97% of surveyed readers found that this particular sentence offered more statistical insight than the previous one.
I think that perhaps the other 3% just simply weren’t concentrating hard enough….
Maybe it’s a bit too early in the article to be getting bogged down with urgent Calls to Action and strange statistics. They usually work a lot better at the end of your material.
Oh, hang on, I don’t even really need a call to action anyway, as I’m not actually trying to sell you anything.
Phew! That’s a relief.
In fact, all I’m really asking you to consider right now is this;
Just how powerful are your own Small Business Calls-To-Action?
We all know that creating a strong Call to Action is a hugely important ingredient in your marketing, whether it’s on your printed promotional material or via an online channel.
When your audience have finished absorbing the details of your marketing, you ideally want to spur them into immediate action with this compelling closing message.
If you don’t deliver this clear direction and sense of urgency, then you run the serious risk of draining all the potential pulling power from the piece, as your readers just idly wander away and slip right through your fingers forever.
It’s very interesting to note the different strategies at work when companies come up with new Calls to Action.
Some might go for the hard-hitting and over-dramatic approach, ending up with something along the lines of AAARGH! HURRY UP! YOU ONLY HAVE THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES TO CLAIM THIS OFFER BEFORE THE UNIVERSE IMPLODES! DO IT NOW! FASTER! FASTER! AAAARGH!
Others might adopt just a slightly more subtle and relaxed style – something along the lines of Hey there, why not take a look when you have a minute? No rush, I’m here all year. Take it easy! – which sounds infinitely more friendly and human, but possibly lacks that little dollop of urgency to encourage your readers into action before they forget all about you.
So, how do you get it just right?
Here are a few short steps to crafting the perfect Call to Action which will wake up your audience and get them sprinting in the right direction, instead of filing you away for a day that never comes….
Keep It Short and Snappy!
Let’s not beat about the bush here.
Did you know that the average attention span of a potential customers is less than….hey, look at that, a cat just walked past the office window! Aww! How cute!
Bit weird though, I’m up on the sixth floor.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yes, sorry. Did you know that the average attention span of a potential customer is less than a minute?
Your Call to Action is not the right place to go into extensive detail and meandering over-explanatory text.
It should be a quick, catchy soundbite that can be consumed in a single glance and pack a real punch whilst delivering the crux of your main message.
Depending on the format of your promotion, the reader should always be prompted to click your link, call your telephone number, or visit your store – right now!
But it’s also important that these dynamic action words are clearly backed up with the actual direct link, phone number, store address etc.
Your customer shouldn’t have to work hard (not even for just a second) in order to try and figure out what they have to do.
If it’s not as clear as crystal, then their interest and enthusiasm may just begin to wander.
As a quick example; if you’re encouraging the reader to click on a link, then make sure it’s a direct link which will take them exactly where they expected to be – don’t make them wade through the labyrinth of your website in order to find the specific offer you were promoting!
Strike The Right Tone!
As I mentioned above, we will often see hugely contrasting styles in Calls to Action, ranging from the sleepily casual to the completely hysterical.
Nobody likes to be shouted at.
If your Call to Action is making a furious demand using capital letters and excessive exclamation marks, then a big chunk of your readers are going to be instinctively switched off by this perceived aggressive marketing.
Most Small Businesses would prefer the more subtle and friendly approach.
But of course, if your approach is too casual and relaxed, then your Call to Action isn’t really going to live up to its name.
It might end up more of a Call To Think About It a Little Bit, Maybe Have a Look Again Tomorrow….
It’s all about finding the perfect balance.
Your message should naturally include some urgency and drama – perhaps including a timeframe in which the reader has to respond if they don’t want to miss out on a particular offer.
But we should never go too overboard and start screaming into the faces of our customers…
Actually, no, I’ve just made that up as an example of an interesting stat.
In fact, it’s actually a perfect example of exactly what you shouldn’t be doing when including stats in your Call to Action – you should never just pluck numbers out of the air, exaggerate the truth, or even deliver a completely misleading fabrication.
However, a good strong, accurate statistic can work wonders in persuading new clients to hop on board. If you can truthfully claim that over 90% of your clients consider you to be the very best in the business, then your new reader may well start wondering what they’re missing out on.
If you’re stuck for stats, try sending out a little survey to your existing customer base.
Alternatively, perhaps you could just include a proud reference to how many clients you’ve already served over the last year or since the launch of your business.
Keep It Simple!
Finally, and most importantly of all….keep it as simple as humanly possible!
Use nice and easy language, and don’t ever be tempted to slip into potentially mind-boggling jargon or the technical-speak of your specialist trade.
You’ll have other areas of marketing in which you can tackle the detail.
The number one priority of a perfect Call to Action is simply to get the message across and ensure that it is clearly understood by everyone who may read it, so that any potential new customer can fully comprehend your call….and act upon it!
Which is kind of the whole point…
So, be quick! Create your compelling Call to Action before it’s too late!
And don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s new article in the Martin Print Blog!
Read it right now!….. no, wait, it hasn’t been written yet….erm…..93% of cats said that The Martin Print Blog was their favoured choice of…..no, no, that’s wrong…..aaargh!……I think this needs a little more work……