Now where was I? Oh yes, writing CTAs
Is your Call to Action doing its job?
In my last blog I gave you some tips for improving (possibly dramatically improving) your headlines and just as important is your Call to Action (CTA). There’s lots of similarities between the two, so do re-cap on your headlines and remember, if your CTA is not compelling enough to persuade your reader to take the next step, then you are wasting your time. Lavish as much time and attention on them as you would on your BAFTA winning speech and guide and persuade your reader into doing what you want them to do.
The essential ingredients of your Call to Action
- Be crystal clear so that your reader instantly knows what action they need to take and what they’ll get out of it as a result.
- Be crystal clear visually. If your CTA is tucked away somewhere and people have to search for it, it’s useless.
- Convey value and be irresistible.
- Include action verbs: learn, join, save, discover.
- Include emotion.
- Be concise and snappy. No room for fancy adjectives, adverbs jargon or acronyms here!
- Convey urgency and exclusivity, maybe even a feeling of belonging or being part of an exclusive club or group.
- Focus on the problem the reader has, not on what you want out of it.
- Never include “if”, it sows a seed of doubt.
- Be consistent with any landing pages. So if your reading is travelling between the two, it’s a seamless journey.
- Be appropriate to the point in your sales funnel your reader has reached. Remember the rules of dating … don’t try and go too far on the first date!
How do you pull that all together?
Start thinking about your CTA before you start writing and as part of your writing planning process. Identify the whats and whys: what is your reader going to get out of it and why should they take the action that you want them to. Once you’ve done that you can start sketching out some ideas, remembering always to focus on it from your reader’s point of view, not yours.
Keep a swipe file of CTAs that you think work to take inspiration from. Then when you’ve finished writing come back to your CTA. Can you write two versions and try out both? Can you refine it? Other things you might want to consider are using are testimonials, statistics, guarantees or other social proof to jazz up your CTAs and re-assure and persuade your reader.
Monitor and test, test, test!
Monitoring and testing different CTAs is a vital part of the process. Changing just one or two words can make a huge difference to their effectiveness.
They’re fun aren’t they? CTAs. But even more fun is the sub-heading with which I am deeply in love. I’ll be explaining why you should be too in my next post. Happy writing!