Use Call-To-Actions To Convert Your Readers
A guide for self-marketing writers
I mentioned in my last story on self-marketing about CTA (Call-to-Action). And how crucial a tool it is when it comes to marketing products and establishing credibility.
Today, we will delve a little deeper into the subject (as I had promised) and know about the what, why, and how.
What is a CTA?
It is a marketing term used to denote anything that initiates an immediate action/response from the reader. Simple.
From a simple ‘tell me…’ & ‘comment below’ to ‘download now’ & ‘buy the course now, everything falls under the purview of CTA.
In very plain and simple terms — anything that convinces the reader to ACT.
CTA is the catalyst you add to your writing that makes the reader shift gear from reading to taking action.
Why, at all, add a CTA?
You have a stupendously fantabulous website/blog filled with great stories and brimming with knowledge. Great! Good for you.
But as a reader, what if I want to do something more than reading? What if I want more involvement?
And as a writer, why stop at just having a reader?
Why not tap the potential of converting that reader to a customer, subscriber, or follower?
The CTA is the key to tapping the reader's potential.
You see, a writer and a reader have an asynchronous relationship. You and your reader are sitting in different places and at different times. You must have a link to bridge that gap and cement the relationship.
The CTA is the link between you and your reader.
A fallacy most writers believe is that if the content is good, readers will move mountains to reach out and connect with the writer. Poor they.
The truth is, you have to nudge your reader to act. Statistics say that adding CTAs to your business/public profile can boost the CTR of the page by 285% (AdRoll).
The CTA is the booster your writing needs to go to the next level.
Where to put the CTAs?
Anywhere — except the headlines.
It can be right in the beginning, in the end, or anywhere in the body. Apart from titles and headings, a CTA can be smartly placed anywhere in the story.
The key is subtlety.
What are the types of CTAs?
A CTA is a tool handed to the writer that they can use in many forms. Serving different purposes, a CTA can be molded to the writer’s benefit.
There are 8–10 types of CTAs marketers talk about. But for easier understanding, I have broadly categorized them into four categories.
1. Subscription CTA
Subscriptions are a great way to communicate with the readers directly, build a personal brand, and inform upcoming events.
A CTA to subscribe to a newsletter/regular posts is a great strategy to pool your readers in one place and address them together.
The subscription CTAs are harder to sell because most readers’ inboxes are already jammed with other subscriptions.
Why should they choose yours?
So, the CTA must have a decent value proposition when selling the idea of a subscription — worth the space in the reader’s inbox.
- Join [n] other people — emphasis on so many people who already trust you.
- Never miss out on the daily dose of — creating a need to gain from something.
2. Internal linking CTA
These CTAs do the job of diverting your readers to older posts.
Internal linking is crucial because it links a single page/post to a more extensive content network. It keeps the readers engaged, giving them a better reading experience while enhancing the writer’s credibility on the topic.
It is also crucial in SEO practices, but I will not dwell upon them now.
The key to embedding this CTA is relevance. The current page and the destination page must be related. The reader must not feel lost after arriving there — why am I here?
Internal linking helps writers show off their best works, increasing brand equity. It is also a great way to lead your readers to those pages that involve purchasing/engagement.
It is something like when we manipulate children — they feel they decided for themselves, while in reality, we led them to it…Hehe.
How to do it: Hyperlinks to the destination pages.
3. Sales lead CTA
Well, well, well. The crux of the matter.
Moolah. Money. Green dream. Dosh. Bucks. Sheqels. I can go on…
The selling can involve an e-course, a digital product, or a book. So it can be a lot of things — products and services.
It will not be a compelling CTA if you state ‘buy [something]’. It needs more work than that. Try to be creative and make the sale exciting and relevant.
Did you find this story helpful? Wait, there’s more. My [n]-day course takes you deep into the realm of content marketing.
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Focus on one emotion, one problem, one solution, and sell the idea.
4. Social networking CTA
Networking is the omnipresent reality of today.
It is no more an option to be on one platform and expect results. And when you are building your base in several places, it only makes sense to interlink them all.
Cash on the growth of one platform and funnel it to the others.
Linking your readers across all platforms that you work on does many things:
- increased possibilities of lead generation
- faster growth on all platforms
- enhanced personal branding
- boost to organic visibility
Such CTAs are more apt at the end of a story as a trailing CTA.
Let’s connect on LinkedIn.
Did you know LinkedIn is the #1 platform for lead generation? Meet me there.
Let’s hang out on Twitter also!
Elements of a persuasive CTA
While there is no set formula for writing a good CTA, some key things help you frame one.
- Action words: Click, Buy, Read, Order, Save. Make it clear and direct.
- Urgency: Make it urgent. Play with the emotion of missing out.
- Sell a dream: Say it for the readers. Let them read what they want, which you will deliver.
- Always, first-person: YOU. YOUR. The readers listen & relate better — ‘it is for ME’.
- Be creative: Play around with the message a bit. Add a zing. Make it something that clicks with the reader.
CTAs are high-potential marketing efforts that bring in results — directly and indirectly.
As a writer/solopreneur, it is our obligation to the trade to use this to our advantage.
If you have been someone who has waited for the right moment, shied away, or just avoided to include CTAs in your story, yesterday was the time.
DO IT NOW.
And reap the benefits of this marvelous approach.
[Well, I have already cited my usual CTA examples above. Okay, let me whip up something fresh.]
I am a writer — day and night. And the only thing that fuels me is coffee. Replenish my stock here!
And in return, I offer you some writer-friendly freebies that will help you run your writing engine full steam. Grab them here.