Answering the Call – To Action, That Is!

You’ve just created the perfect ad or you’ve written a wonderfully informative blog. So, you’re done, right? All you have to do now is sit back and wait for the phone to start ringing or the emails to come pouring in.

Well, not quite. If you’re not adding a carefully crafted Call to Action (CTA) at the end of your marketing masterpiece – one that’s as compelling as your key messaging and useful content – you’re very likely hurting your response!

Rachel Fox, Creative Director, says, “Your call to action is not just an obligatory ending to your artfully crafted content. Rather, it is a valuable component of your messaging strategy that can make the difference between a tepid response and a great response. The call to action is a key messaging element in itself, and there are specific best-practices for CTAs that you should be aware of to get the most out of your marketing efforts – whether they are traditional or online.”

From a strategic perspective, your prospect-directed messaging should always focus on two key objectives: attracting customer interest by highlighting relevant solutions and motivating customer action. The CTA is designed to accomplish the latter and is basically an instruction to your audience designed to provoke an immediate response – whether that involves calling about a special offer on a new property or watching a video about a new memory care social engagement program.

Rachel adds, “CTAs represent one of the simplest changes you can make to your communications that deliver the greatest ROI. In fact, optimized CTAs have been shown to yield a 30 percent increase in conversion.”

As simple as creating a call to action might sound, there are precise steps you should take to optimize your CTA message for best results. In this case, results equal more interested, engaged prospects for your sales team.

7 Best Practices for Creating the Ideal Call to Action

“At Sage Age, we are highly experienced in creating calls to action that get noticed and motivate action,” says Rachel. “As integrated marketing experts, we develop a wide variety of customized CTAs that accommodate and optimize the many different media channels our client-partners use.

In developing CTAs, we use marketing best practices designed to achieve maximum appeal and maximum response.”

For example, effective CTAs should:

  1. Use action-oriented words that motivate prospects to follow upWhen you're creating a CTA, use action-oriented verbs like "discover, learn, find, call, download and register” and make it clear what you want the reader to do.

  2. Create a sense of urgency – Convey a feeling of time sensitivity and direct prospects to act on the information or the offer now. For example, let them know if there are only a few apartments left at a special rate or encourage them to RSVP if seats to your seminar are filling up fast. Use words such as “now," "today" and “for a limited time” in your CTA. By simply reminding people to do something “now,” you can increase the chance of them actually doing it now!

  3. Include a clear value proposition – Make the benefit of clicking on your CTA crystal clear. How will it be useful to your target audience? Be sure to state exactly what the prospect will get if they click on the CTA and go to your landing page.

  4. Be briefFor your primary CTA message, the fewer words the better. No more than five is ideal.

  5. Make it STAND OUT – Use a contrasting color for your CTA and bold lettering that makes it stand out from your other copy while still fitting in with the overall design. The most effective CTAs blend brief, compelling copy with eye-catching design to grab the prospect’s attention. If you are using a button image, make the button look “clickable."

  6. Be easy to find Place your CTA in an easy-to-find location that follows organically from the flow of your preceding message.

  7. Go Big Make your CTA large enough to see from a distance, but not so large as to detract attention from the main content on the page.

You can find additional information on CTAs and their various uses in the HubSpot article, “Call-to-Action Best Practices.

For CTAs, There’s No One Size Fits All for Today’s Multi-Channel Media

Today’s large and ever-increasing number of media options mean that senior living providers have a very rich selection of media channels at their disposal for integrated marketing campaigns. From traditional print and radio ads to the latest in digital advertising and remarketing techniques, every media channel has its own unique characteristics and nuances for presenting your information to potential clients. This uniqueness also applies to the creation and presentation of CTAs to accommodate the differing requirements of each media.

For example, in a traditional print ad the call to action is typically placed at the bottom of the message. However, for an email marketing campaign, the CTA can be either at the very top or the last item you read on the page. In web design, the CTA should always be placed “above the fold” so users don’t have to scroll down to find it. We typically recommend that our clients repeat the CTA at the bottom of the page for emphasis, especially if there is a large amount of information that requires scrolling.

Today, CTAs frequently lead to a landing page that uses a form to capture important prospect information including contact information and source data on where the prospect originally heard about you. Landing pages also incorporate “vanity” phone numbers to encourage contact.

They are a transitional bridge between your call to action and a meaningful and productive dialogue with your prospect. Like CTAs, landing pages also require a blend of art and science to make them as visibly appealing, functional and compelling as possible.

Sage Age Strategies: Leaders in Growth-Focused Marketing Strategy and Tactics

At Sage Age Strategies, our integrated marketing professionals excel in the latest best practices to create cohesive strategies that increase quality lead generation and grow your occupancy.

If you need assistance in any areas of integrated marketing and cross-channel messaging to improve your results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more.

Sage Age Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living industry. For more information, please call or email Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext.100 / adrienne@sageagestrategies.com.

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