should probably show you something you may be interested in.
And don’t forget your SOCIAL MEDIA – whether it’s your posts, your Lives, or your links, give your audience an opportunity and a reason to get chummier with you.
IMPROVING YOUR CTAs
Your CTAs are like anything else in your business: they’re always open to improvement. You can change a call-to-action and have an impact on your sales, click-throughs and conversion rates…
But just because you change something doesn’t mean it’s an improvement.
Changes can have a negative impact as much as they can be positive so keep that in mind when you’re making changes to how you’re using:
- Button shapes;
So what kind of ACTION ITEMS can you take away from this?
1) Visit your site. Like, legit visit, as if you’re a new visitor. Are you providing visitors with opportunities to pick up more of what you’re putting down? Are those opportunities visible? Are they relevant?
2) Take a 360 mirror approach and check yourself out on desktop, mobile, and tablet.
3) Look for opportunities to improve CTAs in your email and social media marketing.
4) And finally, test your CTAs like your conversion rates depend on them… because, yeah, they do!