A good call to action (CTA) is like the dude standing in the unobtrusive yet conspicuous corner of the mall, giving out free samples of Red Bull, attracting them with a taste of the fizzy drink, and then showing them where to buy their own crate.
How do you write a CTA for your online store that makes people want to click it?
- Hit the nail on its head
Lead with a verb and get straight to the point. What do you want them to do? Shop now! Visit our store to see more! Order by this weekend! Be the first to know! Encourage the action required right from the beginning. And tell customers precisely what to do.
- The heart rules the head
Even in the most intellectual CTA, appealing to the emotions is what cinches the deal. Based on the needs you are addressing, inspire the customer to linger and want to follow the direction you are pointing them to. E.g. Fight malaria with our mosquito repellent creams.
- Dangle the incentive visibly
Slather your CTA with the benefit. Buy 2 Get 1 Free! Save your money! The CTA clearly has an instruction, but an incentive sweetens the deal, and converts customers faster. Would you rather click ‘Check out our collection of fine linen shirts’ or ‘Buy 2 linen shirts and get the third free!’
- Create urgency
You have the action and the incentive. Now create a deadline. Order today to avail of the early bird discount! Deadlines either indicate a limited collection or a benefit applicable for a limited time. It’s psychology: if people think it’s not always going to be there, they will hurry with deciding whether they want it or not. Adding a deadline creates urgency, haste and a little pressure, and gets more people to take the action faster.
- Lay man know-how vs. Industry knowledge
‘Chic gold jewellery for the working woman’ vs. ‘Hallmark 750 gold jewellery.’ Industry knowledge on your landing page shows you know your stuff. But for a CTA, you need to be accessible and talk to their practical side. Inform them (because they need to know) but without piling on the information. This way you are leading with something familiar, whetting their appetite, and then piquing their curiosity.
- Shoppers respond to numbers
Learn from Yahoo’s buzz-feed. 3 everyday foods to lose a tan in 3 days! Numbers give definition. People know exactly what to expect. 20% off on purchases above ₹4,000. Refer a friend to get ₹150 cashback on your next purchase. Save 30% when you buy within the next 24 hours. Last 2 days to buy our limited edition watches. These tell you how much money you save, how many days are left to buy, that products are selling out fast and you may miss out on a good opportunity…etc.
- The exclamation mark expresses enthusiasm
An exclamation mark ( ! ) is a punctuation mark commonly used to express strong, intense emotions in declarations. It can also be used to add emphasis to interjections and commands [source]. It shows you are enthused about something and infuses the passion and excitement for it in the viewer (because we are trained to read into the exclamation mark and unconsciously allow it to work that way on us). It is a simple marketing ploy that capitalises on psychological impact of a visual and grammatical element.
So there you have it – excellent language, a few calculated manoeuvres that have already been tested for you, some creativity, honesty and directness, and after all that don’t forget to deliver on your promise!!