Every business owner wants potential customers to engage with their website and social media. That means they need content that compels people to action. The problem is, there’s often a critical component that’s left out—the calls to action.
The truth is, people don’t take action until they’re told what to do. By adding a clear, compelling call to action to your website, social media posts, and ads, you can change the way your customers engage. Think of it as providing the directional signs needed for your visitors to travel through your customer journey.
How much would your sales increase if you actually asked your customers to buy? By adding a clear call to action to every piece of content you write, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action is a way of guiding people to do business with you. It can be a brightly colored button on your website, an instructional statement inside your social media post, or a link inside your paid ad that tells visitors what to do next.
Most of us know how discouraging it feels when potential customers don’t respond to offers. We may have a great, high-quality product or service that falls flat when it comes to sales. It’s something that can keep us up at night and we feel that there should be an easier, more effective way to get people to engage.
Just by adding clear direction, you can see an increase in sales, greater clarity in your messaging, and customer satisfaction. Without directing your customers, you’ll continue to wonder why that stunning Instagram post isn’t generating sales.
Author and business leader, Donald Miller says it this way, “Your customers are bombarded with more than three thousand commercial messages per day, and unless we are bold in our calls to action, we will be ignored. If our calls to action are soft, they will not be noticed.”
Challenging Your Customers To Take Action
I understand the discouragement of being ignored. In fact, I did things what I affectionately call the “wrong way“ for years. I would tell people about my products, but never ask them to buy.
Finally, I realized it was a lot like receiving a visit from a neighbor just as I was pulling a batch of warm cookies out of the oven. I told my neighbor that this was my grandmother’s recipe and my favorite cookie ever. They smelled divine and I made a show of enjoying the sniffs as I smiled in her direction. After carefully plating the cookies, I slid them closer to her so she could indulge.
We talked for several minutes and then she stood to go. I said, “But you haven’t had a cookie!” Her response stopped me in my tracks.
My neighbor smiled and said, “You told me all about those special cookies but never offered one to me.”
I thought she knew. She didn’t.
Too often as business owners, we think our customers can read our minds. We believe it’s obvious that we want them to buy our product, or why would we tell them about it? But customers can’t read our minds. The fact that we want them to buy is not obvious to them, even when we think it should be.
Remember, it’s human nature that people don’t take action until they’re told what to do. When you lead your audience through your customer journey, they will follow. Calls to action are a valuable tool to clearly communicate the next step they should take to get the help you offer.
Write Clear Calls to Action and Repeat Them Again and Again
The fastest way to generate sales and grow a business is to write clear calls to action and repeat them again and again.
The last thing you should be in your calls to action is vague. Don’t make your customers wonder what you mean. A button that says “Start here” is confusing. What do you want me to start? they may ask? “Register Here” offers much more clarity.
If you want your customers to buy, tell them. Do you want them to call your office? Tell them. Direct calls to action like “Buy Now” or “Call us at 800-xxx-xxxx” are easy to follow and leave no question about what to do next.
To be most effective, a call to action should be repeated at least twice. If you’re adding them to your websites, they should be repeated in every section—in exactly the same words. Don’t make your customers search for directions. Make them easy to find.
Where Should I Use Calls to Action?
You should use calls to action absolutely everywhere. In every single . . .
- Section of your website
- Email you send your subscribers
- Instagram post
- Facebook post
- LinkedIn post
- Paid ad (online or print)
- Piece of marketing collateral
- Letter or correspondence you send
Tell people what to do next.
Your calls to action are so critical to your marketing success, we’ve created a free printable: 25 Irresistible Call to Action Examples. Download your free copy then keep it handy in your notes to gain inspiration for all of your marketing copy.
Since people don’t take action until they are led to do so, calls to action are a vital element in your marketing copy. They show your visitors what steps to take next.
Remember to download your free printable, a collection of calls to action that are clear and direct. You can stop wondering why your customers don’t engage and show them exactly how to do business with you. With calls to action, you’re sure to see an increase in activity almost immediately.
You know the feeling—that moment when you say, “we need a new website.” The life of your bank account flashes before your eyes. Developing a website can be one of the most costly investments you make in your small business. It can feel hard to justify the expense, but I have great news: There are huge benefits to a high converting website and you don’t always need a redesign to achieve them!
Your website should be the strongest sales tool in your business. By simply tweaking the layout and strengthening your message, it can be. Maybe you built your website yourself, or perhaps you paid a designer thousands of dollars for it. Either way, you likely focused more intently on the look and feel of your website—colors, fonts, and images that you love—instead of its message and functionality.
Few business owners write copy that helps customers understand why they need their products. Their website fails when it comes to compelling visitors to take action. That’s a problem for any business. Your company website is more than a business card. It should do more than share information. A high converting website will motivate people to click, download, and buy.
Imagine how it would feel to make money while you sleep. As you sit down to sip your first cup of coffee in the morning, you browse through your email. There it is a sale notification! The smile on your face broadens and you feel a sense of confidence rising through your chest. You developed a product or service that people want. They came to you for help to overcome a problem, and you proved to yourself that you can close a sale! All it takes is a website that converts.
What is Website Conversion?
Simply put, conversion on your website happens when a visitor takes action:
- they click your button,
- schedule an appointment,
- download your freebie,
- or purchase a product.
When your website is set up to guide visitors to make a decision to do business with you, it will lead them to take the next step.
Conversions are the main purpose of your website and without them, you’re missing valuable opportunities to help others. When people don’t engage on your website, it can make you feel as if you’ve missed the mark. It leaves you wondering if you can succeed in business at all. During the most frustrating moments, you might be tempted to give up.
Instead, with just a few modifications on your website, you can grow your email list, achieve higher sales, earn credibility and finally stop the tape in your head that stirs doubt that your product is good enough.
A High Converting Website That Doesn’t Depend on a Redesign
I’ve been there—the owner of a small business that struggled because my marketing efforts weren’t working. After creating great lead generators, I didn’t see growth in my email subscribers. I had a lovely website with no conversion strategy. I knew I offered something that could help others, and yet… crickets. Then, I found StoryBrand. It was a game-changer for me, as it has been for thousands of other businesses around the world.
Through StoryBrand, I learned simple steps that lead me to enjoy the benefits of a high converting website. If you have the access and ability to edit your website, you can make a few changes that can lead to measurable results in your sales and business growth.
Add A Clear Call to Action
It’s shocking to me how few businesses ask for a conversion on their website. They go through all the trouble and expense of having a website, then use it only as a means to tell people about their brand. You cannot have a high converting website without a clear call to action—a vibrantly colored button that tells visitors what to do next.
People want to be led. When they visit your website, they have a problem. They hope you can help and are looking for you to guide them into the next steps needed to make progress. Without a clear call to action that’s shown repeatedly on your homepage, you make them feel lost, without a path to follow.
Show How You Can Make Life Better
There is a benefit for customers when they do business with you. They will be better off when they make a purchase, read your blog, schedule an appointment, request a quote, or download your freebie. Help them see the rewards of engagement. Paint a picture of how their life or circumstance will improve. This is done most effectively with pictures of happy people and words that portray a story of success.
By sharing what’s at stake, you convey your understanding of the problem they face. You can help them move away from feeling stuck and toward victory as they overcome that problem.
State What You Do—Clearly
When visitors see your home page, they should know within 3 seconds exactly what you do. If you’re a business coach, say it clearly. Or if you’re a hairdresser, state it plainly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they already know or that they will follow a trail of hints to discover what your brand offers. Put it out there, proudly.
When You Need Help With Your Website Conversion Strategy
I’ll be the first to admit that when we try to work on marketing material for our own businesses, it’s hard. We’re too close, too intimately acquainted with all the details. So when we think we’re communicating clearly, there can still be some confusion. It helps to have an outsider take a look. And a website conversion strategy is one area where outside help is… well, helpful!
If you’d like me to review your website, I’d be happy to do so. I’ll analyze it through the lens of StoryBrand’s website conversion strategy and provide you with a FREE 5-ish minute video to share my thoughts. Easy peasy. No strings attached.
Enter your information below to request your website review.
Getting feedback isn’t always fun, but it is always a gift and it’s one I’d be honored to give you as you take steps toward strengthening your website. Remember, your website should be your strongest sales tool and by conveying a message that an outsider can easily understand, it can be!
Don’t forget to request your free website review below.
Instead of wondering why visitors aren’t engaging with your website, why not invest the time to ensure your message is clear and guides them through the process of doing business with you. Following the three steps above is a powerful way to start. Every improvement you make has the potential to bring amazing results. As your business growth coach, I’m here to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out for your free website review.
You’ve done it. You’ve finally completed your product and you can’t wait to share it with the world. You know as soon as people see it they’re going to love it. You announce the launch of your new product, excited to see where this new venture will take you and…crickets. So what’s the problem? Why isn’t your product having the reach you hoped? It may not be hashtags, the time of day you posted about it on social media, or even the filter that you used on the product photo. The most likely culprit is your business message. If you haven’t taken the time to craft a clear message, you’re not alone. Writers, entrepreneurs, and ministry leaders often struggle to write a clear business message.
A Clear Business Message Can Boost Your Reach
Have you taken the time to make sure your business message is clear and compelling? Many brands haven’t. You may ask, “But Cathy, shouldn’t my product do all the talking? I didn’t get into this business to write slogans or catchphrases.” I know, I know, but hear me out…How could your life look if you doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled your revenue? What other products could you launch? How would that ease your life financially? Could you expand your business? Just imagine it for a moment. I promise you it’s possible and a clear and compelling business message will help get you there.
With a clear business message, you’ll begin to attract customers. And not just any customers, the ones who need you most—those who struggle with the exact problem that your brand addresses. When they come into your sales funnel, they’ll stay, develop trust with you, and even make a purchase.
With a Clear Business Message, Your Customer Will Listen
If you’re like me, you’ve been working your business for years. You’ve invested time, energy, sweat, and tears—changing and evolving it into something better, but still, the customers aren’t showing up. It should be easier to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. I get it. That’s why you need a clear and compelling business message.
Author and business leader, Donald Miller says “People buy things because they hear or read words that make them want to buy things. Words matter”.
And I’ve seen that truth translate into business success. When I focused on my business message by implementing a few key strategies, it strengthened my narrative and I was amazed at the results. People started coming to me and asking me for help. Instead of losing sleep wondering how I was going to generate revenue to keep my business afloat, I started contributing to my family financially. And you can too.
You don’t have to keep wondering what to say online or in your emails. Instead, you can start feeling confident with your message and rejuvenate your energy for your business. When you’re energized about what you do and can communicate it clearly, your customers will liste
A Clear Business Message Makes Customers Excited to Make a Purchase
In the past, I struggled as a writer and resource creator. I would read countless articles about the best places to advertise my product or how many Instagram posts I needed per week to help boost my reach. Sure, I would gain a follower here or there, but it wasn’t affecting my business revenue at all. I would listen to business podcasts all the time, trying to figure out what to do. One day I stumbled across a leadership podcast where Donald Miller was introduced as the guest. He shared the 7-part StoryBrand framework and I was hooked.
I immediately started to implement some of what I learned, then decided to pursue more formal training with StoryBrand. I clarified my message and started to see results right away. Within three months, I saw a sizeable increase in sales and have since quadrupled my revenue, which continues to climb.
I can almost hear what you’re saying, “Okay Cathy, that’s all good and great for you. But how can I do this for MY business???” Believe me, I know how it feels to pour your heart and soul into something and not see any results. I knew I wanted to help others achieve the same success I’ve experienced. That’s why I’ve become a StoryBrand Certified Guide and a Business Made Simple Certified Coach. I want nothing more than for your business to thrive and I want to help you get there.
How to Develop a Clear Message
Here are a few quick pointers that will make your potential customers excited to buy from you:
Start with the problem
Think of the movies you see and the books you read. No story really gets interesting until a problem arises. You’ll pique your customers’ interest when you show them you understand their problem and offer a product or service to help. When you can identify with their struggle, they’ll start to see you as a trusted source of assistance.
As long as you continue talking about their problem, you’ll hold their interest and they’ll be more likely to engage. This is why infomercials are so effective. You know, the dramatic ones where all the plastic food containers fall down in an avalanche on top of their head or when they just can’t open that bottle of nail polish and when they finally get it, it goes flying everywhere and splatters all over the bathroom. Infomercials address a specific problem and you can do the same (but without the overwhelming amount of cheesiness, please).
Share a plan
Okay, you’ve made sure your customer knows you understand their problem. Now you’re going to tell them how easy it is to move toward the solution you offer. Give them a plan to follow in 3 simple steps.
People don’t take action until they’re shown a clear plan. If you had to cross a rapidly flowing river, you’d probably turn the other way. I know I would. But if someone showed me three flat stepping stones that I could use to get across, I’d give it a try.
Going back to our infomercial reference, here is an example of a 3-step plan:
Plastic food containers are falling on your head every time you open a cabinet?? No problem!
- Throw your old plastic food containers in the recycle pile.
- Purchase our new system that nests together so there’s never an avalanche!
- Live your best life! You’ll never have a headache from plastic food containers falling on your head.
Detail the benefits and consequences
They have their plan. So simple, anyone can do it! Now you’re going to tell them what’s at stake if they DON’T buy from you and how great their life will be if they DO.
For example, if this were a plastic food container infomercial, this is how the story would unfold: Mom opens the cabinet door and plastic food containers go flying everywhere. 3 year old and baby come into the kitchen and the 3-year-old steps on one of the plastic food containers and it breaks into pieces! Baby thinks little pieces of broken plastic look pretty fun and tasty. Baby could cut himself or worse – choke on the little plastic pieces. If only you had the plastic food containers that nested within each other you would never experience these dangerous avalanches. You’d have no risk of related injuries and enjoy a perfectly happy and safe family forever.
It’s a fairytale ending. Well, maybe not, but you get the point.
You want to show your customer the success you’ll help them achieve and the failure you’ll help them avoid.
Interested in One-On-One coaching? Visit www.cathymcintosh.com/coaching
Clarify Your Business Message & Boost Your Reach
Whew. That was a wild ride through plastic food container land. You may have even forgotten this is a post about creating a clear and compelling business message because you got so wrapped up in the story. It just goes to show you that story is a powerful sense-making device. Use it to your advantage!
All infomercial kidding aside, the bottom line is this: Implementing a clear message changed my business and my life and I would love for it to do the same for you. I understand that many business owners struggle to craft a clear, compelling message. By starting with these three points, you will improve your brand narrative and boost your reach.
If you’d like additional information, I encourage you to read Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. It’s a game-changer. At the very least, I invite you to listen to this podcast episode. Then let me know what you think!
When upstanding, genuinely helpful businesses share what they do in a clear and succinct way, the world will become a better place. By using the power of words, you can literally transform the lives of your customers. In turn, they’ll help others do the same.
Never underestimate the value of what you do, my friend. And write a message that conveys it well.
I believe in you.