Ever wonder why some bloggers seem to easily grow their subscribers, increase mailings and get people to read their posts?
Sure, they’re probably awesome, but a compelling call-to-action doesn’t hurt either.
A call-to-action is a word or phrase used to prompt someone to take an action: to subscribe to a newsletter, to follow you on Pinterest, to buy a product, to download a printable. In marketing, we often abbreviate it as CTA.
The problem with most call-to-actions is that THEY SUCK. They’re boring, flat, and don’t give readers one morsel to encourage taking action. So, let’s make those lame call-to-actions all better with these makeovers.
The Snoozer Subscription Sign-Up Request
“If you’re new here, you might want to subscribe to my RSS feed.”
Zzzzzzz. Does this make YOU want to do anything? Doubt it. People see that statement over and over again. After a while, you really just start glazing over it and moving along.
The Fix: Inject both some personality and some details.
Wake them up with more details specific to your blog and breathe some life into it. Here’s what I mean:
“Want to skimp on time, not flavor? Get easy, great-tasting recipes dropped straight into your RSS reader.”
“Having five kids is a breeze. Wait- no, it’s not! See how I handle it (and often don’t handle it) by subscribing to my RSS feed.”
Those show personality as well as illustrate why subscribing to your blog is a smart idea.
I use this example because it’s one of the call-to-actions I see the most. But as a side note, you should know that many people (especially those who aren’t tech savvy) don’t even know what an RSS feed is. So you might even suggest joining your email list instead.
The Timid Social Media Suggestion
“Welcome! If you find this page useful, you might want to follow me on Pinterest.”
I mean, if you think your pins suck, you probably wouldn’t want to show everyone your awful pins, right? You obviously think you pin wonderful things, so don’t be shy about telling others that very thing!
The Fix: Remove hesitation by sounding confident.
Get rid of “I hope you” or “if you want” and just invite readers over… with your chin up and your voice strong (virtually of course).
For example, let’s take Pinterest. Your Pinterest boards are certainly varied, but if you want to focus on Pinterest then zero in on a few stand-out boards versus trying to encompass them all.
“From gorgeous fonts to inspiring color combos, get endless blog design ideas by following me on Pinterest!”
Or say you want to increase your Facebook fans:
“Join other readers on Facebook as we chat about all things crafty (and get ideas I don’t share anywhere else).”
Before you promote a social media network, take a few minutes to think about WHY it’s worth promoting. A Facebook page where you just paste links to your blog posts isn’t enticing; a Facebook page where readers chat with one another and you provide meaningful content IS enticing.
The Unconvincing Email Sign-Up Button
I’m not sure about you, but I click “submit” when I’m filling out a loan application or creating an account on a website. “Submit” doesn’t really give me any warm fuzzies about joining an e-mail list, especially when I’m inviting someone to email me all their latest posts or their newsletter.
The Fix: Make people feel like they’re joining or getting something, not just like they’re clicking a button.
Offering a freebie like an e-book or printable can really get readers interested in your email list, but they still have to commit to it, knowing along with that freebies comes messages to you straight to their inbox. So after you tell them what your free gift is, get them to seal the deal.
You can do something like:
“Get Your Copy”
Underneath the main text, you can even add a small statement in parenthesis as subtext to provide further explanation or just to show off some personality.
“Get Your Printable
(You can download it immediately)”
(Complete with sparkles)”
What if you don’t have a freebie? Don’t fret. In the meantime, use strong words or phrases like:
“Join” (people like to be a part of something)
“Let’s Do This!”
You can even play off your blog’s topics, like for a homeschool or education blog, you could say:
Even “Subscribe” isn’t horrible if your intro to joining the list is compelling and interesting.
Also, the design and color can also increase a button’s effectiveness so make sure your button stands out design-wise too.
Scan your blog. Do you have any blah CTAs that could use a little jolt of brilliance? Get to it!
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