Calls to Action are something that most bloggers don’t utilize very well. The idea with a CTA is that you want the reader to take some action. Maybe it’s leaving a comment, maybe it’s visiting your website, or maybe it’s signing up for your newsletter.
The problem is that most bloggers don’t use CTAs or if they do, they don’t use them effectively. If you want your readers to answer your Call to Action, then there needs to be a clear benefit to the reader.
For example, on Wednesday I wrote The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Engagement. It was a very in-depth and detailed post, and at over 2,000 words, is possibly the longest blog post I’ve ever written. Then again if you are going to write a post and bill it as being the ‘Ultimate’ in anything, it had better bring the goods, and that post did.
Which is exactly why the clear Call to Action at the end of the post worked so well. At the end of the post I closed with a clear Call to Action asking readers to sign up to my Think Like a Rock Star newsletter ‘if you want to learn more about how to not only build engagement around your social media and marketing efforts but to actually cultivate fans of your brand’. In other words, that Call to Action gave a direct benefit to the reader. If they enjoyed the content in that post, I gave them a way to continue to get more valuable content that helps them learn how to build engagement around their social media efforts, by subscribing to my TLAR newsletter.
The Call to Action worked because it was positioned so that the reader could clearly see the benefit to them from performing the requested action. This is why most Calls to Action aren’t very effective, because the blogger positions it so there’s a clear benefit to the blogger, but not a clear benefit to the reader. If you want your CTA to work and work well, focus on providing a direct benefit to the reader.
So what were the results from my clear CTA requesting that readers sign up for the TLAR newsletter? The post ran on Wednesday, here’s the number of new signups I have gotten each day so far this week:
Sunday – 1
Monday – 6
Tuesday – 2
Wednesday – 16
Thursday – 17
Friday (as of 8:00 AM) – 3
So for the first three days I averaged 3 new signups a day, since then I have averaged 16 new signups a day. Pretty good jump, right? But the key was, the CTA was structured so that there was a clear benefit to the reader from answering that CTA. The idea is that you want the CTA to provide a direct benefit to the reader, with the idea being that if they answer your CTA, it will indirectly benefit you.
If you have used Calls to Action in your posts, what have your results been? Even if it’s simply asking readers to leave a comment, did they respond?
PS: As a sidenote, if you remember one of the goals from Wednesday’s post The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Engagement was to do well in search results for the exact term “social media engagement”. I just checked and that post is now the #4 Google result for the term “social media engagement” out of over 8,000,000 results. Not bad, eh?