You’ve gotten someone’s attention with your content in an email campaign, on your website, at a blog, or on social media. Now what happens? If you have the right call to action, what happens next is exactly what you want.
Asking readers to respond, reply, download, click, or take another action helps to solidify the relationship you have started with your online content. A specific call to action (CTA) makes the next step clear.
A CTA is when you ask your reader to do something. Examples include:
- Click a link
- Sign up for an email list
- Fill out a form
- Download a resource
- Make a purchase
- Comment/like/share on social media
The “best” CTA depends on the goal of your content. It also depends on the place where you post that content.
Match Your CTA to Your Goal
Before you create any content, you must have a goal in mind. Are you trying to reach new people? Make a sale? Get registrations? Build an email list? You need to define the goal and write your content to accomplish that goal.
The CTA becomes the final action for the reader. It should help them to accomplish the goal you have defined. If you are targeting new people, let them do something that helps them learn more about you. If you want them to sign up for your email list, then your CTA should let them do just that.
Your CTA Needs to Be Easy
Understand the platform where your content is published and use CTAs that are easy on that platform. Putting content on your web and asking a user to go to Facebook and comment on a post is less likely to be successful than a link to a web-based comment form.
In emails, the easiest CTAs for the user are to click a link or ask for a reply. Both of these actions are easy, whether the reader is on desktop or a mobile device.
The Anatomy of an Effective CTA
No matter what CTA you decide on based on your goal and the platform you are using, pay attention to these essentials:
- Make it a win for them. It’s your CTA, but it needs to be something that benefits the reader. What are they going to get? How will this help solve a need or problem?
- Make it clear. If your reader doesn’t know what you’re asking them to do, they can’t do it. Tells your reader exactly what to do and how to do it.
- Make it consistent. The CTA language needs to be consistent with the rest of your message, otherwise you’re going to confuse your reader. Don’t talk about a white paper, then have a CTA to download a brochure.