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Are you making this marketing mistake? 6 easy steps to getting it right!

There is a simple mistake that I see small business owners making with their marketing and they do it all the time.

The mistake is that their  ‘marketing’, whether an email newsletter, social media, or an advertisement, has no call to action.

The Call To Action

(CTA) is the most important part of your marketing, because at it’s heart, marketing is about eliciting a physical and measurable response from your audience, and the CTA is how you get that response. It’s not just any response though – the response should move the individual closer to becoming your customer (or repeat customer), so you have to choose your desired response carefully. If your marketing does not do this, there’s really no point and it’s a waste of time and resources.

Here’s an example that you’ve probably seen for yourself:

Think of a traditional Yellow Pages advert. One of the box ones with a logo in and some text. Normally it will say something like “Jane Doe Ltd. Best widgets in Yorkshire”, and then there would be a phone number and address. This ad would likely appear next to a number of other ads that had almost identical formatting and content.

Those sorts of adverts have no call to action. You have to really want what that company is offering, and almost stick a pin in the page to choose which one to call first, or maybe you just go by whichever one is nearest to you geographically. Either way, there’s not much to move you to contact that business over any other.

Discussions about the value of the Yellow Pages aside, the opposite of this approach is to have a strong call to action and to give people a reason to take that action now. The simplest email update (to an opted-in readership of course), with a special offer and a clear request to ‘Call Now to Book – Limited Availability’, will be much more effective.

So, how do you make sure that you have a good call to action as part of all of your marketing?

It’s not that hard, just follow this simple process:

  1. Decide what you want to achieve? Promoting sales, building relationships, or educating your audience?
  2. Identify the action that you want them to take, and carefully word your request for them to take that action.
  3. Choose your marketing channel to deliver the content (e.g. email, social, or article).
  4. Create the content.
  5. Distribute your content on your chosen channel!
  6. Measure the results.

Are you surprised by the order those items came in?  Maybe.

Most people jump straight to content creation or distribution without thinking about what they want to achieve and the best place to do so.

Of course, if you are promoting your event with a tweet, you can run through all the steps pretty much in under a minute, but a more complex CTA would need a bit longer to get it right. So, saddle up your call to action and get it out there – and your marketing time will no longer be wasted.

Women Unlimited are holding a webinar with Tamsin Fox-Davies on Wednesday May 8th which is a beginners guide to using email and social media.  Click here if you would like to register.

If you are interested in learning more, connect with Tamsin on one of the icons below…or leave a comment!

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  1. Peter Doswell says

    I agree with the fact that a call to action is required to see results. Any marketing should include how you want the potential customer to act. Very informative article. Thank you.

    1. Tamsin Fox-Davies says

      Thanks Peter – I’m glad you found this article useful.

      Proper calls to action are so often neglected, and it means that small businesses don’t get the sales they deserve. I’m on a mission to make calling customers to action more mainstream.