By Amy Duchene
Lights, camera, action!
Action, action, we want action!
Whatever the catch phrase, they’re all in our lexicon for a reason: We want movement. And, as marketers, we want movement that means someone is purchasing our thing. The way we get that kind of movement is a CTA.
What is a call to action?
CTA stands for call to action. It’s a rallying cry, an inciter to get our audience to do something.
A CTA is typically used as the kicker – the closer – to marketing material. It comes after all the storytelling, after the perfectly orchestrated copy that motivates across the buyer’s journey. It’s the thing that pushes the audience to do something.
How do you determine your CTA?
There’s actually a straightforward answer here. Ask yourself a simple but very important question: What do you want people to do? In other words, determine what action you want to incite. It may be to make a click, make a purchase, fill out a form … there are myriad possibilities.
Honestly, I could stop the post here. Because that really is the gist of it.
But let’s go on, for kicks. Here are some other things to consider.
What do you want your audience to do – versus what they want to do?
Now here’s the thing. You know what you want them to do (and if you don’t, stop now and figure that out tout de suite). But is that the thing your customers also want?
This is a bit ephemeral, but stick with me. You may want your audience to buy Product X. If you say “buy Product X,” that instruction may or may not get a reaction. But if you can go a step or two deeper to truly understand what they’re looking for, what problem they need to solve, then you can craft a more targeted and more effective CTA. Let’s say Product X can help them solve Problem X. Say that in your CTA – flip it around for them and show them the solution – and I’ll bet you get more action to that call.
Gerry McGovern, author of Killer Web Content, puts it this way: “Asking people directly what they want from your website is rarely a good idea. They will be unable to tell you because they follow their instinct. So you need to be able to read between the lines of what people say to you … to sniff out what people really want.”
Do you know how to speak to your audience?
How do you measure success? KPIs and CTAs.
You can get some clues about what your desired action is by looking at what you’ll measure as success. What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? What will you be measuring? Start there. If you know what you’re going to be measured against, it’s a whole lot easier to set your course to get there.