To be fair, this site hasn’t historically exemplified all the best that Call to Action have to offer. Recognizing this point, and always the student, we set out to learn more about creating effective Calls to Action. What we learned was eye opening at the least and earth shattering in some cases! As we continue to implement what we’ve learned, we felt it only fair to share the wealth in knowledge with you.
The World Has ADD: The Reason and Purpose for Effective Calls to Action
Have you ever been online with a list of things to accomplish only to find, 30-60-90 minutes later, that you’ve watched 3 YouTube videos, checked out a vacation hotspot or two, and possibly learned a thing or two about a particular doo-dad that you just found out about? Sure, you didn’t intend this particular path but we’ve all set out in a certain direction only to find ourselves on an entirely different path.
The online world is evolving quickly. Content is vast and growing faster than the lawn in the Spring…in Seattle…providing a multitude of unanticipated distractions and directions (time management tip, anyone?). One click is all it takes to jump from one topic to another, prompting your mind to roam in a completely different context. And
everyone is competing to get that click!
As a marketer and/or business owner, we need to learn to thrive in this ADD world. Calls to Action can make this happen. They grab people’s attention and direct it to new topics.
From Google telling you to Search to a more niche site offering a guide for download detailing, “Five Ways You Can “Trick” Your Kid Into Eating His or Her Vegetables,” Calls to Action are everywhere!
What are Calls to Action?
Calls to action are an image or text-based messages that prompt visitors to take action – do something – such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar, or request a download or demo. Ideally, Calls to Action would direct visitors to Landing Pages. Landing Pages are pages specifically designed to collect a visitor’s contact information in exchange for something of value – training or some other offer. The more effective the Calls to Action are, and the more valuable the offer, the greater the conversion. This process describes what is commonly referred to as lead generation.
Picking the Right Calls to Action
At this point, you probably understand what Calls to Action are and what purpose they serve. You likely also agree that you could stand to benefit from some well-placed Calls to Action. Now, you’re asking yourself, “What Calls to Action should I be creating?”
The easy answer is to inspect the offers you have available and assess their rate of success.
- Start promoting your most successful offers with Calls to Action first.
- Another approach would be to create Calls to Action that will attract a more highly-valued lead. In other words, since some offers may attract more of a tire-kicker than a buyer, start promoting your potential buyer (versus tire-kicker) with Calls to Action first.
- Finally, create Calls to Action pertaining to upcoming events or contests, driving traffic to associated registration landing pages.
Creating your Own Calls to Action
You’re probably asking yourself, “How can I create Calls to Action on my own?” There are a number of answers to this question, depending on how technically savvy you are, how creative you are, and what tools you have at your disposal. Assuming you’re shooting for a fancier graphical image, versus text-based Calls to Action, you can certainly offload the task entirely to someone on Fiverr.com, or any number of similar outsourcing sites. For the do-it-yourselfers out there (or those with limited budgets), give it a go on your own. Chances are, you already have a tool that you can use to get fairly fancy.
Great tools for creating your own Calls to Action
- Microsoft Word (or any other current word processor such as Open Office or Google Docs): If you’re not already familiar with the program, within the program’s help, search for how to make a Button. You can get a fair amount of flexibility with regards to button shape, colors, and fonts so you’ll be able to make very attractive and compelling Calls to Action with ease. You can even get a little fancier by adding images, textures, rotations, and 3D-esque formats.
- Microsoft PowerPoint (or, again, any other presentation-purposed program as you can find in Open Office and Google Docs): Similar to a word processing program, you can create basic Calls to Action using presentation software. However, the difference between word processing and presentation software is in the fanciness. Presentation software will allow you to do vastly more artistic renderings. If you really have an artistic hand, Adobe software such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator allow for a whole level beyond presentation software as far as attractive and compelling Calls to Action.
- Pre-Made Images generated through Third-Party Web Sites: There are many sites where you can create buttons with varying levels of sophistication at low or no cost. CoolText.com, iStockPhoto.com, and DesignMoo.com are three sites that come to mind, though there are many other resources.
- Free Hand: If you have none of the tools above or simply want to try your hand at something unique, give the free-hand approach a try. My friend put together this Call to Action image in 10 minutes, having familiarity with the tool but being self-professed “unable to draw a straight line with a ruler.” I’m guessing he doesn’t consider himself to be “creative”. Nonetheless, check out this call to action example (hey, there’s a link there too!)!
There is so much more to Creating Effective Calls to Action
Unfortunately, this is getting lengthy and, if you haven’t already clicked on one of my Calls to Action ;-), I’d like to give you some time to digest this so far. Keep coming back (register in the form above, to the right to automatically get follow up blog posts directly in your inbox!) to see the follow-up post!
Best to you!
PS: If you like this type of marketing training, you’ll love this marketing training arsenal! Calls to Action are just the tip of the iceberg!