Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 9.54.52 AM

Call-to-action…the term can brings a lot of feelings up for you, especially if you don’t know what it is! A quick introduction: a call-to-action is that little something that spurs a potential customer to buy, sign up, subscribe or otherwise receive something from you. Now, you know your product/service is great. Obviously…you had a hand in it. But if you’re not used to marketing, a call-to- action can make you feel a bit uncomfortable. Maybe promoting it makes you feel…shy. Uncertain. Hesitant. After all, you don’t feel you have just another product, and you’re worried about coming off as pushy or not legitimate.

How to Come to Terms with Calls to Action

For a lot of people, their product or service has taken so many hours, so much soul-power, so much sweat, that it starts to feel like their baby. Confronting a call-to-action makes people uneasy because it seems like marketing-speak. To avoid that, stop thinking about it as “marketing”, or any other buzzwords, because those words are so over-used they start to cease to mean anything.

Instead, think about your service, about how you know it can help people, about the people who it’s already helped. Hold your satisfied customers in your mind, and from their perspective, what is the motivation to use your product? Writing to specific, concrete someone will make a lot more sense than writing to the whole of the wide internet.

In this way you’ll avoid ending up with half-baked shoddy calls-to action, and instead have one that’s in line with your values, brand, and still gets people to buy.

Your Call-to-Action Must Have’s

Action Verbs

This is the part where you need to suggest to your customer an action they can do to get what they want. Words like “go”, “subscribe”, “learn”, start are all good ones. Time limits or special deals can also be a great help.

A Thing of Value (aka freemium) Something your customer wants bad enough they will clutter tup their inbox for it every week. It can be a newsletter, a blog post, a recipe, a video, an e-book, or a chapter of one.

Make It Stand Out

Don’t let your call-to-action hide, you have to let it shine and sing. Your call-to-action should be a little bigger, a little brighter, and a little more colorful so it stands out. Remember, these are a huge contributor to growing your business, so don’t skimp on them.

Placement Sweet Spot

We don’t want to be spammy here, because spam isn’t classy. However, we do want to find the right spot/s for your call-to-action. The sidebar is a good place, as is the bottom of the page for when the user has finished reading through your site.

A Word about Freemiums

Lots of businesses have these things called freemiums, which is basically just an extension of your site that offers value to your customer. This is a great step for your business, because a customer who participates in a freemium has not only decided that you’re worthy and you provide value, but they want to keep receiving that value from you. Whoa. You guys are almost going steady.

Are You Worthy?

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 9.56.13 AM

Most potential customers can tell if they want more from you very quickly. What helps them make that decision? 1. You have to offer information they want to be updated on frequently. After all, if it’s a one- time search, they can do just that, one and done. 2. They have to like how it’s presented.

How to Get Your Freemium Locked In

Ease of use

Try as hard as you can to make your sign-up as easy as absolutely possible. Don’t make it a job application. They enter their email, you send them an email, they confirm their email, done! Three steps, MAX.

Humor

If your freemium makes me smile, then bam! You’re in, simple as that. If your freemium can be someone’s first (or several) smile of the day, they are going to keep you, guaranteed.

Quality

Quality over quantity, all the way. While a spammy newsletter that appears every day or several times a day is hurriedly deleted (and we all know navigating that tiny print/inevitable guilt trips isn’t fun), one full of interesting useful, thoughtful information is in it for the long haul.

Pretty

I’ve banished (or wanted to) many a newsletter from my inbox for being, quite simply, ugly. Before you decry me for being shallow, think about what sending out ugly marketing materials actually represents. To me, it usually means you’re not professional and not current, and if you’re neither of these things I probably don’t want to waste time with you anyhow. There are those instances where a homely newsletter that provides a bucketful of useful information is kept, but that is the rare exception.

The hardest part? Your freemium has to be ALL of the above consistently, no matter if it’s bi-weekly, weekly or monthly. Quality isn’t easy, but it is worth it.