I’ve only been doing this Internet Marketing/Online business stuff for a little less than a year, and in that short period of time I’ve learned the importance of the “call to action”. I had heard this term several times in my research for doing online business but I never really got the importance of what was being said until I had put together quite a bit of content with little to no results.
What is a Call to Action?
First, it would definitely help if you had an idea of what I’m talking about. Simply put, a call to action is nothing more than telling your viewers/customers what they need to do. I know it sounds simple and maybe even a little pushy, but believe me, without it, nothing will happen.
CPR and the Call to Action
Most everyone is familiar with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) at least in regards to the fact that it’s used to save people’s lives in case someone stops breathing. One of the most important parts of CPR training is to point to a nearby individual and get their attention, and once you’ve gotten their attention, tell that one individual to go call 911. Why is this important? The key here is that by just yelling out “someone call 911″, you are not guaranteed that anyone will actually do something. You need to get the attention of the person who needs to take action and direct them to the action to be taken. Even though people implicitly know that help needs to be called, they assume that someone else will take that action – by taking that chance, someone’s life can be in danger!!!
Don’t suffer due to lack of direction…
If you want to breathe life into your online business, you must not make the mistake of assuming someone will call just because you provided some good content…No, you must tell people what they must do next! Depending on what your business is, it might be as simple as asking someone to buy from your link if you’re doing product reviews (such as on my headphone review website). If you’re writing information about a product that you use and you are promoting, then you might have a call to action such as “Sign up now to get my free guide on how to …”. The key is to tell someone to do something now. Make it compelling. If you’re doing reviews like I am for headphones, then I use the approach of “If you found this review helpful and you plan on buying these headphones, please use my link below”. Basically, if you help people out, people will likely return the favor. I know you think that may not be the case, but it most definitely is.
Put Your Call to Actions in ALL Your Efforts
I recently started doing video reviews of my headphones, and while I was aware of the call to actions in my written work, I hadn’t thought about it in my videos. What a huge mistake!!!! The first video I put together was well received, but I wasn’t seeing much happen as far as interaction, “likes” or even click throughs on my affiliate links. I totally missed the boat. I went back and saw that I had put together a killer review, but forgot to tell people what to do at the end!!! Needless to say, I started doing some experimentation with my next reviews. At the end of my videos, I now ask people to use my links, to leave me a thumbs-up, to comment, etc. Guess what happened? More people started leaving thumbs ups (helps you move up the rankings in the Youtube search results), people started clicking my links, people started interacting. It’s not magic, it’s simply direction. Without direction, most people will NOT TAKE ACTION!
Don’t be Afraid to Tell People What to Do Next
When I first read about the call to actions, I didn’t want to do it because I felt like I was being pushy. What I’ve come to realize, is that if you take the time to build quality content or a business, then there’s nothing wrong with letting people what their next steps are. Now, there’s different approaches – there’s the used car salesman approach (which exists online as well) – high pressure sales pitches. There’s the “if I helped you, please return the favor by doing x, y, z” approach, which I’m using in my review site. The main point here is that you should not be ashamed to ask for something in return for what you provide. Just make sure that what you’re providing is quality enough that people will gladly do what you ask in return.
Proof is in the Numbers
Before I implemented calls to action on my pages, my user involvement was the pits. There really was NOTHING happening on my site. Once I started implementing calls to action and providing focused direction for my users either at the end of my review or at key areas on my site, I noticed a HUGE difference. I literally went from about $2/month in revenue (yes, you read that right, TWO DOLLARS) to $80 in my second real month monetizing my site with calls to action. There were a few things that contributed to that, but the key is, when my site was live and lacking calls to action, even though I was getting over 100 unique visitors a day, I wasn’t making anything ($2/month qualifies as nothing in my book). In the future, I’m going to give detailed case studies of what I’m making and how I’m making the money from this site. It’s both an experiment and a hobby that I want to share with you guys to help get you motivated to move forward in your online ventures.
My Call to Action for You Right Now
So, my call to action is to use a call to action in everything you do. Whether it’s as simple as signing up for your newsletter, or using your affiliate link, or whatever. Make sure it’s the last thing the person sees on the page. Don’t let them leave without making sure they saw your call to action. it should stand out and be clear and concise with just one thing to do. KEEP IT SIMPLE! People will not do what you ask if it makes them tired just thinking about it…now get out there and keep your audience laser focused.