Whether you’re blogging or emailing an eDM, the aim is to encourage a possible lead or current client to spend money with your business. That said, it’s amazing how many marketing activities fail to present clients with a genuine call to action (CTA).

The power of the call

Marketing is a journey. A client will identify some information or data associated with your business, maybe through a referral or online research that walks them towards a buying decision. At this point, the client either engages with your firm or shuffles off elsewhere.

It’s not always a purchasing decision that will engage clients. We’ve all been asked to sign up to a newsletter on a website – this is a CTA.

There are hundreds of examples of effective CTAs. The media has been a CTA leader forever. Visit the webpage of your favourite news outlet and you’ll be prompted with offers to subscribe. Typically, the CTA will be time-limited or will offer a discount to sign up now. Simple, yet effective.

Making a good call

There are different shades of grey between a strong and weak CTA. However, employing an effective CTA will make a world of difference to the end result.

Generally speaking, a strong CTA involves understanding your client and what they want from your business – and the triggers that will encourage clients to respond. For example, you may be targeting retirees. On your website, the marketing journey for Baby Boomers may start by talking to their pain points – and chiefly how to maximise retirement savings in a low-return environment.

The journey might start with a few suggested solutions, which involve clicking through for more information. This is where a valuable CTA starts to do its best work. You’ve captured the client’s attention, and now you’re taking them by the hand and suggesting what you want them to do.

An effective CTA might be a pop-up button to book a consultation with a planner or to download a case study, which involves the potential client leaving their contact details. It might be a time-limited CTA such as: ‘book a consultation with us today and receive an appropriate discount on your first three months working with us.’

The key to creating a helpful CTA is testing and tweaking. There are so many options available that you should consider trialling a few. This will enable you to discover what works best with your clients.

Drink your own champagne

If you think you’re too close to the CTA, maybe seek the counsel of a trusted friend or adviser. If you’re truly courageous, ask an existing client for feedback. A fresh set of eyes can give you a different perspective.

Ultimately, you need to see the CTA through the lenses of prospective clients. When all’s said and done, if you wouldn’t ‘drink your own champagne’, why would they?

Anthony O'Brien is a principal of corporate marketing and communications firm Corpwrite. He is a business and personal finance writer with experience extending over 20 years in the communication industry.
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