From a website to a face-to-face pitch, the world of sales revolves around calls to action (CTA). Often these can be subtle and easy to miss, such as a “learn more” signup button at the end of a compelling article. At other times a good CTA hits you like a ton of bricks, as is the case with the classic, century-old “We want you” poster.
Whether it’s presented in a brazen, in-your-face style or a subtle encouragement, a good call to action always requires thoughtfulness and consideration in order to coax an appropriate response out of the customer or the client in question.
The Almighty Call To Action
Anyone who’s spent even a short amount of time in sales or marketing is familiar with what a call to action is. Even if you use the term on a regular basis, though, there’s a significant difference between understanding when to use a word and what the word actually means. As with all deep analyses, it’s helpful to (briefly!) review the essentials of a CTA before dissecting it.
At its core, a call to action is one thing: a statement that, in one way or another, encourages a person to do something.
This “something” can be making a purchase, but it doesn’t have to be. Calls to action are typically sprinkled throughout a good marketing process. They can be inserted from the initial invitation to engage with a company right on through the steps that lead to closing a sale.
Your calls to action are the most important part of your sales pitch. Without them, well, you wouldn’t be a salesman at all. At some point, you must initiate that call for a response, a decision, or an action from your client.
The problem is, calls to action are an art form that can be very easily mucked up if they aren’t approached with respect and consideration.
Keys to a Good Call To Action
Below are some basic elements that go into crafting an excellent call to action.
Avoid the Disingenuous and Promotional
Canned responses are tacky. Pushing products and services that don’t apply to the customer looks promotional. If a call to action sounds premeditated, insincere, or generic, you’re going to turn the customer off.
Always take the time to step back and consider your call to action with an eye towards weeding out the promotional and the disingenuous.
Do Your Research
Don’t just guess at what will compel your audience to react. Even worse, don’t base your calls to action on your own thoughts or feelings. Take the time to properly gather data beforehand.
Utilize your knowledge of your industry and products. Make sure you understand the needs of your customers when crafting your call to action as well.
Once you have a call to action in place, continue to research and analyze. Gauge the responses you get and always be ready to tweak things.
When crafting a call to action, simple verbiage is key. After all, you don’t want to sound like an elitist know-it-all that is generously offering a helping hand to an ignorant customer.
Make sure to use simple, straightforward words that help the customer relate to what you’re offering.
Figure Out Placement
Traditionally a call to action is placed at the end of a pitch. However, in the online world, in particular, it’s important to strategically place your calls to action in multiple locations.
Your website, in particular, should be filled with strategically placed, unobtrusive calls to action. Many experts even suggest putting a call to action on every page of your site.
Of course, that doesn’t mean try to close a sale with every CTA. You can aim to validate a potential customer, point out their pain points, or then nudge them towards your solution. In other words, each CTA should beckon the reader to take the next step relative to their current point in the customer journey
Make Sure Your Marketers and Sales Team Are Collaborating
In many ways, marketers and salesmen are two peas in a pod. However, too often the two entities operate in different worlds. This can lead to confusion, miscommunication (both internally and to the customer), and missed opportunities.
The key to weaving your marketing and sales departments together is your call to action. These decision points allow your marketing team to smoothly transition leads to your sales department. They also enable your salesforce to return a customer to marketing if they’re not ready to convert.
Why It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson
And there you have it. To briefly recap, a good call to action involves:
- Avoiding tacky sales terms.
- Staying honest and genuine.
- Researching your customer’s pain points.
- Using simple, relatable verbiage.
- Strategically choosing the time and place for each CTA.
- Make sure your sales and marketing teams are collaborating.
These tips are all focused on creating genuine calls to action aimed at producing results. If you can follow these tips, your calls to action should never ring hollow.