Time and again I come across examples, which although from a creative perspective may be great but still fail to measure up in generating proper responses. A perfect example of this was the recent $100 million yahoo “it’s you” campaign which focused on personalizing the online experience. The campaign failed to increase traffic to Yahoo’s home page or improve it’s share of the search market. The campaign failed on two counts. The first was its failure to give it more context for people to be able to relate to it and the second was a good call to action, which would drive people to perform a certain action linked to the objective of the campaign. This assuming of course that the campaign had a certain objective.
Such examples can also be found across other marketing mediums. Websites sometimes lack a proper call to action that would drive people to perform a certain action based on his/her browsing experience, an example of which may be having a telerep contact them or having them submit their details in exchange of downloading a certain asset form the website. Email campaign sometimes lack proper action buttons on the copy which are either not there at all or may be too small for the readers to take notice. Events sometimes fail to capture the attention of attendees as they are either not focused or fail to draw their attention to a particular action post event. A lot of this has to to with marketers assuming a certain action by their prospects without bothering to drive them to it. Although it may not seem right, it is important to tell your prospects what to do, rather than assuming they will do it.
However, before you start pondering what a good call to action might be, it is important to align the call to action to the context of the message, be it over events, email, advertising or your website. Context is important so as not to confuse your prospects with the intention of the message and then having a good call to action linked to it. Consider a post event email. It is very important that the context of the email relates to the event and then points the prospects to an offer linked to the event – the call to action, which would result in a revenue pipeline being created. Thus the objective of the mail is to generate a revenue pipeline, the context of the mail relates to the event and the call to action is a drive to offer link in the form of an action button on the email.
If you follow this simple cadence, the objective – the context – the call to action and structure your campaigns in this manner, you may see better results. BTW there is no hard and fast rule as to what a good call to action might be as it depends on the industry, the stages of the buying life cycle, the target audience etc, which is why I recommend testing different call to actions to see which fits you best.