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What is a Call to Action and Why Do We Need One?

Even as an increasing amount of marketing moves online, some of the old principles of marketing continue to hold true. The call to action (sometimes referred to as the “CTA”), for example, is a well-used part of any traditional marketing campaign that continues to be important in digital marketing efforts.

Have you ever seen an infomercial that begged you to “call now, operators are standing by” or been to a website that asked you to “email us for more information?” That’s the call to action — which is exactly what it sounds like it should be: a call for a soon to be customer to do a particular thing. It’s simple, but powerfully effective – and should always be a part of your entire ecommerce website.

Calls to Action Mean Conversions

Calls to action are wonderful tools for marketers.

They eliminate ambiguity, give the customer something to be responsible for and help you direct those customers to take the next step with you. These are all vital components to any successful eCommerce order management system. After all, if your customer doesn’t know which button adds an item to their shopping cart or how to complete their order, you’re likely to lose them to frustration.

Before you assume that your customers are smarter, better and/or brighter than that, consider all the different messages we’re bombarded with in any given day. We’re adrift in a sea of messages we have to sort through and when it comes down to it, we like to know we’re doing a thing properly. Including a small, simple call to action is an easy way to guide your customer through your site to the specific action you’d like them to accomplish.

Creating Calls to Action

Calls to action don’t have to center on order fulfillment or product distribution. Don’t let that classic example throw you. A call to action is meant to direct someone to do anything you’d like them to do. That thing could be signing a petition, volunteering or even building their own eCommerce site — but the key is that you must ask them to do it. Calls to action are the key to permission marketing, where you ask a customer to accept your product or message rather than forcing it on them.

No matter what you need a customer to do, there are some tried and true ways of creating a call to action, including:

The Simple Call to Action:  “Please click here to place your order.”

The Benefit-Driven Call to Action:  “Start living life more fully today and order your new VitaFit system.”

The “Why Not” Call to Action:  “It’s less than the price of a coffee a day – so why not order now?”

The Incentive Call to Action:  “The first thirty customers to place their order will receive a 10% discount on their order.”

The Limited Time Call to Action:  “Orders placed before May 30th will get a free tea sampler.”

The Sign-Up Call to Action:  “Sign up here for our latest gardening news.”

You’ll never realize how valuable calls to action are to your eCommerce marketing campaign until you add them to your site. Simple, direct calls to action are more likely to resonate with customers than anything long winded. Think like an infomercial and ask your customers to call today!

September 25, 2014
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