eCommerce Insiders

A Compelling Call To Action: When and Why It’s Necessary

If you’re in the business of earning money online, then you’re a digital marketer in the ecommerce space. And if you’re in the ecommerce space, you understand the necessity of strong calls to action (CTA).

While the ecommerce industry definitely places a hard focus on retail, there are other types of digital marketers that fall under the eCommerce umbrella. These include information product producers, info product instructors, service providers, small business owners, restaurants, and others.

All of these vendors have one goal in mind:

They hope that by publishing and managing a website, they’ll be able to generate leads that convert into customers. And that means that they’ll have to use a variety of tactics to direct leads to their site.

Some of these tactics include:

  • Social media posts
  • Email announcements
  • Educational or entertaining content (video, text)
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) ads

All of these work very effectively, but after generating the leads, the vendor is left asking this:

“How do I get my leads to take the next logical step?”

Why you need to do anything at all?

Why should a vendor need to take steps to spur their prospects into action? After all, the reason why the consumer visited a vendor’s site was to take action, right? In theory, this is correct, but it’s amazing how often a consumer/site visitor needs a bit of hand-holding.

There’s reasons for this:

1. Often times, a site end-user might be indecisive.

How often have we experienced walking into a store just to look around? We might have an idea of what we’re looking for, but we either aren’t quite sure of a final product pick, or we’ve encountered other choices that are stealing our focus.

Usually when we window shop, we’re looking for a compelling final purchase to literally smack us in the face! When we enter a store, we want to see the shirt, the suit, the dress, the shoes, the tools, etc., that are going to make us forget about the other choices and convince us to make a buying decision, on the spot.

Often consumers shop on websites using the same mindset. But because a shopper isn’t in the actual warehouse where the products are contained, they’ll often experience continued confusion about making a final choice.

2. The site’s navigation is bad

It’s an understatement to say that not all eCommerce sites are created equally. Some allow for a streamlined shopping experience, while others are confusing to navigate, creating a clunky, annoying sales process. If the shopper doesn’t bounce away from the site immediately, then they’ll waste time trying to figure out where they should click next. And none of this spurs the type of action that converts into sales (or a sales lead).

This is why a device known as a Call To Action (CTA)is crucial. It should be used prominently, every time. But there are different types of CTAs that are appropriate to use in different scenarios.

What is the next logical step?

The first thing that a vendor should figure out is what the next logical step should be in a shopper’s journey. What’s the goal that’s trying to be accomplished? It really comes down to two majors:

1. The shopper should complete a purchase
2. The sales prospect should sign up for more information

Vendors should keep in mind that the goals that they set for the next logical step depends upon their audience, the perceived value of a product, and its price-point.

It’s easy for a consumer to make a purchase for shoes, food, tools, or other consumables and commodities. It’s also easy for the average consumer to make simple office supply purchases. But what if a company needed to buy boxes of printer paper reams?

And what if the paper needed to be of a certain bond quality? And what if the business wanted to make sure that they could negotiate a discount based upon the quantity of paper they planned to order immediately, and in the future?

These aren’t the type of decisions that could be made immediately, and in fact, these are often decisions that require more than one person to make a final decision. What’s more, there are questions that need to be answered. So in this instance, the consumer should be prompted to put their name and number on a sales list, allowing someone from the sales team to address questions and concerns.

Except in rare cases, a sales transaction would not be completed in this instance. Still, sales aside, a vendor needs to use prompts that queue the site’s end-user to take a very specified next step that will allow all involved to realize their goals.

Are Calls To Action A Sophisticated Marketing Tactic?

Absolutely not! In fact, the most effective CTAs simply spur action by instructing the end user to:

  • “Click here!”
  • ” Buy now!”
  • ” Sign up!”
  • “Learn more!

A vendor can take a sophisticated approach in their CTA once they’ve mastered the basics, but the point is for them to figuratively take their consumers by the hand, and lead them to the next step (or the final step) in the sales process.

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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