Hello, Nick Ponte here. I own a digital marketing agency on Maui, where we help small businesses and entrepreneurs build powerful strategies for success. I set clients up with several important steps like adding keywords and SEO, tracking analytics, and improving content quality.

One of the most simple steps business owners often miss: adding a call to action (CTA) to their webpages and marketing campaigns. 

When you play baseball, you might make a spectacular hit, but if you don’t get around the bases and back home, you don’t score. Similarly, in sales, you’ve got to drive the objective home for the potential customer. Without a direct invitation, customers don’t know how to respond to your pitch, no matter how compelling you’ve made it.

Also Read: Writing Copy That Converts for Your Website

Closing the Deal

You can go fishing with the best bait available, but you won’t fill your cooler with fish if you don’t have a hook attached to your line. Obvious, right?

Likewise, you can throw all the information out there for customers, but if you don’t make the next step obvious, they won’t know how to move forward with you. You’ve got to seal the deal on your propositions. You’ve got to put the sign out that says, “Come and get it!” Do this with a CTA.

It’s a shame when this step gets overlooked, because it’s one of the most effective aspects of driving leads and sales. A CTA will take someone casually enticed by your offers and turn them into an actual, paying customer. 

If you’ve been in the sales business, you’ll know that one of the best sales tactics at brick-and-mortar shops has to do with allowing the customer to touch products and “see” them in their possession. This helps a salesperson reel in a customer and close the deal. 

In digital marketing, we don’t get to use the benefit of physical interaction, so we have to change up that strategy. Instead, we have to show the customer the direct benefits they’ll get when they take the next step with us. Every page of your website should have a call to action, whether that’s a “Contact Us” button or an invitation to purchase. 

Make it easy for the customer to know what to do with the information about your products or services. Guide them toward taking the next step with you—and you’ve got a lead. You’ll avoid missing closed deals while your website increases its hits.

Let me show you a few ways to invite customers to take the next step with you.

Also Read: Designing a Website the Produces Results

4 Effective CTAs

These four types of calls to action work extremely well for small businesses. You can modify any of them to best fit your business.

  • A Downloadable

If you have a free resource to attract customers or clients, include an invitation to “download now.” You might offer them an ebook, digital presets for an app or software, or some other kind of valuable information that will help solve an issue. Create a lead by collecting users’ email addresses as a prerequisite for sending the file directly to their inbox.

When you offer a free resource that relates to the product or service you offer, you give them a reminder of the other offers you provide. They’ll keep you in mind every time they reference your resource, and you build trust with them when you give them something valuable to keep using.

  • A Signup for an Email or Newsletter

Ask users to continue interacting with you through personal messages to their inbox. This way, you get the chance to collect their contact information and start building a customer-business relationship.

In your emails, demonstrate care for customer needs by sending special offers, previews of sales or products, and success stories. Connect with your ideal customer by infusing messages with personality. 

When we send newsletters, we share stories that strike a chord with clients or make them laugh. We build the relationship through trustworthy information they can use immediately or save for a rainy day—and it’s theirs to keep. An email list sends a regular reminder of offers straight to your warmest leads.

  • A Quiz

When you provide a way for customers to find out more about how you can help them by taking a quick questionnaire, you turn a process into a fun interaction. A quiz also gives you the opportunity to find out more about what users need or want. I know of a website that has users take a quiz to figure out what level of home exterior care they need, and another that will tell a user what stage of a writing program they best fit into. For the quiz results, have users share their email. This is another way to build that list!

A quiz might not prove a good route for every business, but you can brainstorm ways to adapt this idea for your website if your services include various options.

  • An Invitation to Book a Free Consultation

We offer a free consultation in my business as the most commonly-used CTA. This works because you get to discuss a potential customer’s distinct needs and how your services can solve their problems. When you do this, make sure to follow up with a personalized report, so they have a tangible view of your observations, upgrades, and offers.

Depending on the type of product or service your business deals with, you can modify this idea by offering a free or discounted trial period of regular services. For instance, if you own a lawn care business, and your regular customers pay a monthly fee for regular service, offer new customers a one-week trial of some of your excellent lawn care.

Whatever CTA you decide to go with, make sure it’s highly visible and frequent throughout your website and any other platforms you use, including social media and ads. Our clients see tremendous success when we help them plan and set up CTAs across their platforms. If you want to learn more about how we do this, or want help getting started, reach out to us today!

Further Reading: 3 Best Practices For Link Building to Drive Customer Conversions

Photos Courtesy of Jesse Collins, Chris Chow, & Trophy Technology

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