Week 8: Calls to Action, Lead Capture and Automated Follow Up System

Journey-to-Authorship-Program

It has been said that the “Fortune is in the Follow Up” and “The Money is in your List”…and no we are not talking grocery list here…except that implementing this could enable you to buy the items on your grocery list.

So what does ” The Fortune is in the Follow Up” mean?  How about “The Money is in Your List?”

This week we explore both what this truly means and how to implement it.

Calls to Action

  1. What is a call-to-action in the first place?
  2. What makes people actually click on calls-to-action?

What Is a Call-to-Action?

A call-to-action (usually abbreviated as CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a “call” to take an “action.”

The Business directory.com describes a Call to Action as “words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message  to take an immediate action, such as “Write Now,” “Call Now,” or (on internet) “Click Here.”  Typically a retail advertisement or a commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective.

Here is a great article that gives a very clear explanation of what a CALL To ACTION is.

The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, etc. A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing — on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or even at the end of a blog post.

Still not sure what they are? You’ll know them when you see them. Here’s a compilation of what CTAs can look like:

calls_to_action

Typically calls to action are singular, meaning one offer per page or email or social media post, etc.  Occasionally there can be more than one call to action (CTA) but that is not typical.

But here’s the catch with getting started with CTAs: you simply cannot put a button that says “Click Here!” and expect that you will get people to start clicking through to your offer.  It is not the answer to building your list and gathering leads for your product or service.

There are several crucial elements you need to include in a CTA if you want to entice people to actually take an action from your content.

Here’s Your Checklist for an Productive CTA 

Nothing can be worse than having an ineffective call to action, and yet, it is easy for that to happen.  You’ve worked hard on your product, service, free download, webinar, whatever you are promoting.

To save you time and effort, here’s a quick checklist for the essential elements of a quality CTA.

 Eye-Catching Design: For someone to click on your CTA, they have to first notice its existence. This is pretty much the one time you can veer off course from your branding guidelines: Your CTAs’ colors should contrast with your website design, yet also appear large enough to be noticed (we’ve seen them perform best around 225px wide and 45px high).

Copy That Makes People Want to Act: It’s not enough to say “Submit” as your CTA’s copy.  Use descriptive words that uses actionable verbs to catch people’s attention. If you want more CTA copywriting tips, check out this cool blog post from HubSpot.

 A Clear Value Proposition: People should know exactly what will happen when they click on a CTA. Are they expecting to download an ebook or a PowerPoint template? Get a product demo or sign up for your weekly newsletter? Make sure the CTA explicitly tells them what they’re getting in exchange for their click.

 A Specific Page (Ideally a Landing Page) Aligned With One Stage in the Sales Cycle: A CTA is most effective if people are taken to a dedicated landing page after clicking it, rather than a random page on your website. For example, a CTA is still a CTA if it points to a “contact us” page (which simply NOT a landing page), but it won’t be as effective driving leads and customers as a specific, focused landing page for a free ebook download. Also, CTAs should be created with specific stages of the sales cycle in mind.   For example, you wouldn’t include a product demo CTA on a blog post created for brand new visitors — your clickthrough rate would plummet.

Should Everything Have a Call To Action?

You won’t find too many pieces of content that we produce not have a call to action, but we do share a ton of content without it. Not everything you do should be trying to sell, some of it should be trying to build both trust and authority with leads and customers. Always be selling may be a mantra in most sales and marketing strategies, but selling can also be a turnoff in some conversations. My rule of thumb is to always have a Call To Action when your goal is to motivate the person into a deeper engagement.

How to Create Effective Calls To Action

There are proven methods for deploying effective call to action strategies. Here are some of them:

  • Keep your calls to action highly visible and adjacent to the reader’s focus. We often put CTAs to the right of the content we’re writing so that the viewers natural eye movement captures it. We may push them a bit more into the content stream to take it up a notch in the future. Some sites float the CTA so that as the reader scrolls, the CTA stays with them.
  • Keep your calls to action simple. Whether it’s an image or an offer in your speech, ensuring the instructions are simple and the path to engagement is easy will ensure a higher number of your audience will call, or click-through on the action you ask them to. An image-based CTA typically has an image (of course), the image is descriptive and captivating….it includes the call to action as well as asking for their name and email.
  • Keep the action clear on your CTA. Utilize action words like call, download, click, register, start, etc. should be utilized. If it’s an image-based CTA, you’ll often find these on a highly contrasted button. Web users have been educated to click on buttons so the image automatically registers as an activity for them to take.
  • Add a Sense of Urgency. Is time running out? Does the offer expire? Are there a limited number of seats? Anything to help persuade the reader to take action now instead of later will increase your conversion rate. Adding a sense of urgency is a critical component of every CTA.
  • Push Benefits over Features. Too many companies are proud of what they do instead of the benefits they achieve for their customers. It’s not what you do that sells, it’s the benefit that entices a customer to buy. Are you offering an opportunity to simplify things? To get instant results? To get free advice?
  • Plan the Path to Conversion. For blog posts, the path is often read, see a CTA, register on a landing page, and convert. Your path to conversion may be different but visualizing and planning the path that you wish people to take with your content will help you design better and convert more with your Call To Action strategy.
  • Test your CTAs. Design multiple versions of your CTAs to identify which one drives better business results. One simply isn’t enough – too many companies don’t take the time to provide alternate designs, verbiage, colors and sizes. Sometimes a simple sentence is perfect, other times it might be an animated gif.

… And that’s the basics of CTAs. Hope that cleared up any questions you might have!

Next Steps: Create a CTA of Your Own

And that’s pretty much all you need to know if you’re unclear on what a CTA is. But if you want a deeper dive into creating and optimizing CTAs, you could check out this great ebook you can download from HubSpot.

How are you going to use CTAs in your marketing? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

Lead Pages/Lead Capture

In online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page” or a “lander“, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement, search result or link.

Landing pages are often linked to from social media, email campaigns or websites and other search engine marketing campaigns in order to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales or leads. If the goal is to obtain a lead, the landing page will include some method for the visitor to get into contact, usually a phone number, or asking them to leave their name and email address.

Not to be confused, is the “opt-in form” that is typically used on most websites.

Opt-in forms

What is an optin form?  I am sure you have seen these on websites.  It is a very simple Call to Action…this call to action can offer many different things…but ultimately it collects the name and email and takes them….WHERE?  To an automated follow up system…that you have set up and populated with responses that they get upon signing up…and continuing valuable information “dripped” to them over a period of time.

Capture2

Automated Follow Up Systems

Well this is a topic that could take a month of days to discuss.  Honestly, since I personally started down this road of internet marketing…wow!!! the changes in amazing systems to choose from.

I started nearly four years ago with a leader in the industry, and now that system is almost obsolete.

There are so many automated systems available…and the costs can range from FREE to costing an arm and a leg.  After using one system for four years….I have just begun to switch to another far superior system that costs much less.

This can be a confusing world to walk into, but let me say this:  Start where you can afford and start where your skill levels are NOW!  You can always upgrade to something better as you start making money and as your skill levels increase.

Infusionsoft has long been consider top of the line…but users often call it Confusionsoft.  There are so many bells and whistles to this remarkable system that it often leaves users in the dust.

On the far end of the scale to the other end of the spectrum…is Mail Chimp.  Easy to use…and?  FREE!  But FREE often comes with a price too, in that it does not always provide you what you need.

I have landed on a system…very incredibly reasonable for all that it does…and about 1/4 of the cost the one I was using, and many amazing perks.  It is called Active Campaign.

Below is a video of what that system offers.

Either way…START!!! Start building your list…

Remember:  The money IS in your List…and the Fortune IS in the follow up…but the true value is in creating an ENGAGED List of raving fans!

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