Of course, traffic is sweet; we will not argue that. However, to marketers, especially content marketers, conversion is sweeter.
We generally want our customers to take action. Think of this. You invest loads of hours cooking and toasting that piece of content (or campaign) which you feel your audience will find irresistible.
But in the end, your readers ignore your call to action as if it was as ugly as Samuel L Jackson in Django Unchained.
Would the adjective “painful” adequately qualify your hurt?
So, you have been examining your website thoroughly. You clearly see your website is failing despicably at the task of lead acquisition.
Why is this happening?
Let us temporarily assume that your audience is in a bad mood. Their chicken burritos got badly burnt and wound their temper up, so they angrily brushed past your call to action.
Yet, this can’t be happening every day, right?
What could be wrong? Why aren’t your customers taking action? That is the billion-dollar question we would be expansively examining here.
What does it take to create that killer call to action (CTA) that seems to hypnotize your audience, getting them helplessly clicking?
Let us fundamentally analyze how the CTA works
Well, it is a big truth that the call to action remains one of the most potent online facilities of transferring visitors to customers who don’t mind giving you their dollars – the paying customers, so to say.
So the common tactics involve:
- Get your audience to sign up for your newsletters.
- Signing up for your webinars.
- Download your ebooks.
- Ultimately paying for your products.
That last one (paying for your products) excitingly sends jitters down your spine; sure, we understand, it is the marketer’s epic delight.
However, these tactics work in varying proportions for different marketers. For some, their calls to action are overpowering and resistless.
For others, their calls to action are laughable, lacking weight. Let us modestly say their CTA is as negligible as Peter Dinklage (the dwarf Game of Thrones actor) vows to knock out prime Mike Tyson in a boxing contest.
Jokes aside, if your customers are not taking action, the fault likely lies in your call to action’s incompetence. This means your CTA is likely not strong enough.
Now, what are some of these abominable mistakes you make that are murdering the power of your calls to action?
First, it could be that you are hiding your call to action
For a worrisome percentage of business web pages, the call to action loiters the bottommost sections.
Readers would have to scroll patiently and scroll before they see your call to action.
How bold you are!
So what makes you think that your readers will scroll that long and possibly take time to read all your content to the last sentence diligently? Oh, perhaps your website is Dwayne Johnson’s blog: America’s most beloved!
Let us tell you one truth that may spoil your day as a marketer.
A remarkable Fifth Third Bank Survey discovered that 96% of Americans are impatient.
How interesting do you find this?
Well, the distressful implication of such endemic impatience is that customers may get disinterested by the time they scroll that long to see your hiding call to action.
By then, your appeal would have waned, and your message would have lost the psychological pull to get your audience clicking on the CTA.
This is for the VERY FEW who manage to scroll that far as the average reader is unwilling to read that long– even at gunpoint..
So here is it, your call to action should be portably conspicuous; your call to action shouldn’t be that shy that it is “hiding” down your page.
Nevertheless, you must not excessively splash your call to action on the eyes of your audience like “HERE AM I!!!”
If you must use long content, you could position your CTAs across the blog at places where you have built reasonable emotional traction to pull the reader into action.
It must not be at the very top, but strategically position your call to action where 87% of your readers would still read with interest.
It could be that your call to action lacks authority
Here is one thing for you: subtle calls to action don’t work often. So perhaps you are psychologically a dove. You kiss your spouse a million times before they go to bed. That such docility may not work when it comes to calls to action.
Your call to action needs to be AUTHORITATIVE. It needs to be firm and, most importantly, confident.
Now examine these two calls to action:
First: Please can you buy now?
Second: Enjoy this bonus now!
Which are you more likely to click? You will likely click the second call to action (Enjoy this bonus Now).
This is more because the first one reflects a lack of conviction. It is deficient in authority. It seems the marketer there is trying to “negotiate” with you and appeal to your empathy.
This may not work most time. However, the second one is excitingly “forceful”. No options, it pulls you in by the scruff of your neck, and you like it! So that is the ridicule.
Your audience is more likely to accede to authoritative calls to action. Avoid those trepid calls to action that seem to “beg” your audience.
Go for the powerful calls to action. This shows your audience you are confident and know what you are doing.
So if you have got those weak calls to action plastered on your website, do your loved ones a favor and go replace them with commandeering ones.
After all, your loved ones expect your site to pay the bills, not when you blog all day and still ask them for money to cut your hair. Yuck!
You hype your brand too much
We all indeed love that super cool guy, that super guy that is constantly beating the mark. However, marketers easily fall for the temptation to be super cool. They take the bait to overhype themselves.
You want to tell your audience all the super things (and even humanly impossible things) that your product has helped your buyers achieve.
Who knows, you may want to show your product cures cancer and AIDS with just one tablespoon, how you bought that sparkling Bentley for just $120!
Come on, you are overdoing it, and it will piss your customers off or get your call to action unduly fantastical.
Try your best to leave out the superlatives. If you have got awards, fine, adorn your website with them. If you have a positive recommendation from a leading industry authority, do well enough to quote it.
However, the last thing you want is your audience getting to throw up from your excessive fantastical boasting.
It fatally hurts your credibility. Trust me, they will not click your call to action.
Does your call to action lack specificness?
So this is it. We all love it straight to the point these days. Even when we go to church, we would be happier if the preacher’s sermon took five minutes instead of thirty minutes, so we quickly say the Grace and get moving!
Call it the millennial vice if you desire, but we all want it quick these days. The only thing we want longer is entertainment; a longer Orange is the New Black, longer Beyonce concerts…
Therefore, your call to action works better for your audience when it is quick, direct, specific, and straight to the point.
No one wants to solve a riddle, please!
Therefore, your audience is naturally disinterested and doesn’t have the energy to be brainstorming and deciphering what your call to action means. Sorry, but they are too busy.
So, it is now up to you to spell it out clearly for them. It is now up to you to be specific. So if it is newsletter sign-ups you want, explicitly tell them.
You want them to click a link? Please be direct.
Only your loved ones will be that willing to spend that long on your website effortfully decoding what your calls to action mean.
For the generality of the internet public, if your call to action is not specific, there is one thing they are specific at doing: CLOSE TAB!
Too many calls to action
Here is what many marketers get wrong. They want to do it all in one place. They want newsletter sign-ups, you want your readers to send you a quote, you want them to still click on your ad, you want them to check you out on social media, and even yet to write you a review ALL ON ONE PAGE.
Jeez, do you want to overwork your audience to death?
The reality is that the increasing multiplicity of your call to action declines the compelling power of each of the calls to action.
Simply, when your calls to action on one page get too many, they lose their appeal as your audience will be overwhelmed, not knowing which to do among the sea of calls to action.
In the end, they will end up responding to none of your calls to action. Would you blame them?
If you were fair, you wouldn’t, as the multitude of calls to action you piled on one page strangled your audience with indecision.
The best practice is to put a maximum of two calls to action on one page. Don’t worry, brethren, we understand you are desperate for sales.
We know you want to get all conversions done at once, hitting all your milestones and milking your reader to the last for ever making the mistake of visiting your website.
But don’t worry, patience brethren, there will be another day for the remaining calls to action.
There would be another content to insert the remaining calls to action. So take it easy on one page, and don’t stack all your marketing bombs on one page.
Perhaps you lack social proof
In life, we all want proof. Very few things can be as convincing as factual evidence. That is why in court, the jury never jokes with exhibits.
You can’t say you are a Floyd Mayweather (flamboyantly rich), and you are ready to chase your debtor from Miami to Beijing just to pay you a loan of $25! What is the proof of your wealth, then?
This also applies to marketing. Your CTA’s authority is reinforced when you show your readers that many persons before now have taken that action and are happy with it.
Social proofs can be presented in a lot of ways. This could be via authentic customer reviews, industry recommendations, and all that.
For example, you want people to download your ebook. You can say 10,000 downloads, 10,000 smiles, we want to add your smile – DOWNLOAD NOW.
Here you see that you have given the reader social proof. He is not the first person to take the call to action.
Actually, very few people these days want to be the first. They want someone to have gone there before them, check around, walk around and get all the landmines exploded before they come in.
Lastly, there are no goodies to be collected
Don’t blame your audience, they want some goodies in return for taking action. So if you don’t reward them a bit, they may see you as too stingy and back off.
You may have heard it before, but it is true: your customers want you to give back to the community. So when your call to action says “click here and buy”, it may not be as compelling as when the call to action says “click here to enjoy 34% discount on your purchase”.
So here are some of the places you have been getting it wrong; why your audience has not been taking action. So now, you can drop the rosary a bit (having been fasting all day for conversions) and implement the recommended changes.