If you’re creating emails, landing pages or social media posts with the aim of generating leads, then you know how important calls to action are to increased conversion. But what can you do if you’re relying a lot on your calls to action but readers are not converting?
You probably need to audit your sales copy to determine what’s not working!
After that, you’ll apply some changes, conduct tests then analyse your results. This way you’ll see whether the changes improve your results. This then helps you choose what to keep and what to leave out, so in the end you’re left with a strong sales copy for better conversion.
It’s possible, though, that your calls to action are just weak, especially if you’ve been using the same one for so long without good results.
I always recommend that any content overhaul starts with an audit before you start fixing anything.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Does your call to action contain descriptive actions?
If you’re not successfully converting enough readers, look at the way you’ve been writing your calls to action. Maybe they’re only focused on generic verbs and instructions such as:
- “Click Here”
- “Buy Now”
- “Sign Up”
- “Vote for Us”
- “Get It Now”
This applies to your links and requests for action, not only to your big call to action buttons.
What to do: Substitute dud calls to action for more descriptive actions such as:
- “Get Immediate Access Now”
- “Get Your 4-Step Plan Immediately”
- “Claim Your Free Ticket Now”
Always start with an action such as “Get”, “Claim” and “Download”.
2. Might your call to action improve if you mention the solution?
Try something new if your usual “Get Immediate Access Now” call to action style isn’t working.
A reader is coming to you for a solution to their problem, yes? Knowing this, use benefits to motivate their action.
Think about the benefits your solution provides, and think up some relevant words that fit in with both the solution and the offer.
What to do: With benefits in mind, use wordings that describe how your solution will fix your reader’s problem:
- “Get the Solution To All Your Writing Problems”, not “Book Your Very Own Writer Now”
- “Get Your Hearing Back”, not “Buy Our Improved Hearing Aid Today for Only $399”
- “Become a VIP subscriber to receive special member offers”, not “Join today and get five articles a month”
Did you know? People like to be told they’re going to get something (your solution) and that they’ll own the solution. Try using “Get” and “Your” more often. See whether they help you improve your results.
3. Does your call to action stand out?
Whether you’re using a button, an image or text, your call to action must be clearly visible. Its location, colour and size all play important roles in the success of your message.
People are very busy… we keep saying that. Yet, are you making it easy for them?
If your offer is limited or will expire soon, readers need to be able to find your call to action without having to decipher your message.
What to do: In order to make your call to action stand out:
- Bold any calls to action and links within the (text) body of your email, letter or landing page
- Use a contrasting font color that make the calls to action and links pop
- Choose eye-catching colours that won’t be mistaken for a design element of your email template or website menu
4. Is your call to action repeated throughout the copy?
Repeat your call to action in a few different ways and also include it towards the end of your copy. In a text-only email or letter, that’s usually just before you sign off.
Repetition helps you do three key things:
- Remind the reader of the offer
- Tell the reader what they need to do to get their hands on it
- Save the reader from having to scroll back up to the introduction to find the call to action
What to do: Repeat your call to action in different ways… at least once before signing off. Here are some examples of a sequence of the same call to action written in different ways:
- “Ask for your free copy when you visit our Perth store.”
- “Visit us at the corner of William and Murray to receive a free copy.”
- “Come to our Perth store for your free copy.”
- “Drive to our Perth store today to collect your free copy.”
Make sure they’re all clear and easy to understand.
5. Is your repeated call to action consistent throughout the copy?
When writing short copy for the screen, it makes sense to place your call-to-action button above the fold. This makes it easy for your readers to see right away what’s on offer and what they need to do to get it.
When you then repeat the call to action throughout the copy, whether you’re rewriting it in many different ways, be sure to keep with the same goal. You don’t want to confuse your readers. So, if you want them to buy a specific item, each of the calls to action should guide them to buy it.
If, however, you must include a secondary call to action – such as to “Sign up for free updates” – to ask readers to sign up when they’re not ready to purchase, then perhaps place it in your ‘PS’ under your signature. That is, away from your main call to action.
Occassionally you might want to place links to different products or services rather than repeat the same link to one page. In this case, make it clear that you’re sending readers to these particular pages.
- “Get Your Ed Sheeran CD”
- “Get Your Ed Sheeran Concert”
- “Get Your Ed Sheeran T-shirt”
What to do: Check whether you can repeat your call to action in your current copy. If you’re thinking of including multiple calls to action to take readers to more than one offer, be sure that this is definitely what you want. The last thing you want to happen is to spend money running a campaign for one product when you’re ‘accidentally’ encouraging people to buy something else.
6. Does your call to action tell readers to take urgent action?
Even if you’re sending your email or letter weeks ahead of the closing date, you should still be aiming for conversion right here, right now. Don’t give your reader the impression that you’re happy for them to sleep on it and for them to come back to you in a week or two. You want them to fear that if they don’t take up the offer right now, someone else will.
Give the sense of urgency by presenting an ultimatum.
What to do: Motivate readers with sentences such as:
- “I’ve saved you a spot as one of the lucky 100 to receive this exclusive offer. Unfortunately, I can only hold this place for the next 24hrs.”
- “This is your last chance to take up an exclusive offer worth thousands of dollars – be quick!”
- “I only have a few places left, so you better hurry (oh, and I promise it won’t cost you a cent).”
- “Download Your Copy Now (Time is of the Essence).”
Or shorter phrases such as, they work as well:
- “Only 101 copies available!”
- “Only one day left!”
- “On sale for only 12 hours!”
The whole idea is to make the limitations very clear, so that your readers do hurry to grab it sooner than later.
7. Does your call to action match the action your readers must take?
Avoid tricking your readers into clicking through to a page that has absolutely nothing to do with the offer you mentioned. All you’ll do is force them to exit and never come back. This isn’t just bad for your reputation, but could affect your campaign results and bounce rate. It could also give false conclusions of why your campaign didn’t perform well.
When preparing your copy, imagine yourself as your reader:
- What would you like to know?
- How would you like to be told about it?
- What steps you would like to take to get what you came there for?
What to do: If visitors need to sign up to get something, say so. If they must pay for it, make this clear. If you’re out of offers, update your landing page right away, by stating so. Instead of deleting the page, ask readers to sign up to receive notification of your next offers. Mention how many people benefited from this campaign and why new visitors should participate in the next one.
Testing and practice make a perfect call to action.
But you’ll only know what works best once you’ve tried several ideas. Guide your audience with the right words, make everything clear, and drive them towards your primary call to action.
Need help auditing your copy and taking your business to the next level?
Book your free 15-minute telephone consultation today. Call me on 0416 513 843 today. There’s no obligation to hire me.