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Content Marketing | 3 min read

8 Common Call to Action Mistakes In Your Inbound Marketing Campaign

Ross Starkey
24 June 2015 Written by Ross Starkey

8 Common Call to Action Mistakes In Your Inbound Marketing Campaign


Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time coming up with ever more tempting marketing campaigns, sales offers, promotions and competitions. Usually the bigger they are the better we like them. We spend a tremendous amount of time thinking, planning and generating the content required for this big campaign 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 the smaller things. Where many campaigns fail is not focusing enough attention on the details such as their Call-To-Action button - the very thing they want readers to click!

Effective conversion rates might just be a click away but have you thought about why they want to click? 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 to entice readers in. Are you short-changing your campaign by making common call to action mistakes?

Where’s the value dear?

Why will your readers click that button, what are they getting? 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 unfathomably rich or entry into a competition to win an igloo in Lofoten.

Ignore proper grammar

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 even need to be proper. They can start with ‘Capture’, ‘Access’ or ‘Learn’.

Choose your words carefully

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)

They compel readers to do something, not just to ‘be something’.

Forget style, think colour

There are so many stylish websites out there it’s easy to think a CTA should also be somewhat stylish and colour-coordinated. Not so, forget those Dulux colour-match adverts, bright orange, bright green, bright red, bright blue - if they stand out, they will be noticed and really, you just want to be noticed don’t you?

New Call-to-action

Big is beautiful

Having a small button won’t impress anyone. Will it?

Now or next week?

When do you want people to click, today, tomorrow, next week, at some point or NOW! Tell them they need to do it straightaway; a gentle, timely reminder can be the difference between conversion and aversion.

Create a landing page to match

You want to ensure that the landing page looks somewhat 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. This means that whatever you are promoting in your CTA, ensure the same names and language is contained in your landing page too.

Do you have a back up plan?

If your CTA isn’t working, have you got a back up one, ready to roll out and compare results with. In marketing speak this is simple A/B testing because not everything works first time and you know what they say about perseverance…

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