What is a "call-to-action"? Essentially, it's a reaction on the part of your target client or prospects - they respond/take action in a specific way, depending on the nature of the call-to-action. Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are a crucial step in the conversion process - from visitors or readers to clients.
The following are examples of common but necessary CTAs. These days, your website is your primary channel of engagement with prospects, so it's imperative that you include them on your site:
"Download this e-guide"
"Schedule an appointment"
"Register for a workshop"
"Sign up for our weekly tips"
How should you use/present these CTAs? They should be presented as buttons or links - which stand out. Tips: Use only a few words (active verbs), eye-catching design, set the button or link apart from the rest of the copy (i.e. leave a lot of "white space" around it; avoid clutter around the CTA).
It's also key that they are accompanied with the proper content that leads the visitor or prospect to that CTA. For example, if you are talking about the intricacies of applying for a work visa (e.g. H-1B), then you should have a hyperlinked line or button that says "Download this FAQ on Applying for a Work Visa". Similarly, if your calendar of events includes an upcoming workshop on your area of practice, then a CTA such as "Register Now For Our Workshop -- Spaces are limited!".
Why is having CTAs important? Think about how hard it is to get a visitor to your website, or get someone to read your brochure. When you've actually got their attention, and they are taking in your content, it's already an indication of some level of interest. If they've read that far, then they are likely in that frame of mind where they might respond in a way that actually connects them to you. It's a chance for you to nudge them to the next step and deepen their engagement with you.
Which brings me to a crucial point: did you notice that the CTAs above are the kind built to capture a visitor's email or contact info? For example, if you set up your scheduling widget or event registration widget to capture name and email, that's enough for you to continue marketing to that prospect. All the more so now that you can tell what they were reading when they took action.
Conversely, if you don't have CTAs, it's a missed opportunity. It's like having your readers or visitors happily going on a ride with you, learning something they never knew, engaging them and then ... nothing. There is no "reaching out" on your part, so to speak. It all ends with a thud, which also leaves your prospect with a tepid experience, when it could be a better experience. Certainly, you should never over-market. But you shouldn't under-connect either.
Last but not least, when a visitor clicks on your CTA, the Landing Page should be clear and concise as well, and produce a result that they want (more of that in a later blog post).
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