Creating a compelling call-to-action is kind of like finding the perfect combination of makeup. God forbid you get a foundation with a yellow base when you really need more of a red. Or how about that stunning blue eyeshadow you thought looked stellar, but really looks atrocious once applied? Yeah, it happens.
When it comes to creating the perfect look, there’s a lot of trial and error. The same can be said for calls-to-action (CTAs). It takes time to noodle out the right hook, but once you do, look out! Curl your hair and find that perfect black dress, because it’s time for a night on the town.
Just like makeup application, you can achieve effective calls-to-action by following a few key steps.
Don’t Overdo It
If you’re going to do a bold, red lip, you don’t need highlighter-green eyes, too. You want to draw focus to one area (in this case, the shade of MAC lipstick you spent hours tirelessly testing). When you’re sending out communications — be it through email, blog, newsletter or any other form you can think of — limit yourself to one CTA. This should be the driving purpose of your communication, so don’t confuse your readers by asking them to do multiple things.
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Pick one, but not all three. Focus is key.
Don’t Be Vague
You went for the bold lip for a reason, right? Don’t let the color of your call-to-action fade because you used vague phrasing. You want your readers to react — that’s why it’s a call to action. How can you expect them to take charge if you’re not clearly explaining the benefits?
Check out these examples:
- Sign up today to learn more. No. What am I going to learn? Why am I signing up? As a reader, I have no idea what I’m getting myself into — and that’s not good. It’s also boring. Remember, red lipstick!
- Check out our YouTube channel to see how you can replicate our smokey eye! Yes. 100-percent, yes. This CTA inspires me to visit another avenue of their business. It engages me. It tells me exactly what I’m going to get if I visit their YouTube site. Plus, I’ll take any help I can get with a smokey eye.
Work It In
You’ve got the pop of color, but does it work with your skin tone? When it comes to makeup, you probably know what shade of foundation blends best, and the same should go for your CTAs. If you’re writing a blog post about weight loss, you probably wouldn’t drop in a CTA about the three best cake recipes with white-chocolate frosting. That’s just cruel.
While you want your CTA to stand out, you also want it to work with your overall feel. Let it happen naturally — don’t force something just for the sake of plugging info. You wouldn’t leave the house without blending your foundation. Don’t drop rogue CTAs into your communications, either.
Grab Their Attention
We wear makeup to highlight our best features and create an impression. The same goes for a well-crafted call-to-action. You want your audience to remember you, even if they’re not ready to act.
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These CTAs encourage your readers to engage with you (and become your customers). They’re straightforward and appeal to the ‘why’ behind why someone would want to do business with you. Effective calls-to-action drive leads for your business, so don’t skimp on the details (like clump-free mascara).
Practice, Practice, Practice!
I don’t know about you, but it took me a reeaaallly long time to nail down my winged eyeliner (and let’s be real — 9 times out of 10 they’re more like “sisters” than identical, black lines). I practiced. A lot. There was no shortage of gel liners, pencils, liquid brushes — I tried everything. And you know what? I found out which method worked best for me.
Maybe you’re more of a pencil girl than a gel guru, and that’s OK. Only you can determine what CTAs work best for your business. There’s no harm in trying out a different approach. You’ll likely test out a few before you find out what really seals the deal. But you know what? Practice makes perfect.