By Justin Vanhartingsveldt
I’d like to share my story about the power of outsourcing work, even if you have the skills or capabilities to do the work yourself. In exchange for reading this, I hope that you will learn from our experience and perhaps gain a little knowledge about crafting effective “Call to Action” statements as well.
We recently engaged with Atomic Whale (www.atomicwhale.com) to help us optimize our website and create a more customer focused online presence. Following the assessment of our website, Ed Mochrie (CEO) tactfully delivered some feedback and thoughtful, constructive criticism. Among other things, he told us that our website had a poor “call to action” on many of our web pages. I remember thinking “How could this be? How did we miss something so obvious when we teach and help others on this very subject?”
For those unfamiliar with the term, a Call to Action refers to language that prompts the messaging recipient to take further action. For instance, you may end a marketing communication piece with “contact us today to receive a free quote”. The purpose of your messaging or advertising is to educate or communicate an idea or concept. The Call to Action, found within your messaging, is designed to prompt people to take another step with you.
The topic of a “Call to Action” (CTA) is a frequented one at SalesEvolve. We discuss and teach on the subject with our clients, staff and potential customers. We consider the inclusion of a customer focused call to action to be critical content in most types of communications, as is having a plan to execute the CTA. We know that a strong call to action will help you and your potential client to take action together. So how did we miss this on our own website?
Unfortunately, people are often taught a one-sided perspective regarding a CTA. Many people think its purpose is to convince a potential client to act on what we want them to do, i.e., attending a presentation or signing our product/service purchasing agreement. Instead, a strong call to action should always be customer focused. Rather than thinking about “what I want my customer to do”, it should be written from a customer first perspective i.e., “what does the potential customer want from us, to engage further?” Atomic Whale pointed out that SalesEvolve’s call to action statements on the website was missing clarity surrounding “what does a customer get out of it, if they respond”. Somehow, we missed it, despite teaching the concept for other sales applications.
A solid call to action has the following characteristics:
1) It is clearly written, easily understood and succinct.
2) There is a clear next step. i.e., Call us at 555-555-5555 to receive a …
3) It is customer focused. What does the audience get out of it for responding?
1) It incentivizes people to take action now, vs later on. i.e., Limited time offers
2) It helps you track customer action to your messaging. i.e., Includes a promo code
To write a good call to action, you must also account for why your audience would read or listen to the messaging that precedes it. This will help you craft a solid CTA with logical next steps that include benefits for your customer.
Lesson reaffirmed: Outsourcing is a powerful way to make your business better
The very act of hiring an outside professional will provide you with a fresh perspective, will prompt you to think differently and recognize areas of improvement that you may have missed. Professionals are not afraid to ask difficult questions and poke holes in your business. Forcing you to rethink your business will lead to strong benefits. Outsourced professionals will catch your mistakes and challenge you to do better, even if you have a vast amount of in-house expertise and are considered an expert yourself. Much in the same way that software developers have QA teams to challenge and test their product quality, builders have inspectors to ensure they meet code and writers rely upon editors to catch their mistakes and make their work better, all businesses and professionals need a fresh perspective once and a while to get better. Regardless of what you do and how good you are at doing it, an outside party is a great way to challenge your business and raise the quality of work that you do.