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What Is a Call-to-Action?

call to actionWhen it comes to conversion optimization and gaining the most return from your inbound marketing campaign, the call-to-action is extremely important. Those who create work with content marketing or inbound marketing may have quite an impressive campaign and even an equally impressive list of potential leads or future customers as the result of the work. Yet without a call-to-action, this may all be in vain.

Defining a Call-To-Action

A call to action is a method used to cause potential customers to take immediate action. In other words if you want those reading your internet marketing efforts to follow up by going to your sales page the “click here” button is the all important call-to-action that tells people to act now. If you want to gain more contacts for your email lists, then you would include a “sign up now” option somewhere. Of course, the most important one is the direct and straightforward “buy now” tab.

There are other details involved and it is certainly a topic worth more in depth reading. To get a basic idea of what the call-to-action is, however, think of using urgent and active language such as “register,” “subscribe” and “act,” instead of a softer approach that gives people more of an option to think instead of act. Sometimes more incentive helps such as, “call now and receive free shipping.” This is still a call-to-action, but one with a reward to help entice people.

Other Examples of This

In addition to creating a sense of need for immediate reaction to follow through with a call-to-action, you can also add to the urgency.

Use follow up phrases such as:

“Expires in 30 days,”

“For a limited time only,” and

“Act now to receive a free gift – while supplies last.”

One more crucial thing about your website and anywhere you have presence online that allows for it, you should have a call-to-action on every page. These can be different but should be in place. So if one page on your website has a call-to-action to sign up for an e-newsletter, the next should have one that offers free shipping if you buy now.

Best Practices for Call-To-Action

You know all about it without realizing it, but if you aren’t sure watch any infomercial to get a better understanding. Though infomercials use video media, you use content marketing to first establish what problem the product solves. Once you have proven ahead of time the importance of the product or service, the call-to-action is the next logical step. Once your content marketing identifies what issues your customers could have resolved, how could they not want to “act now,” “buy now,” or “sign up before time runs out”?

Keep in mind, not all call-to-action efforts are meant to make someone immediately buy something. It could be to offer them more information about something. In that case, the call-to-action would be something such as “view demo” or “read more.”

The key is getting people to act and not ponder the decision making. It’s not about tricking them; it is about leading them in the right direction thus increasing your conversions.

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Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.

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