Are your audience members doing what you want them to do? Clicking the link? Buying the thing?
Often, the answer is no. And it’s not because they’re not ready to buy (or click), but rather because you’re not telling them what to do.
Yep, that’s right. People need to be told what to do. And when you’re not doing that–or doing it well–you’re not going to get the results you want.
I’m not saying you need to turn into Bossypants, but you do need to give your audience a call to action–something to do after they consume your content.
A few things to keep in mind before you expect your audience to take action:
- You need to offer something your audience wants. That means you should survey your audience, listen to them and then offer what it is they’re asking for. If it’s not something they want or need, even the best call to action isn’t going to work.
- You need to develop the know, like and trust factor with your audience. No one will buy from you (or do the thing you want them to) unless you’ve offered them killer value. Give away information for free, offer unbelievable value and
[bctt tweet=”Know what your audience wants. Offer tons of value. THEN ask for action.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
What is a Call to Action?
Your call to action is your ask. It’s the text you use to compel your audience to do something–give you their email address, buy the thing, click a link, leave a comment, etc. Essentially anything you want them to do.
It’s the button on your sales page or website, but it’s also the text you include in your social post or email. It’s a combination of all the content that drives your viewers and readers to do something with the information they’re given.
How Do I Craft the Perfect CTA?
Calls to action need to inspire action and move people to another stage in their buying process. But they don’t necessarily need to move someone to buy. They need to move someone to take action–any action that moves you, the business owner, closer to your goals.
Like anything you write or create to get your audience to take action, you need to focus on the outcomes. What is it that your audience will get (be able to do, have, etc.) if they take action? That’s what you want to focus on leading up to the CTA button.
On the button itself, focus on the benefits. Are they getting something for free? Will they get it instantly?
[bctt tweet=”Like any other piece of content, your CTA should focus on outcomes.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
The Step-By-Step CTA
Let’s take a look at this step by step.
Your CTA is part of a larger piece of content. A YouTube video, an email, a blog post, a sales page, a social post, an Instagram story. The call to actually take action typically comes at the end (or maybe several times throughout), but there’s content that leads up to the ask to take action.
Throughout the content, focus on aggravating the problem, then giving the solution. When you aggravate the problem, you’re spotlighting the outcome that your audience wants. More sales, a more functional website, the perfect branded pics, killer copy that sells, relief from stress, better-behaved kids… You get the picture.
Identify what’s keeping your audience stuck, then focus on what life could look like if they take action.
The call to action.
Once they’re convinced you have the solution they need, it’s time to compel them to get that solution. This is where you drive home the idea that they need what you have to offer. Make them want to take action with words like:
For example, Grab access to my FREE content bank INSTANTLY.
Or, Want INSTANT access to the BONUS?
People love free, and they want that free now.
The community aspect.
Something else that people love is being part of a community. I don’t mean a Facebook group or a Slack channel or even a networking group. I mean a group of other people, just like them, who have used your thing or seen results.
When you tell your audience that other people have grabbed your freebie, signed up for your list, taken your challenge, had amazing results, etc., they’re more likely to take action. Because FOMO (fear of missing out) works. They want to be part of the club.
If your call to action is in written form, like on a sales page or opt-in page, your button text matters. Put away the tired “Submit” and use something more original, something that reiterates what action-takers will get. Use button text that also incorporates some of those key words I mentioned:
- Get access now!
- Join today!
- Instant access!
- get your free guide!
Of course, some buttons have a limited number of characters (especially if coding is not your thing–hand up here!), so you may need to get creative. But have fun with that text to compel your audience to take action.
If you’re asking your audience to do something, you want to know who actually took action. If you’re selling something, you’re obviously going to collect payment information. But even if your audience is signing up for a free webinar or getting a reminder for a Facebook Live on your page, you want to know who those people are so you can contact them later. (And this is all GDPR aside–I highly recommend you listen to this podcast for more on that.)
You need to ask your audience for, at the very least, their email address. I also recommend asking for a first name so you can personalize communication later on. I mean, you’re giving away some very valuable thing. The least they can do is offer up their email address in return, right?
Now while there’s a lot more finesse and tips that goes into crafting the perfect call to action, that’s about it in a nutshell. Of course, you also want to focus on providing value leading up to that ask (and I mean over the course of weeks), because your audience often needs to court (stalk) you before they decide that they want to give up their email address or cash for something you’re offering.
And if you’re selling something, there’s really a lot more to a call to action than simply telling your audience about what you’re selling and asking them to fork over their credit card information.
Do you need help figuring out what your audience needs?
If you’re struggling with how to determine what it is your audience wants you to create, grab my audience survey template below. It’s literally a cut-and-paste Q&A you can use to create your own survey. You’ll also get access to my FREE content bank–instantly. (See what I did there?)