To Learn Something Today, Read on now!

By Julie Determann, Account Supervisor

Our TWO Sense: To Learn Something Today, Read on now!

Every communication whether it’s online, email, direct mail, print or broadcast should have a clear purpose in mind. This single-minded focus in Marketing 101 terms is referred to as the “Call to Action”. It is NOT a hidden agenda, but rather a strong persuasive instructional directive that is pivotal to your communication. It should stand out from the rest of the message and highlight precisely what the marketer wants an attentive, willing recipient to do.

It’s often most obvious in sales-oriented communications where the marketer is strongly requesting that someone “Buy Now” or “Click to Save” to make a product or service purchase. Often discounts such as these include time-sensitive offers and/or bundling tactics. However, sometimes a softer approach may be used, simply asking the audience to take advantage of a “Free Trial”…to try an item for a pre-determined amount of time with an outward benefit, such as a no risk money-back guarantee. But what if the communication is not selling anything? There should still be a call to action!

Many communications are informational with the sole purpose of educating and enlightening their consumer. But, do companies really just want their audience to “Learn More”? Or do they want to capture that potential interested customer lead? Of course, they want to learn more about YOU! So, with this purpose in mind the informational Call to Actions should always lead recipients to a secondary source where the recipient and the marketer can mutually learn more about each other.

For example, possibly recipients are urged to visit a company website or a custom landing page, to “Download” some white papers. Or they “Call Today” into a dedicated toll-free phone line to speak to a sales representative about their areas of interest. Often they’re enticed to “Enroll today” for a frequent newsletter communication or “Join Now” to sign-up for a free membership.  And sometimes a tried and true no-pressure prepaid Business Reply Card is included where recipients can fill-out a postcard and drop it into the mail to request additional literature or a product catalog. All of these above options allow a marketer to capture personal information about their interested recipients.

Including a Call to Action seems like a no brainer, but it is surprising how many overlook it. Forgetting a call to action with a response mechanism can be critical to the success of your campaign.  Some key takeaways: Make sure your Call to Action is highly visible and frequent. Sprinkle it in 2-3 places within the communication. Provide your recipient with multiple response methods to accommodate their preferences– via pre-paid response card or envelope, a dedicated call-in number, an email link, a text option, a website address and/or a personalized URL.  And remember every word, image and icon matters when being persuasive! Consider your message, your medium and your audience carefully to determine what will be most effective. Once you’ve successfully captured some prospect data, use it! You can nurture, grow and cultivate the potential lead with follow up communications to convert it into a promising customer.

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