Take action with your call-to-action!
I’m not sure why companies want to deflect business from coming their way. Of course that’s not the case but it’s how I interpret it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself searching for a business phone number or address, with no success. If you’re looking for a means to connect with that company you’ll have to depend on the magic of an email addressed to: email@example.com.
I’m an ad guy and in the old days of traditional outbound marketing, we created B2B print advertising that enticed the reader to find out more – our mission was ‘lead generation’ (sound familiar). Hence every ad we developed included a call-to-action.
Yesterday’s calls-to-action came in the form of a toll-free phone number, a company address and in some cases a response card that the reader would complete and mail postage-paid or fax back to the company for more information.
Antiquated yes, but the tactic of providing compelling calls-to-action on a company website can be an effective lead generating tool today - if executed properly.
The internet has created an opportunity to connect and engage with your customer that no print ad or direct mail campaign could ever do. Smart marketers are taking advantage of the techniques and strategies of inbound marketing to pull more response than ever before. You want your website to be accountable for something. Your goal may be to generate leads, buy products, click on ads or even just subscribe to an RSS feed. The success of acquiring leads and new customers is an accumulation of a number of tactics and best practices that should be addressed.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse!
Create a strong call-to-action - The purpose of your response mechanism is to get prospects to take the action that we want. A strong call-to-action provides a convincing offer that asks people to give their contact information (so they become a lead for your business) in exchange for something.
Here’s some tips on creating a strong online call-to-action -
Offer them an ‘offer that they can’t refuse’ - Inbound marketers make compelling offers. And that doesn’t include a ‘Contact Us’ or a ‘Request a Free Consultation’ form. What you need to know is that audiences are searching for expert advice and information that you can provide. Place yourself in their shoes. Ask how you may be able to solve their problem and how you do it better than anyone else. And then give it to them. You may already have existing materials that you can turn into a whitepaper or a pdf or a slide presentation or a webinar jam-packed with good quality stuff.
Don’t hide your call-to-action - To be effective you have to be obvious. Make sure that your call-to-action is not hidden at the bottom of your page. I try to position them ‘above the fold’ so people see it right away (and there’s no scrolling).
The KISS principle - (Keep it simple stupid) - The less your prospect has to do the better the chances of them completing the action. It’s a fact that people don’t like to think to much and most don’t have the patience. So make your call-to-action as simple as possible. One click to the landing page and you’re in. Keep your message short and be clear with the offer.
Here’s an example of a Call-to-Action headline:
How small business owners can turn their websites into lead generating machines by creating compelling call-to-action offers. Leverage these best practices now.
Effective websites have built-in response mechanisms - so let’s take action!
Something else to consider, that you may not have considered
Make it easy for people to connect with you - Creating a call-to-action is not limited to a graphic device that leads to an online form. I highly recommend that you place your 1-800 number in a visible location right on your homepage and not just in your ‘CONTACT US’ section. Make sure you have the resources to answer the calls and in off-hours what is your voice mail message going to say.
People like to deal with people, so get them connected - Make your experts available. People like to connect with people so make them accessible by phone if you can. If you can’t, then email will do. Just make sure that you follow up. There’s nothing worse than sending an email or leaving a voice mail that gets no response.
About Murray Sye – Hi there. I’m an inbound marketing evangelist, a blogger, and a social media enthusiast. I specialize in helping businesses grow and thrive by leveraging the power of the internet.