eCommerce Insiders

CTAs: The Sales Closer That’s Dying To Be Used

In a perfect world, your shoppers would intuitively understand that after looking at the photos, and after reading your website’s marketing copy, they should navigate to the next actionable step.

But since you don’t live in a perfect world, you’ll find that instead you’re faced with site visitors whose attention easily wanders at the first sign of a tricky user interface.

This leads to page bouncing, poor navigation, and ultimately, lost revenue opportunities.

Worse, not only will site visitors leave your site in the moment, but they’ll also remember if it was hard to navigate your site to complete a sale.

After this, chances are great that they’ll ignore your site in favor of a competitor’s site that’s a lot easier to navigate… and contains the one element that could turn things around for your brand’s shopping platform:

A clear call-to-action element.

What Exactly is a Call-To-Action Element?

A call-to-action element (CTA) is just as the name implies. It’s a site page element that leads your shoppers (either by implication or by direct messaging) to take the next step. Those next steps can include:

  • Signing up on your email marketing list
  • Sharing a photo or a blog post on their social media
  • Referring their friends and family to your site to make purchases
  • Taking advantage of sales promotions
  • Directing the shopper to the sales checkout page

Sometimes, retailers include sophisticated call-to-action scripting that prompts previous site visitors to clear out their abandoned online shopping carts.

Why are CTAs Crucial for Conversions?

Think about all of the ways that you interact with your prospective shoppers and your current consumers. All of these interaction touch points are designed to get the consumer to take action.

And here’s the good news: Your site visitors want to take action!

But at the same time, they need to be led directly towards taking action. For example, think of your directing your marketing media like an orchestra conductor directs their musicians.

Without the conductor, the musicians would produce a cacophony of sound that would ultimately drive the listener away. But when the same musicians are led by a master conductor, the same instruments create beautiful sound.

As marketers, you also should direct the emotional triggers of your marketing copy. Lead your site visitors to the necessary steps and responses that will lead them towards boosting your revenue goals and solidifying your brand identity.

Where Should You Use Calls-To-Action?

Calls-to-action are used in just about every type of marketing media known. They’re even used in audio marketing media when the announcer directs listeners to call a assigned phone number.

They’re used when a site visitor is directed to hit a social media button in order to share a phrase of marketing copy, or share the link to your content or promotions. They’re also used when marketers need to prompt site visitors to sign up on a email subscription list.

But how they’re used can be as obvious or as subtle as you (the marketer) decides.

For example, you might decide to have a big red Click here to buy! button on your eCommerce site. That’s about as obvious of a leading trigger as you can use! But you might also choose a subtler phrase, like ‘Learn how you can save time and money.’

Both phrases are leading the site visitor to take action, but their approaches will differ according to your brand and the offerings that you’re selling.

How Many Times is it Appropriate to Use A Call To Action?

One thing that retail marketers need to keep in mind is that content marketing differs from traditional advertising.

Traditional advertising is a direct assault on a consumer’s attention – in fact, it’s commonly referred to as disruptive marketing.

The consumer has their attention focused elsewhere when the advertiser literally interrupts their train of thought with marketing messages that are designed to grab the consumer, and hopefully, convert them.

Advertising-style copy is loud, brash, and if it’s presented in text form, it will likely feature an overabundance of bold calls-to-action sprinkled throughout the marketing copy.

On the other hand, educational media such as content marketing, or an organic tutorial takes a softer approach. These are forms of marketing media that might only feature one call-to-action, and they’re usually located at the bottom of the page.

Note that one style isn’t better than the other, but there are marked differences that should be kept in the marketer’s mind, according to their consumer offerings and the perception of their company’s brand.

Your eCommerce site visitors were led to your site for a reason. That means that they’re interested in your offerings and there’s a great chance that they want to buy from you.

But they also need to be led toward taking action. An easy-to-understand CTA leads consumers in the right direction.

Terri Scott

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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