There are a lot of good businesses out there, businesses that provide great products or useful services. However, many of these companies fail due to not being able to get potential customers to act. It's hard enough to get people interested in your business, but interest is not enough. Once you get people to your website, you have to have an effective call to action to convince them that right now is the time to take advantage of what you have to offer.
When you're trying to nudge people into acting now rather than later, word choice matters. The first task in choosing the right words is to define what you want the end result to be. This needs to be specific and immediate; yes, you want to get great revenue figures, but what is the first step in that? Convincing people to download your ebook? Getting them to sign up for your newsletter? Having them browse through your online store? Your call to action needs to be about what your audience can do today, right now, to help you help them.
Once you have your immediate goal defined, explain to your audience in concise terms how following your call to action will benefit them. What will your product or service do for them, that they would want to sign up right away? How will it make their life easier? What interesting or desirable thing will it accomplish?
After you've made the benefits clear, it's time to choose the appropriate words to get the reader to act. Presenting your business and its benefits in a polite and professional manner is fine, but you need strong action verbs to get people to make the move from reading to doing. Work those action verbs into short, easy-to-digest phrases that make it instantly clear to the reader what action they should take next. Here are some tried-and-tested examples:
* Click here to try it!
* Sign up today!
* Order yours now!
* Subscribe here!
* Download now!
You'll also want to tell your reader why they need to engage in the desired action immediately. If they feel like they can come back at any time, they're more likely to put it off and then forget about it. Having offers available only for a limited time, or to the first X number of people who subscribe, will make people more likely to take advantage of those offers while they still can.
Have a look over the call to action on your website. Is it performing as well as you would like? What changes could you make to create a stronger, more effective call?
Peg McDermott is an award-winning marketing communications expert, Internet marketing specialist, and public speaker. Peg is the founder and president of COGO Interactive, an innovative Internet Marketing firm specializing in helping small to mid-sized businesses increase revenue and awareness by leveraging Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. Find her on Google Plus, Twitter, and LinkedIn