• Frank Aol

CTAs in online shops (1)

For all kind of online sales activities, it is the key point to make prospects acting and this can be achieved through different tools. In online marketing terms this is also known as CTA (call to action) which is normally triggered by phrases. In this post different types of CTA phrases and tools are examined.

CTAs must be chosen carefully; they especially need to match with the customer journey. In other words, marketers must consider which action they want a prospect to take at a specific point of the sales funnel and most importantly, for which type of action a customer is ready, hence qualified in the marketing language.

CTAs are usually divided into four parts according to the concept of the sales funnel: collection leads, turning leads into prospects, prospects into customers and customers into clients. Leads are typically generated through advertisements, SEO or social media posts. Prospects will be approached by emails, through landing pages or pop-ups and customers will be led to product pages for the first time or being retargeted as clients repetitively.

Everybody has read CTA phrases like “subscribe”, “learn more”, “buy now” or “tell a friend”. While such phrases are neither good nor bad, the key point is what type of motivation a lead, prospect or customer may have to click on such CTAs. A catching CTA always promotes a high value without pressuring the target audience in any way which especially applies for the first stages of the sales funnel. This means, the addressed audience must have good reason to click a CTA which benefits them directly without any commitment. In this context it is an absolute No-Do to lure the audience with ambiguous or unclear phrases into a CTA. Contrary to this, it must be unmistakably clear what can be expected by clicking a CTA.

At the beginning of the customer journey, it is regularly a good idea to increase available target audience data. This can be e.g., be achieved through a CTA offering discounts or vouchers against a mobile phone number. In the middle of the sales funnel, prospects could be asked thought-provoking questions that encourage them to become much specific about what they need. Customers can be turned into clients by learning about updated product features and so on. Of course, all these strategies do strongly depend on the type offered product or service. An expensive high-tech product may need more education of customers than cheaper FMCGs (fast moving consumer goods). AI (artificial intelligence) services are similarly communicated in another than simple household services and so on.

It is the decisive advantage of online marketing campaigns to have a deep inside into a customer’s journey through the sales funnel by evaluating a customer’s behavior online through tools like Google Analytics. Many ecommerce platforms offer additional tools such as Shopify Analytics and others. These unique insights offer a constant adjustment of a marketing campaign, a feature which is unthinkable in traditional offline marketing. Typical topics of research include customers’ demographics, their questions or concerns and their general feeling on the customer journey.

Typical examples of CTAs furthermore include phrases like “learn, compare, book, sign up, subscribe, select, access, read, watch, claim, start, book a demo, buy” and others. CTAs combined with the application of multimedia, e.g., videos and podcasts are especially promising to call customers to action. The above-mentioned terms can be further refined by replacing “learn” with “discover”, “access” with “uncover” or “buy” with “save”. The final target should always be to use words which trigger the right emotions.

For long time it has been well-known in sales psychology, that urgency is a thrilling motivation factor for customers which can also be applied in CTAs with phrases like “everything will sell out, now, limited edition, while stock lasts, exclusive, don’t miss out, biggest ever, hurry, offer ends and others.

Another very efficient tool are online surveys, because they allow customer to express their fears and queries. With security being another principal customer need, surveys are another powerful tool and allow it to adjust CTAs accordingly with phrases like “don’t worry about…” which directly address a customer’s fear.

Given the reluctance of consumers to commit and to be sold at, CTAs also can be combined with phrases “you won’t be charged until…” or “sign up, watch free, cancel at any time” which additionally boosts the customer’s feeling of security.

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