4 types of call to action and when to use them

Call-to-action sticky note

Many people think that a ‘call to action’ at the end of a piece of copy is the invitation to buy. In fact, clever marketers and copywriters lead potential customers through a 4 step sales cycle with 4 separate types of call to action. Knowing which type of call to action to use and when to employ it is crucial to optimising the number of leads and conversions you generate. Here’s the Copywriter UK guide to the different types of call-to-action and leading your prospects through a compelling sales cycle.

Copywriting a call to action

Call to action #1 – Involve your customers

This is something that the social media revolution has made mandatory. Customers no longer just want to be sold to. They expect to feel involved and to be given information and advice for free that’s of real value to them. On the plus side, getting customers involved gives you the chance to let them find out all about your brand. It can build brand loyalty and make them ambassadors for you the way that nothing else can. That’s why this level of call to action to action is much more valuable than it first appears.

There are plenty of places on your website where it’s not appropriate to ask your customer to buy e.g. on FAQ pages, or on your landing page. Use these to build a familiarity with your brand by inviting them to read more about what you offer, or giving them advice via your blog. Ask them to tweet about competitions or their favourite products. Ask for their feedback. It’s all involvement and helps them to build a relationship with you which gets them returning to your site.

Call to action #2 – Get their email address

This is one of your most important ways of generating leads so you definitely should be asking for email addresses wherever you can. But you’ll need to give something in exchange. Try offering a free sample or download. Or perhaps a white paper with more detail on the subject of your blog. Once you have an email address, it’s simple to send a request for a sign up, or a really special offer related to the freebie which you think will interest your prospect.

Call to action #3 – Get them to sign up

Getting a prospect to sign up to a newsletter is a great way to ensure further involvement in your brand, and to entice them to buy. If you’ve been employing a full 4 tiered sales cycle, they’ll already be more disposed to buy simply because they’ve shown incremental interest in what you offer. Regular e-shots keep them updated on your offers, especially if you provide click through to specific web pages, and remind them of your brand.

Call-to-action #4 – Get them to buy

Now, and only now do you get to the point of asking for a sale. By this time your prospect is considerably softened up to your offer, and may already be talking about your brand online. Of course a call to purchase can always be used alone, but embedding it as part of a sales cycle considerably increases its power to influence.

When to use each type of call to action

It’s best not to confuse a prospect with lots of different calls-to-action on a single page. That may sound like ‘choice’ but actually it’s more likely to lead to no action at all. Design a journey with your highest priority call to action at each point and stick to it. Decide what you want each web page, print brochure or e-shot to lead to. Visits to your showroom? Enquiries? Sign ups? Sales? Make sure you’ve targeted your audience correctly and orientate your copy to one of these things, constructing a call-to-action to suit.

Tips for creating calls-to-action that work

Try to make your calls to action as specific as possible and load them with keywords. So if your free report has 200 pages, say so. Or skip that and go straight to the benefit e.g. ‘click here to reach your target weight in 3 weeks’. Make buttons large and easy to see with contrasting colours, and place them in the right-hand corner above the fold (in the ‘first screen’). Shallow navigation and a simple pathway will mean your prospect is more likely to complete your desired action.

Leading a prospect through the sales cycle on your website can be a complicated task. If you need help give Copywriter UK a call today. We’ll be happy to help.

Video scripting: Xylem case study

Xylem video screenshot

Here at Copywriter UK we get to work on a range of exciting projects from across the globe, and in different formats. As copywriters we can write something for web, print or even scripting for video, which is what we did for one client based in Italy.

Xylem is a market-leading provider of water technology solutions, operating in more than 150 countries around the world. We have worked with them for several years, and they asked us to script a series of short videos used to promote the Xylem Learning Center. It’s a new resource to help professionals such as installers and retailers learn about pump technology, and using Xylem products.

We wrote the scripts in clear, American English due to the international nature of the audience. The professionals who voiced the scripts came from different nationalities, and they were addressing a global audience – cue the need for a simple, universal script that could be understood easily by everyone. A good example of this is the general introduction video, which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/tcPpWYVpDqk

We scripted and captioned 14 videos in total, which were then uploaded to YouTube and embedded on the company’s website. The videos have generated thousands of views in total, and are still heavily used by Xylem to promote the learning center. You can view all of the videos on Xylem’s YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjFHfFbPZ7ds4p2d-El_anQ/videos

If you need a video scripting, call Steve at Copywriter UK on +44 (0) 845 2606 255 to see how we could help.

Putting ‘magic words’ into your copywriting

copywriter uk magic words

We all learned the magic word for getting our way when we were children. But copywriters learn that there are several. Cleverly placed, they increase conversion rates exponentially. Here’s a Copywriter UK guide to the magic words to pepper your copy with.

Magic word #1 – ‘You’

This is the number one magic word. It’s far more important than any of the others. Even ‘money’ and ‘sex’. Most of us know the secret of being popular. It is simply to get people talking about themselves. And it’s no different with copy. Customers don’t want to hear about you, your company or your product. They’re busy people and are bombarded with hundreds of advertising copy every single day. No, what they’re interested in is how your product or service will benefit them. Make them feel that you understand their problems, and have the solution, and you cannot fail. Peppering your copy with the word ‘you’ reminds you to focus on your customer and their needs.

Magic word #2 – ‘New’

Humans are curious creatures. It’s what led us to to fly to the moon. We’re constantly learning and adapting and that drive is fuelled by our curiosity. Social media researchers have recently discovered that it’s this insatiable urge which drives our addiction to Facebook and blogs because the thrill of finding something new triggers a dopamine rush in our brains. Even the mere promise of something new will do this – which is why the word ‘new’ is so powerful. What you’re writing about doesn’t have to be new. It only has to be new to the reader. Using the word, ‘announcing’ or ‘discovery’ will do the same thing. Place the word ‘new’ in a headline and you’re far more likely to get them to read on.

Magic word #3 – ‘Easy’

Humans are also lazy. This is also what drives our ability to learn and innovate. We’re never satisfied until we’ve made life as easy as possible. And we’ll invent gadget after gadget to take the toil out of things. Your customers are busy, tired and frazzled. They want you to make things easy, from the shallowness of the navigation on your e-commerce page, to the simplicity of the product itself. But they’re never going to find out how you’ve spent hours making your product or service easy to use if you don’t tell them. ‘Quick’ and ‘simple’ are other words which will have the same effect.

Magic word #4 – ‘Guaranteed’

When it comes to committing to buy, your customer becomes acutely aware of the possibility of loss. For as start, they’re about to pay money over to you. That is a form of loss. And they don’t want to make a mistake or be made a fool of. That’s why the word ‘guaranteed’ can make the world of difference at the point where they’re committing to a sale,. After all, you’ve made it so that they have nothing to lose. To make this work however, you must honour your guarantee promises. Other words which build trust in your customer are ‘safe’, ‘results’, ‘proven’ and ‘approved’.

Magic word #5 – ‘Now’

When your prospect reads your copy, there’s every danger that they’ll get distracted or simply forget to act. You have to provide some sort of urgency or there’s every chance they won’t act at all. Words like ‘now, ‘quick’ and ‘hurry’ all inject pace and encourage the customer to act promptly. These are even more powerful when used in conjunction with a limited offer.

Magic word #6 − ‘How to’

Life hacks never lose their appeal. As we’ve already worked out, your customer is busy and probably tired. Anything which gives them the information they need fast and all in one place is welcome. That’s why the phrase ‘how to’ will grab their attention. Smart copywriters manipulate the ‘how to’ format to convey the information they want the customer to hear.

Magic word #7 − ‘Free’

All of us like to get something for nothing. Whether we want the item or not, it just feels good to our hunter-gatherer instincts. People will buy more just to get free shipping or choose a free gift over and extra that costs them a nominal amount, even if the latter is worth many times as much. Crafting a good offer around the word ‘free’ is a great way to grab attention. Just be careful that you don’t trigger spam filters by using a spam check tool before you hit send.

Sadly, making your copy magic isn’t just a case of re-arranging the magic words. If you’re still stuck for copy that gets results, give Copywriter UK a call today on 0845 2606 255. We’ll give your copy the magic touch.