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Oct

30

2014

Why Aren't Your Calls to Action Working?

Inbound Marketing

Without question, one of the most important elements of your website are your calls-to-actions (also known as CTAs). So what, you ask, is a CTA? A CTA is any place on your site where you ask your prospects to engage you. It could be something as innocuous as ‘Sign up for our newsletter’ to a direct business offer ‘Request a Quote’ or ‘Buy now’.

There are a variety of reasons why people wouldn’t be clicking or acting on your CTAs. This blog is not exhaustive, nor is it intended to be, but here are some basics:

You've Got the Wrong Audience

Your content needs to be geared to the right audience. You need to understand your prospect’s buyer persona and what they’re looking for; in other words what is the problem they are trying to solve and/or what’s prompting them to action.

You've Got the Wrong Offer

Your offer needs to align to your content and your content needs to align to your buyer. Sounds simple right? Well, it is…in theory. However, if you've got a limited number offers to put on your site, at times it can be hard to have an offer that ties to the content on your site. The offer needs to be tied to the buyer’s pain.

For example, if your buyer persona is a CXO executive that likes high-level, thought leadership topics, a tactical-level how-to guide probably won’t get him/her to act.

You’re Being Too Greedy

Here’s an analogy: You ask someone out on a date, and you show up at their door to pick them up for a date and they’re dressed for your wedding…too much, way too soon.

The same is true with website offers. The rule of thumb is: The more valuable the offer, the more information or stronger action you can ask your prospect to take.

If someone is visiting your website for the first time and is ‘requesting more information’ that’s behavior typically associated with the beginning of the sales process. In such a case, you may just want to ask for their name and email address. If they ‘request a consultation’ where they are asking for your time, that’s behavior typically associated with the bottom of the sales funnel. They are asking for something of value (your time) and in return you’ve earned the right to ask them for something of value in return (information).

Your CTA's Don’t Stand Out

I had a conversation with a prospect recently and we were reviewing her website’s performance. She was lamenting the fact that her website’s CTA's weren't performing. One look at them told me why: They did not stand out in any way. The CTAs were the same color and font as everything else on the site. When I raised this concern she said that her graphic designer designed them in bright colors but she made them redo them because they “stuck out like a sore thumb”. Uh, that’s the point of them!

Your CTA's need to be visual attention-getting, they have to immediate, at-a-glance tell a prospect what they get and what the action required of them to complete the action.

They’re Broken

This one sounds silly, but I've seen it multiple times. A prospect will say, “We put a CTA up on our page and it’s not doing anything." Some basic analysis reveals that the link is broken or goes to the wrong landing page. Other more subtle things can kill a CTA’s performance such as typographical errors.

CTA's aren't rocket science, but they do require some thought and creativity. If you want to know more about CTAs or would like us to evaluate yours, let’s talk.

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