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Heed the Call
Nothing beats a good call to action.
Ever hear that old proverb “You can’t see the forest for the trees”. It happens a lot with businesses that are passionate about what they do. Take a software developer who creates some outstanding functionality in an application and increases throughput by 20%. What does that actually mean? Imagine putting that out as a Tweet or as part of a press release. What does that actually mean? Perhaps it means that the application can now handle one million tags, but the above comment does not state that. It does not grab the reader’s attention, or make them want to do something.
article by Kate Lauman, Morning Anchor for Connect Mid-Missouri, states
that the average “professional” receives around 100 emails per
day. I liked that she targeted “professionals” in her
research. That works as a good reference for those in the
Building Automation vertical. I am assuming that she is not
taking into account those of us who subscribe to industrial automation
mailing lists, or belong to non-profit groups. I would probably
double the number in that case, but for the purpose of this article
let’s work with 100 emails per day.
The question to ask is “How does your email stand out from the other
99”? The email could be an invitation to a webcast, or simply a
product feature announcement, but regardless it needs one thing to be
captivating – a strong call to action.
Everyone who just read that last sentence nods their head and instantly
feels that they completely understand what that means. I remind
myself what it is every time I write a call to action to remember the
definition of what it is, and then read it as if I just received 99
other emails. Let’s start with the definition.
General definition: Words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as "Write Now," "Call Now," or (on Internet) "Click Here." A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective. (Definition taken from the businessdictionary.com)
Now a call to action can transcend that simple definition into everything online. Emails, websites, ads, everything! I take it deeper by looking at everything I write for a sale or website and ask:
Now there are other factors that come into play as to why your intended
audience will, or will not click on an email to register for a webcast
or download software. The main thing to concentrate on is making
that subject line as motivating as possible for the reader to do what
you want them to do. In this case it is to read enough of your
message to “click”. This will lead to the call to action.
The reader will click to either download demo software, or register for
a webcast. Either way the call to action was successful. It
persuaded the reader to do what you wanted them to do and that was to
opt-in to receive more information from your company.
Once this has happened there are several other techniques to continue
to engage your customer and bring them closer to becoming a hot lead,
or even converting them to a sale.
With the summer months upon us the traditional trade show season will
soon be here in the fall. Taking the time now to carefully
prepare emails and ads, with a proper call to action, will pay
dividends during the upcoming season. Your ads will be more
targeted at your user, and will be more direct with their
message. This leaves less room for confusion, and enables a
greater personal identification with your campaigns. The same
with the emails that you send to the potential customers you meet at
the trade shows.
How will your message be better than the other 99 that your potential
customer receives after a trade show? Those with a strong call to
action will get that “click” which leads to a potential sale.
Will that sale be yours?
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