Call to Action Crash Course: Growth Hack Edition

The call to action is the culmination of your campaign effort. It's where the rubber meets the road and visitors are called upon to become paying customers. You can have an amazing campaign, start to finish, but reap disastrous results solely on your inability to get a lead to convert.

What's the solution? Having a solid call to action game will drive all KPIs, and most importantly, sales. Understanding the mechanics of the call to action and tweaking accordingly can make the difference between success and internet crickets.

Importance of Effective Calls to Action

When creating your digital marketing campaigns, you are investing something. In the case of paid campaigns, you're putting your money on the line. With organic campaigns, it's time and effort that's at stake. Also, with organic campaigns, you may be paying a consultant to flesh out parts of your endeavor. The last thing you want is to be throwing your money after marketing efforts that do not convert.

Furthermore, your campaign may be stellar but may lack in that final pivotal step: getting the user to convert. It's akin to striking up a conversation with your soulmate but losing the opportunity to see them again because you related your phone number improperly.

Getting your call to action right can skyrocket your conversion rates. Your cost per conversion will drop and your efficiency will rise. Keep in mind, the higher your click-through rates, the better social media platforms, and search engines will treat you.

Fundamental Strategies for Your Calls to Action

Before we get to the growth hacks, it's useful for you to have a grasp of the theoretical knowledge behind what makes an effective call to action.

Scrap Features for Benefits

Most business owners are keen on sharing their products' features, neglecting to focus on what the benefit to the customer is. Benefits provoke emotion in a consumer and emotion is the driver behind conversions.

Phrases like: “Treat Yourself Today!” or “Register to Feel the Excitement!” speak to the customer's emotion. You are giving the audience a preview of how your product, service, or webinar will benefit them.

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Cause a Dopamine Spike

In the above examples of calls to action, you can't help but notice that there's an inviting tone to the phrases. In the first example, there is an appeal to the audience's need for personal gratification. Everyone works hard and so they deserve to treat themselves. In the second case, there is a sense of exhilaration.

As Facebook's Sean Parker admits, the social media giant takes advantage of a human reaction in the brain. The dopamine spike that users experience upon receiving a notification on social media is the hook that reels them in. This bit of brain chemistry keeps users engaged and drives time on site.

Your call to action should make your button or link irresistible to your audience. Furthermore, if you can include the concept of notifications in your marketing, your conversion rates will shoot through the roof.

Curiosity Killed the Sales Drought

Science confirms that curiosity makes the human brain want to learn more about a topic. If you can build curiosity with your copy, you can appeal to this primal sense with a powerful call to action. “Learn More,” or “Find Out About This Secret Formula” are just two examples of how you can culminate your content with a provocation of the user's curiosity.

Stock Your Persuasion Word Arsenal

Too many marketers settle for common calls to action such as “Click Here” or “Buy Now.” While there may be a place for a simple and direct call to action, try and expand your arsenal of words and phrases. Words like New, Instantly, or Bonus can stand out in a sea of "Click Here."

Growth Hacking Your Calls to Action

With a solid foundation in the fundamentals of calls to action, let's examine growth hacks you can implement starting today.

Make Use of Button Copy

What does your customer avatar want from your business? Make your button copy speak to that need. The phrasing of button copy should be short, compelling, and click-inducing. “Start Saving” or “Get Instant Access!” get your prospect excited about what is waiting for them on the other side.

Feel the Heat

The color of a call to action button as well as its copy are essential Equally important, however, is the button's placement. Find a reliable heat map tool and run an analysis on your page. A heat map will give you useful insight into the parts of your page that users gravitate toward.

Placing your call to action in a position that people's cursor frequents is like placing a billboard on a busy highway as opposed to a remote alley.

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Build Anticipation

If you're using video or long-form sales letters, you may consider delaying the appearance of the call to action button. This sounds counter-intuitive but is a tactic that creates anticipation.

If a prospect is viewing your video, chances are they are interested in your offer. Think about which part of your video is ideal for your call to action button to make its appearance. You don't want to wait too long but showing it too soon may also have an adverse effect.

In a long-form written sales presentation, you may want to leave the call to action for the end of your text. On the other hand, it may be better for your specific product to offer multiple chances throughout for the prospect to click through.

All previous tweaks and adjustments should be based on the most powerful growth hack of all. By gaining knowledge on what works, why it works, and even when it works, you can make your call to action virtually unbeatable. The only way to gain this insight is through hard data.

A/B Test Your Calls to Action

A/B testing involves directly comparing two versions of the same call to action. As with the scientific method, you are formulating a hypothesis, observing two different versions, recording the data, and making your conclusion.

All testing needs to standardize parameters so that you are comparing apples with apples, so to speak. For example, on one of your products, use your heat map to pinpoint two possible locations for your “Buy Now” button. Run each version for a set period or a predetermined number of pageviews.

For example, if you run two versions of your CTA for 10,000 pageviews, the one that gathers the most clicks might be your keeper. However, keep in mind that you may have to drill down a little further. If version A gives you 500 clickthroughs and version B gives you 550, take a look at your sales and profit.

Was A more useful at earning more revenue? Did those that click this version make bigger purchases? Which KPI is more important to you? Make sure to determine your goals beforehand so that you can decide what's best for your specifications.

You can apply A/B testing for a multitude of CTA aspects. Fonts, font size, button or anchor text color, copy, and placement should all be subjects of testing.

Consider a Smart Exit CTA

If someone is on their way out the door without converting, they're probably a lost cause; or are they? Use a smart exit call to action to retain some of those visitors. Even if you achieve a 1-2% re-entry, these users can add up significantly over thousands of site visitors.

Boost Your Conversion Rates

Especially for small business owners, CTAs can be an overlooked aspect of their online marketing. Small adjustments can lead to incremental improvements that, in turn, lead to increased revenue. By strengthening your CTA implementation, you have the potential to get better results with the visitors your website and social media are already getting.

Once you tighten up your CTA game, you can focus on increasing the number of prospects that flow through your funnel. Don't let your visitors slip through the cracks. Make a list, set a schedule, and start testing today!