You’ve rehearsed; set the scene; and actors are waiting in the wings (per se). Curtain up! And… Action!
That’s the general idea in the Marketing Equation: You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention, convinced them through engagement to stick around for more. With your keen dramatic sensibilities you’ve got them on the edges of their seats while you unveil a rafter of educational tidbits, eliminating all their concerns so they’re ready, willing and able to close with ease.
What happens if Hercule Poirot doesn’t explain whodunit at the end? You’d be pretty disappointed, right? What if your hero doesn’t actually learn the lessons you promised at the engagement stage? It’s a big letdown, no?
Surprisingly, many folks get so distracted by all the effort put into the fanfare, they forget to include a proper Call-To-Action! Without it your Marketing Equation cannot possibly succeed. You must complete your equation with some type of Call-To-Action.
The old way of thinking about marketing – the very outbound, “Listen to Me! Listen to Me!” style delivery of the marketing message – was that it wasn’t a call-to-action unless you asked for the sale. (“Buy now!”) But now we know that inbound marketing – the type where the prospect comes to you and is willing to hear your story in the first place – requires a gentler touch.
Perhaps your call-to-action is to get the prospect to “Learn More” or “Send for a Brochure.” (But the latter has faded from style since everyone expects to access those brochures online.)
In my newsletters (and in many others), the call-to-action is simply asking for feedback or a comment. These actions reinforce the bond between prospective client and business person. This is the slow boat from interest to sale.
If I asked you to buy something in every post, you’d likely unsubscribe at top speed. No one likes being sold to.
Prospective customers in many businesses have much longer sales cycles than just a few days. Many require nurturing for months (and even years) before they are ready or interested in buying. So not all calls-to-action lead directly to a purchase. But each step of engagement brings prospects one step closer to converting them to a loyal follower, if not client.
Loyalty is big! Even if she’s not ready to purchase for two years, you’d like her loyalty now so that she doesn’t suddenly jump ship to your competitor when she’s finally ready. Therefore, I recommend you keep an open mind to the myriad types of calls-to-action.
I compiled a list of all the ones I’ve seen recently as a ready reference for you when you’re looking for just the right words for your Call-To-Action. Many of these have been displayed on click-through buttons online.