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8 Common Call to Action Mistakes In Your Inbound Marketing Campaign


Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time coming up with compelling marketing campaigns, sales offers, promotions and competitions. Usually the bigger they are - the better we like them. We spend a tremendous amount of time planning and generating the content required for Inbound Marketing campaigns to succeed.

These marketing campaigns can put you above your competition and more importantly, they can make money.

So what can go wrong?

For a start, not focusing on small details that make a big difference. Where many campaigns fail is not focusing enough attention on the details such as their Call-To-Action buttons - the very thing they want readers to click!

Optimised conversion rates might just be a click away - but have you thought about why they want to click, and what might be the deciding factor between clicking or scrolling away? A big shiny ‘click me’ button certainly helps, but that’s not all it takes to optimise your conversion rates.

A great offer, promotion or competition is only ever as good as the CTA it employs. Are you short-changing your campaign by making common call-to-action mistakes?

Where’s the value dear?

1) Are you being too vague?

The first question to ask yourself is: Why should your readers click that button? What's in it for them? Set their expectations. Be clear.

It’s best not to confuse here, because most people will have seen it all before. If you let any ambiguity in, they will not click. Your CTA needs to be unique to your business and it should be clear what is going to happen when they click, whether it’s the key to unlocking the Mayan Codex and becoming sickeningly rich, or simply enter into a competition to win a straw hat. 

Ignore proper grammar

2) Wasting precious seconds and losing their attention?

Be assertive and compelling. Normal language rules can be thrown out here. You want your readers to grasp your concept instantly. So the copy should be short, sharp and straight to the point. The best CTAs often use bullet points and sentences don’t need to be structured to an Oxford standard. They can start with ‘Capture’, ‘Access’ or ‘Learn’.

Choose your words carefully

3) Are you creating a hype?

This is something my mother used to say to me, just before I was about to explain my actions and it is no different here. Effective copy often means engaging the reader very quickly. It means using action verbs like:

Discover…(the real reason you are going bald)

Uncover…(the 32 secrets professional gamblers employ)

Find…(the lipstick you need for every occasion)

What's the common denominator with all of these calls to action? They compel readers to do something, not just to ‘be something’. They allow the reader to feel they are taking decisive action to expand their knowledge.

Forget style, think colour

4) Some small details matter, while others don't

Button colours are far less important than you think they are. Just get noticed. There are so many aesthetic websites out there it’s easy to think a CTA needs to be professionally designed, styled, and colour-coordinated to be effective. Not so. Forget those Dulux colour-match adverts, bright orange, bright green, bright red, bright blue. If the CTAs stand out, they'll be noticed and really, you just want to be noticed, don’t you?

5) Are you making your reader work to find your CTA?

It should go without saying that CTAs must be bold and obvious. If you're making your readers work to find the button, why would they believe the service or product you're offering would benefit them in any way?

Having a small button won’t impress anyone. Make it big to, well, make it big.

New Call-to-action

Big is beautiful Now or next week?

6) Persuade them to take decisive action 

Urgency; create it. When do you want people to click? Today, tomorrow, next week, at some point in the next 30 days, or NOW? Tell them they need to do it straight away; a gentle, timely reminder can be the difference between conversion and aversion.

Create a landing page to match

7) Streamline the experience by matching the landing page and CTA

Consistency is key. You want to ensure that the landing page looks related to the CTA page that was clicked to get there. You’ve already got their attention, don’t spoil it by offering something different or wandering off-topic entirely. This means that whatever you are promoting in your CTA, ensure the same names, language and offers are contained in your landing page too.

8) Don't spoil a good experience with a bad thank-you page

Well done on encouraging your readers to click your CTA. Now, make sure your thank-you page seals the deal and enhances the brand experience. Again - set their expectations by telling them what's going to happen next, and when.

A good example is: "Thanks so much for downloading your guide to Formulating a Great Call-to-Action. It will arrive in your inbox within the next 5 minutes. If you have any questions or have any difficulty receiving your guide - you can send us a message here." Voila. There you have it.

Are your CTAs letting you down? Our Conversion Rate Optimisation service will help you audit your CTA performance, uncover those that are working and those that aren't, and help you to make the most of your website traffic.

You can also book a free consultation with our experts, here.

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