Call To Actions Need To Result in Action

The call to action (CTA) is one of the hardest things to master when it comes to e-commerce. It’s relatively easy to design an attractive page, and you can write great content that gets people pumped. At the same time, it doesn’t matter how good everything else is if your CTA falls flat. If you are having a hard time getting people to buy your product, then use these tips for a better CTA.

call to actions

photo credit: hiddedevries via photopin cc


Make it Distinguishable

Your CTA needs to be distinguishable. Most websites are using CTA buttons so that users know exactly where to click to buy, sign up or do anything else that you need them to do. If you want people to perform an action, then make the CTA button easy to see.

For example, if you have a red website, then make the CTA button blue or yellow. It needs to contrast so that users know exactly what to click.

Use a Consistent Design

You also need to keep the design consistent throughout your website. If the CTA button looks different on each page, then users might get confused about what they need to click. Keeping the design consistent in terms of color and shape will improve the number of users that click the button. It will also keep users from getting confused.

Active Phrases

The CTA button needs to have an active phrase so that users know what to do. Many novice Webmasters write “Click Here,” but this can kill your click-through rate. You need to be more descriptive than this. It lets people know what to expect when they click the button, and an active phrase will persuade more people to buy from you.

For example, you can use “Download Now,” “Get Started,” “Sign Up Here” or “Show Me More.”

Multiple CTA Buttons

You might feel a little pushy if you put multiple CTA buttons on one page, but this can actually help you under certain conditions. If your Web page is long, then some users won’t want to scroll all the way down to find the CTA button. Some users want to buy now, but they don’t know how to go forward.

You should have at least one CTA button above the fold, and then another under a long page of text. This makes your CTA button more visible and accessible, and it should improve your click-through rate.

Use Every Page

Most users will skim through all of your pages before deciding to buy your product. The key to improving your sales online is to make the sales process easy for customers. If you add the CTA button to just one page, then some users may forget where it is. These users will just leave to find another seller.

Conclusion

Many website owners don’t know how to properly make and position their CTA, but you need to learn this quickly if you want to improve your conversion. Just use a good design that contrasts your website, make it easy to find and use active phrases. These few tips on a proper CTA should help you sell more products or services.

How do you use call to actions on your website? Please leave a comment below!

5 Touch Points of Engagement: Not in ‘Likeness’ But in Diversity

VISIBILITY: Part 2 – Engagement

Audience ‘engagement’ … what is the first image that comes to your mind? Is it communication, a connection, or a conversation? The actual definition is “The act of engaging or the state of being engaged.” where the word ‘engaged’ means, 1. Employed, occupied, or busy.  2. Committed, as to a cause.

Often our actual definition of a word is rather different than our perception of a word. Let’s call this a great likeness but with vast diversity in actual meaning. I find engagement in our marketing spheres very similar. We see that it is more of an interchange either by content, visual or another communication vehicle that not only connects another with the message and story but propels that individual to respond. This is the engagement I am referring to!

In my last SteamFeed post, I presented the first step [Part 1] in visibility which is developing your Web Presence [Web Presence and Visibility:  Duende “Having Soul”]. Step two of building visibility is to consider your engagement within your marketing sphere and how to effectively interact.

photo: <a href="http://engagemarketingdesign.com/">Engage Marketing Design</a>

Engagement – The 5 Touch Points:

1. Website –  Engagement on your site is creating a correspondence with your audience. Create opportunities for them by offering a two-way experience. Perhaps provide a customizing process with a product or service and allow engagement via commenting to posts or by initiating ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’ to an idea or option. The connection with ‘likeness’ is important but contemplate drawing out the diversity in your audience. We are more unique then we are similar and while your community has similar interests that lead them to this virtual location it is really important to allow some guided self-expression in this space or better yet encourage it!

a.       Add Widgets
b.      Add Functionality for “Real Time” Engagement
c.       Games
d.      Online Product Customization

2. Social Media Networks  –  Social Media is all about engagement but often we pursue the quick fix in our connections rather than working on the long haul in building valued relationships. It is an investment in others and taking time to learn about them in all aspects of their complex lives. It is more exploratory then reactionary and if you are successful in social media you know exactly what I am referring to. The time spent behind the scenes really understanding their target audience is far greater than their time in actual conversation with them. We need to understand more about the targeted individual and the diversities which they are made up of. Focus on the criteria to help you narrow down that audience and relate with more resonance.

a.       Who is Your Audience
b.      Purpose for Engaging
c.       Tone & Perspective
d.      Offering Consistent Valuable Content

3. Mobile –  Connecting with people in ‘real time’ or while on-the-go, where you happen to be at a certain moment, is effective in your engagement marketing. Instagram and other powerful visual apps downloaded to your smartphone can share your particular activity while also adding impressionable visual data for your audience. This builds a sense of personal connection with your relationships. You can include multiple texting solutions by attaching valued quick video clips (use Android’s Movie Studio App to even apply still images with your content stream) or adding a YouTube channel link as possible solutions with your texting options. The engagement is not a list of numbers (how often and how many) but purposeful understanding of building visibility and relationships within your space while consistently and frequently providing a clear branded message surrounded by fresh content.

a.       Location based ‘check-ins’
b.      Image Sharing
c.       Audio and Video Sharing
d.      Social Media and Mobile Apps

4. Email  –  Email allows you to become even more personal in your engagement and the better you are at delivering this personal message the more desirable. Gone are the days of spam and no one ever wanted it to begin with but it was so new it was somewhat tolerated. Nothing with that hint of flavor is tolerated today. Segment your lists wisely and provide valuable and acceptable content to your recipient. Consider what might be a great follow up to a product already purchased and categorize the audience within those segments. Or discover why they have not ordered in a while by giving them an opportunity with simplistic effort to reply. Gather the info and send a follow up offer with a preferred personalized message. We are always allowing for opting in and not force sales. This can also become a great way to introduce your social networks via some very individualized and compelling email campaigns.

a.       Make it personal
b.      Segment Lists to Define Response
c.       Survey & Assess
d.      Socialize Your Email

5. Print  –  Now how did this get in here? No, it belongs here and this is why. Print is a sensory piece and we need to touch things physically to completely connect with it. Virtual is all well and good but you need a bit of the tangible to complete the circle of engagement. So be specific in your selection of print. It could be that VIP card sent after being selected as a customer hero of the month or it can be a tear card with a premium promotional offer that brings that customer into your physical retail establishment. Create stories on your print pieces and add instruction on how to download custom apps that will drive your customers further down this amazing product/service journey. Print being the conduit to their smartphones. You’re only limited by your creativity here. But keep it connected to your audience with use of color, size, shape, style and even the material it is printed on. Each one of those communicates conceptual information to the mind of your audience separately.

a.       Quick Response Codes (QR code)
b.      Invitation to Download Apps
c.       Call-To-Action Incentives (bring to store to redeem)
d.      Keep Very Sensory Oriented (fuzzy, scratch, scented, etc.)

By far this is just the tip of the iceberg in engagement and I could probably just continue to contribute posts just on this subject alone for quite some time before it became exhausted.  In effect it is a very critical one in how we market today and how people have now become accustomed to purchase.

We should be wary of this one tendency to focus on our ‘likeness’ in this engagement and I find that an obstacle in this powerful tool. Since the very nature of us is our diversities and uniqueness that make those engagements so meaningful. I would focus on building your communities with their similarities so that there are unified interests but encouraging that community to express their diversities in their response and reaction since this brings us closer to what we are truly searching for. The answers outside of ourselves, the answer that more often than not someone else can offer!

… Which then directs us to VISIBILITY: Part 3 – Search

Instagram 201: How to stand out

When Instagram exploded, so did the number of blog posts written in excitement advising us how to use it in social media marketing. Well, it is leading in mobile traffic. It surpasses Twitter.  It is also the most intuitive social network on mobile which makes it easy for brands to join and open a window in their leader and team’s lives.  That’s special.  So if you’re contemplating integrating it in your social media strategy, you’re probably right on target. Images are powerful when they encase your brand without written copy.

It’s the ideal platform to innovate fun strategies to get your audience to engage. Look at Lululemon’s #WTFocus 30 day challenge or NYC’s quest for the best 10 “#loveNYC” snapshots). Leading brands like Chobani and Redbull tell us in their bio what hashtag to tag our pictures. But what about the very pictures coming from the brand? Figuring out your strategy is twofold – just exactly how are you going to win over your audience with your own pictures before you get them to join in the action? Consider both sides of the coin. Trade up on your unique value proposition.

You are curating an art gallery. How do you stand out? 

Apply yourself
Instagram offers 18 filters, which sounds like a lot, but it isn’t.  There are other apps to give you some creative ammo but the most important one is your imagination.  Apply it a bit.

Say you are opening a new store or office. Lay on the ground on your back or stomach to capture a different angle. Flip your camera so you can sneak in a little body (shoulder, eye).  Stand on a chair.  Peer closely in unusual places. Include the outdoors. Don’t mind those bystanders. This is the sake of your audience! Take more than one to document a story (i.e. the office interior design falling in place or a customer experience in a salon).

PicStich
PicStich offers a selection of different collage layouts. For example, if you want to feature a product, you can do it from four different perspectives then add it in blocks in one image instead of sending out four pictures, which clutters up a follower’s feed.  People will not follow as many brands as they might on Twitter or Facebook so you’ll have to earn that privilege.  You also can throw a quickie poll (i.e. “Which outfit do you like better?”) with a PicStich layout.

Over
You can add beautiful typography to any picture.  There’s an attractive array of colors and fonts. Pictures made with Over have viral potential (especially the insanely clever, funny and motivational ones). It costs $1.99 right now but I promise you it is worth it every 199 pennies. If you want to change the size each line or fiddle the placement, you have to save your work then reopen it (the app isn’t very dynamic at changing the sizes or allowing multiple text boxes at once). Be patient.  Use asteriks, lines or plus signs to add design elements. Save it 30 times if you have to! You are publishing beauty.

Filtermania
Filtermania is more on the surreal side.  In other words, the bedazzle for Instagram.  Armed with over 300 filters, you can add sparkle, out of this world (literally) landscapes, sun rays or electrifying effects.  Or even realistic rain. You can build filters on top of each other, adjust opacity and luminosity. I’ve spent at least a hour or two creating artwork in one sitting. Without regret.

Statigram
Well, this won’t make your pictures prettier – but  it will tell you which ones are! I couldn’t wrap up without telling you about this internet app.  Statigram is rightfully simple. It has basic metrics such as most liked, most engagements or commented on pictures.  Other than that, they serve as a web viewer for photos since Instagram doesn’t have a website.  It comes complete with a few goodies like follow me buttons to code in your website, the ability to integrate a feed for your Facebook page or a campaign toolkit. Heck, they even give you a birth certificate! Adorbs!

Use the photo creating apps individually or combine them and take your time. In the present situation – with 7.3 million users and the social media world waiting to see what Facebook does with the app in the bigger picture -  you can’t afford to look at pictures as things just to upload.

Color Splash, Photoshop and Textgram are a few more great ones. What are some of your favorite photo creating apps we should know about? 

Top 3 Reasons to Add Mobile Rich Media Marketing

Virtually everyone has a mobile phone today and, if in line with the current culture, they have it with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is reason alone for any business aspiring to increase their marketing strategies to expand their campaign by adding rich media mobile marketing. New research from mobile ad network Mojiva reports that rich media advertising will continue to show substantial growth over the next several years. Their prediction is that it will grow over 300% by 2016. Just during the time the research was conducted, rich media advertising grew 30 percent! The growth is obvious and the positives to adding rich mobile media are endless but we’ve narrowed it down to the top 3 reasons why it’s an absolute necessity in today’s business market:

mobileExposure

The number one reason to add rich media mobile to your advertising plan is the exposure you’ll receive from it. Anywhere you go today, you’ll see people waiting around for a table at a restaurant, a doctor’s appointment in a lobby or a bus at a bus stop. What are they doing while waiting? Checking email, reading text messages or browsing the internet, all from the convenience of their mobile device. Including mobile rich media in your campaign will get your message and product out to millions of consumers in a matter of seconds. While virtually everyone has a mobile phone, not everyone has access to a computer. Mobile marketing will eventually be the #1 way for retailers to gain visibility and exposure to their product so it’s best to start sooner than later.

Apps

There’s no doubt that, while the mobile rich media rate continues to rise, so does the creation of new apps for mobile phones. Spending the money on creating an app for your business will end up paying off in the long run. It will ad to the exposure you’ll get from email and video links alone. Not to mention, it will also put you into the popular Droid, Amazon and Apple app markets that are visited daily by millions looking for a new interest via their mobile phones.

Technology

Smartphones today have endless capabilities. Improved internet browsing capabilities, swipe and touch, direct link embedded in emails and much more. With that said, your marketing campaign has to match the capabilities of the mobile phones it is reaching. This includes ensuring that your technology enables access to full internet access via mobile phones, optimizing the ad for mobile and desktop views. Smartphone aficionados tend to spend a considerable amount of time browsing the web sites on their mobile phone. Many of those sites are accessed via a direct link from an email received. At times, the desktop view is sufficient to see everything the user is looking for. When on the go and looking to see information quickly, most users prefer the mobile view. Optimizing your mobile rich media campaign means ensuring that you can meet the needs of any mobile device your ads may appear on. If the user has any trouble accessing information, it’s unlikely they will try again and more likely you ad will be ignored or deleted.

In addition to optimizing your web site, it’s also crucial to include as many aspects of mobile rich media marketing as well. Capabilities including embedded video links and GPS location give consumers information about you and your product and it will even help direct them right to your store front.

With mobile rich media advertising increasing in popularity and sophistication, it’s important to get your message out to consumers efficiently and get it out there fast. Use as many avenues to reach your consumers as possible to get your advertising campaign out there, including apps and social media, and do it quickly. With an expected growth of 300% over the next several years, the time to move to mobile rich media is now.

Top 3 Mobile Marketing Mistakes and How To Fix Them

Mobile is an indispensable component of marketing. Did you know that 50% of all local searches are done on a mobil device? More importantly, in less than two years, mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop usage. Its clear that mobile marketing is not a fad and it is not going away. In fact, anyone with a cell phone or tablet knows this intuitively. Most marketers know this, embrace this and advocate this… yet are still unsure as to how to properly implement mobile. Every day, we see marketers using mobile in an attempt to not only stay ahead of the pack, but just to stay relevant. However, there is a big difference between using mobile and using mobile correctly.

Mobile MarketingMany marketers and companies are making the same mistakes without even realizing it. If you try to stay abreast of current marketing practices, you have probably already read several articles outlining common errors in mobile marketing. Great, we all agree that mistakes are being made. Have you been given a proactive approach to correct the errors? A strategy to successfully implement mobile in your marketing effort? Well now you have. We are going to highlight three of the most common mobile marketing mistakes and more importantly, how to correct them.

Newsflash… FLASH is a Traffic Killer!

This is by far the biggest mistake marketers are making…driving traffic to a website built with flash. Do you know that all of your mobile visitors on iOs (Apple) devices cannot see that fancy-schmancy new image gallery you just loaded to show off your product? They will on see what appears to be a broken link or an error message. So much for shock and awe. However, all is not lost. There are alternatives to flash. For instance, HTML 5. Talk to your web designer. Trust me, they will be only too happy to help.

Oh! Look! Its a QR Code!

QR codes have gotten a lot of publicity, most of it bad. QR codes are useful tools, but only if used properly. Just because you can create a QR code does not mean you should. (Kind of like a bikini…just because it comes in your size does not mean you should wear it.)

If you are going to use a QR code, make sure it leads to a mobile optimized landing page or performs an action that can be easily accomplished with a mobile device, such as sending a SMS message. Most importantly, a QR code is a bridge between the real world and the virtual, but if you do not need a bridge, do not build one. In other words, if you can accomplish your goal by listing a phone number or a short url, do it. If using a QR code is going to complicate a simple task, do not use it.

K.I.S.S. ME

Keep It Simple Stupid. People using mobile devices, by definition, are well, mobile. They are on the go. Mobile devices were created as an means of making life more convenient. We are no longer tethered to land lines or chasing down pay phones. So doesn’t it make sense to keep the mobile experience as simple as possible? Just because a new mobile technology exists does not mean you need to incorporate it in your mobile campaign. When viewing a website or an ad or a call to action via a mobile device, make it as fast and easy as possible to do what you want them to do. Are you selling something? Make it a one-click purchase. Do you want them to contact you? Give them a button to push that is pre-populated with your number.

Well, there you have it. Constructive solutions to real problems in mobile marketing. They are simple fixes that will make all the difference in your success.

Is your site optimized for mobile? What are some of the difficulties you have encountered with your mobile site? Please leave a comment below!