A call to action is an instruction/direction given to your audience to steer them to take a desired action. Although in marketing it usually relates to downloading some sort of content, visiting a website or signing up to a newsletter, you probably use CTAs in your own daily communications, both personal and professional.
- Watch your wording: Despite what some websites might have you believe, click here isn't a very effective call to action. Why? It's just not specific enough. Think about what you're asking your audience to do, and why it will benefit them. For example, instead of saying 'download now', you could (and should!) say something like 'download your free eBook for our guide to XYZ'.
- Clarity is key: Ever tried to hover over a bit of text that you think is a helpful link, only to be unable to find where the clickable part is? Annoying, isn't it! If you're calling your audience to action, you've got to make it obvious. Buttons and call out boxes are two very effective ways to present a CTA. Make it bold, clear and colourful! If you're a whizz on InDesign, you could create your own graphic to personalise.
- Get your ducks in a row: Sounds obvious, but make sure the place you're sending your audience to (be it a landing page or an email) is linked correctly and functions well. You don't want someone to click through to receive a 404 error and not be able to access the offer they were keen to explore. Consider conducting some testing and get external feedback if possible, too.
- Time it right: There's no point putting a call to action to download a whitepaper on the homepage if there's no information or context surrounding it – your audience needs to be clear on what they're accessing and why they'll benefit from it. Place your CTA on a relevant page, such as alongside your product/services. That's especially important if you're asking someone to request a demo.
- Easy does it: Asking your audience to take an action is asking them to commit themselves further, either by providing their details or spending more time on your website. It's important to make it as easy as possible, with minimum data fields to populate or instructions to follow. Your wording can help here too (see point 1) – you should make it an offer they can't refuse to encourage them to click the CTA in the first place.
Those are just a few of our top tips for effectively calling your audience to take action. We're all fighting for attention from our audiences so it's important to recognise how much you can influence them to take the desired action.
We've put together an eBook full of tips on successful lead generation for scientific marketers, and it includes even more pointers on calls to action. Download your copy now and discover how to create best-of-class lead gen campaigns.