Master the Art of Business
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If you want a prospect to take the next step you need to give them a Call To Action (CTA): tell them exactly what to do. Visit a website, check your e-mail, call a phone number.
The key for an effective CTA is to be as simple, clear and obvious as possible.
The best CTAs call directly for a sale or for Permission to follow up.
Attracting a prospect's attention doesn't help if they disappear: if you want to make a sale, you need to direct your prospects to take some kind of action.
Your prospects can't read your mind. If you want your prospects to take the next step you're encouraging, you need to tell them exactly what to do. The most effective marketing messages give the recipient or prospect a single, very clear, very short action to take next.
Think about a roadside billboard that says something like, "Tony's Hamburgers are the best."
What will people who see that message do? Nothing, probably. In all likelihood, the billboard is a waste of time and money.
Give them a Call-To-Action such as "Take exit 25 and turn right for the best burgers in town," and soon Tony will be serving more hamburgers to hungry travelers.
A Call-To-Action directs your prospects to take a single, simple, obvious action:
The key to presenting an effective Call-To-Action is to be as clear, simple, and obvious as you possibly can. The more clearly you present your proposal, the higher the probability your prospect will actually do what you suggest.
If you're encouraging someone to enter their email address to sign up for a newsletter, say that verbatim multiple times, and make it immediately clear WHERE the email address field is, WHY they should fill it out, WHAT to click once they've entered their email, and WHAT they can expect to happen when they do. If you think you're being too obvious, you're doing it right.
The best calls-to-action ask directly either for the sale or for Permission to follow-up. Making direct sales is optimal, since it makes it easy to figure out whether or not your marketing activities are cost-effective. Asking for permission is the next best thing, since it allows you to follow up with your prospects over time, dramatically decreasing your marketing costs and increasing the probability of an eventual sale.
Ensure that every message you create has a clear Call-To-Action, and you'll dramatically increase the effectiveness of your marketing activities.
"Don't make me think."Steve Krug, usability expert
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Master the Art of Business