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Joanne Grantz
 
March 27, 2015 | Marketing | Joanne Grantz

Marketing 101: Call to action

One of the most important elements in a marketing campaign - and one that is frequently overlooked – is the call to action. You can increase your conversion rates by sending the right message in your advertising communications. All social media posts, videos, emails, newsletters and direct mail should include a call to action.

What is a call to action?
A call to action is a statement that directs a consumer what to do next after reading the marketing message. For example, in an email, it may say, "Visit our website for more information." According to Business 2 Community, there are three main types of CTA:

  • Buy now buttons: Frequently seen on ecommerce sites, buy or add to cart buttons encourage shoppers to make a purchase. If you list different types of wine on individual product pages, you can add these buttons that re-direct to your online wine store to increase the chances that customers will make a purchase.
  • Learn more buttons: If an email or newsletter contains only a sampling of the product information, this type of CTA gives readers the chance to explore more. These buttons can be incorporated into banners and landing pages.
  • Subscribe/register buttons: Are you trying to get customers to join your email list or subscribe for updates from your blog? This is the type of button you would include. 

The right CTA is all about determining what the next step is for potential customers, whether it's adding a bottle to the shopping cart or signing up for your wine club, and guiding them in that direction.

How to create a call to action that works
While the three examples listed above are the basic types of calls to action, you may need to be more creative to increase online conversions rates. Many effective CTAs convey the specific benefit users will get from taking the action, HubSpot suggested. For example, some websites use phrases like, "Start your free trial today." Others may build the offer directly into the button, using it to inform customers of a temporarily discounted price. When you want customers to ask for more information, posing a question can entice them to click. 

If the next step requires a website visitor to fill out a form, it's a good idea to incorporate some copy into the page that makes it more fun. Filling in information can be tedious, so reducing the amount of information required from customers makes them more likely to complete the form. 

What other elements go into a compelling call to action? Positioning, size and contrast all have an impact on the number of people who will click the button or link. Even if you have the right message that is appealing to your audience, it won't matter unless the CTA stands out from the rest of the page. Rounded CTA buttons tend to attract more clicks, according to Entrepreneur magazine. It's important to consider the supporting elements around the CTA. For instance, all photos should be related to the desired action. Too many images may distract visitors from taking the action. 

Effective CTAs come with a great deal of variation depending on the website, audience and industry. Consider your target customers and craft offers that would be appealing to them. Conducting split testing will help you to determine the best CTA. 

 

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