CTAs are All Around Us

I like to think the origins of the Call to Action (CTA) are as old as commerce itself. It came into existence the very first time someone said the words “Buy this!”. And, perhaps, the birth of marketing was the moment someone debated if “Buy this now!” might work better.

Flights of fancy aside, the CTA is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing and finding the right one is a critical component of any successful product sale, enrollment, or customer conversion. Despite this, I see many insurance and benefits companies struggle to find the right CTA – the one that not only fits their product but also the coordinating stage of the buyer’s journey. This is why we created (and will continue to update) this CTA database tool.

By the way, if you don’t want to read all of this, just click HERE to get to the calculator.

We see and hear hundreds of CTAs every day, and, like most environmental constants, we develop an ability to ignore them. This makes finding the right one at the right time all the more important.

Why do CTAs matter?

Quite simply, CTAs tell your prospect or customer what to do.

The harsh truth is that social animals tend to be lazy. We gravitate to groups not only to make things easier and more secure, but also to conserve the energy we need to live our daily lives. This means we have a natural tendency to avoid things that cause fatigue – in this case, Decision Fatigue.

Every decision we make uses some part of our brain space and energy, and too many decisions can lead to a decline in our decision-making abilities. As marketers, it’s our job to make decisions easier. We educate, we inform, we instruct; and CTAs are a very easy, very specific way to make decisions simpler. Customers are like water: They like the path of least resistance, and CTAs are a big, glaring sign that says, “Go This Way”.

As a side note, addressing Decision Fatigue is also a key trait of successful insurance and voluntary benefit providers (and it leads to excellent sales and enrollment results, as well). But we’ll talk about that another time.

In summary, CTAs give your customers and prospects instructions which take away the complex thought process. By saying “Click Here” the customer knows what to do, but it’s our job to use CTAs appropriately.

Funnel Appropriate Strengths

Not all CTAs are created equal; and, more importantly, they’re not all appropriate all the time.

To find the right CTA, make sure it fits all the following standards:

Your brand and tone


If your product is very serious and soft spoken, “BUY THIS NOW!” is going to feel off for your users and visitors. Make sure you’re using a voice, dialectic, and font that fit your brand and the message you’re trying to convey. People don’t like cognitive dissonance, even subconsciously, so brand consistency is critical.

Match the demand strength to the value


Just as with the tone of your CTA, it’s absolutely critical to match your instructions to the value you’re providing. More aggressive CTAs should be saved for high value offerings. For example, if you’re asking someone to sign up for your free newsletter, you’re essentially asking them to give you their contact info in exchange for content. This is really a one-to-one value exchange, so CTAs like “Start Changing Your Life” are really not appropriate.

Stay aware of the funnel

 

The funnel is marketing speak for the customer’s journey. To summarize it in a few sentences, you first have ToFU, or Top of the Funnel (which is 100% of the prospect universe); the people in this part of the funnel don’t know about your product but may want to become aware of it.

Then you have MoFU, or Middle of the Funnel (which is normally 10-70% of the prospect universe). This segment represents people who are starting to realize they have a problem that your product or solution could solve.

Finally, we have BoFU, or Bottom of the Funnel (which is 2-10% of the prospect universe). This encompasses the people who are actually ready to buy something from you.

Every buyer makes the journey down the funnel. Some might complete the journey faster than others, but they all make the journey.

The funnel is critical in determining the best CTA because the instructions need to match the stage the user is in. So, someone reading a blog that talks about a problem affecting 100% of the prospect universe, and not your specific solution, shouldn’t be asked to “Buy it Now”.

Conversely, someone who’s ready to buy shouldn’t see CTAs that ask them to “Learn More”. All of this means that you need CTAs that support the entire funnel, and the highest converting enrollment sites have CTAs that address every stage of the journey.

Finally, the calculator

To use this CTA calculator:

1. Enter the Level of the Funnel you’d like to address.
2. Enter the Strength of the CTA
3. Enter the Application you’re addressing.
4. Press search
5. If you don’t get results, try again. For example, there aren’t a lot of low strength CTAs at the Bottom of the Funnel…

Search Funnel

        

CTAs AWAY!

Thanks for sticking with me all the way through this explanation of CTAs; I hope this database tool gives you good results. As I mentioned earlier, we’ll be updating it, so shoot us a message if there’s something you’d like to see added.

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