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Understanding how to capture the attention of an audience, especially over other competitors, is crucial in setting your name and brand apart from the pack.
Still to this day, some of the most concise, appealing, and memorable calls to action have stuck with me. As a kid growing up in the Toronto, Canada metroplex, Tim Hortons -- a household name in Canadian coffee and donuts ran an annual campaign that I will never forget. Every year, like clockwork, ads with a simple call to action “Roll up the Rim to Win'' flooded tv, radio, and street corners.
On the top, rolled under the rim of every cup was a possible hidden prize. Donuts, drinks, cars, boats, and cash rewards, easily redeemed, all motivated by an effortless and attractive invitation. For 30 + years, Tim Horton's simple “roll up the rim to win” call to action has withstood the test of time.
What is a Call to Action?
In the most basic of terms, a call to action is a strategic invitation that marketers use to encourage customers to act and engage with their brand or product. In most cases, a call to action is a command phrase, short and easily understandable. Some of the most common and easy-to-use calls to action are “buy now” “free trial” or “sign up” which encourage a specific and immediate action. Whether through digital marketing or traditional marketing means, calls to action are everywhere.
Why is a Call to Action needed?
A call to action is essential because actions are what generate revenue and promote brand loyalty. A prospective customer who simply considers or thinks about a product or service is significantly less likely to find their way through the marketing and purchasing funnel without a little encouragement.
Tips for an Exceptional Call to Action
So what are the most effective ways to capture an audience and motivate them to act? The next time you craft a call to action, using the following tips and tricks will undoubtedly make a difference in growing your voice and influence:
Obtainable: Effective calls to action require reachable gain or profit in the customer's mind. Whether it be a discount code or a free product, the incentive needs to be real and within reach. More than that, the physical reward or digital button needs to be visible and functional. Don't make the customer go looking for the signup or incentive. Put it in front of their face.
Emotional: A longstanding advertising technique is to channel a customer's emotion. Whether that be love, sadness, anger, joy, or excitement, motivating them naturally to engage in emotional choices is crucial. Even FOMO can be a powerful motivator.
Visible: The visible elements of a call to action including, fonts, buttons, animations, colors, and layout, are equally as vital as the text and language of the copy. A call to action should align with brand messaging and be the focal point of an ad or promotional campaign.
Urgent: An effective call to action should motivate the customer to engage sooner than later. An invitation to act should be time-sensitive, following a “now or never” line of thought. An urgent call to action should make the customer feel like an exclusive and valued member of the club.
Short & Concise: Generally speaking, customers need simply worded CTA’s that demand the least amount of attention to prompt action. Avoid using overcomplicated, lengthy, or wordy phrases.
While there is no secret recipe to a perfect call to action, hopefully, the tips and tricks we’ve listed above will get you close. More than that, it’s never a bad idea to seek out and recreate the calls to action that connect with you most.
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