What is a call to action or CTA?

Emarketing isn’t the only form of branded content out there. There is this popular misconception when you hear buzz phrase ‘content marketing’ blogging, email newsletters and web content instantly springs to mind. We mustn’t forget that long before digital there was print.

Content marketing has always been around, perhaps in different guises though. The advertorials, the newsletters, the members magazines and the infomercials, all forms of content marketing.

By using expert sector journalists to write features old membership publications evolved into an industry worth £4billion. Marketeers recognised the power of content to build on relationships with customers and in turn the benefit to CRM.

It’s all very well having an excellent engaging and informative newsletter, email or ad but there must be a clear and definitive sign off for the piece. The piece should almost whet the readers appetite, leave them wanting more, the ‘more’ should be the call to action (CTA) device, and should lead the reader onto doing something as a result of reading or engaging.

CALL TO ACTION

There are some straightforward rules for CTA’s:

1. K.I.S.S. – keep it simple stupid
Make the CTA simple, focus on one or at the most two main actions – don’t confuse or clutter the sign off.

2. STANDOUT
It’s important to make the CTA standout by using contrasting colours and a smart holding device/box or button.

3. Relevance
Wherever possible make the call to action relevant it should follow on seamlessly from the feature in terms of context. If it’s possible you try to personalise it through segmentation.

4. Activate
It’s important to use activating phrases and words to encourage readers to react. Using action words, for example, “click here” or “go online to find out more” or “turn to page 7 to see more” or “call to register”. Through testing it’s possible to identify which CTA’s work most efficiently for your audience base.

5. Don’t be afraid
To have more than one CTA to a page or section. It makes perfect sense to always have the URL or social media link as page furniture but you can have others to such as read more or try this. The CTA doesn’t have to focus on the end point or sale, it can be something that aids loyalty, retention or acquisition.

7. TEST TEST TEST
The importance of trial and measurement in all marketing cannot be underestimated. In the case of CTA’s it’s key to try different words, timings, devices, placements etc.

It’s important to always have a call-to-action with every piece of marketing produced. This helps deliver and quantify Return On Investment but also drives loyalty, and acquisition.

Adapted from Original text: http://www.bluegrassdigital.com/blog/2012/november/28/7-tips-for-great-email-marketing-calls-to-action/#ixzz30jTB2rdP Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Emma

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