In our previous post we introduced Call To Action Marketing, in which we talked about the importance of Calls To Action (CTA’s), that visitors to websites expect CTA’s as a natural progression from the curiosity you’ve built in your product or service, and that CTA’s should be on nearly every page of your website. Continuing on this theme, in this post we’ll focus on how storytelling is key to effective CTA’s, and then delve more into of the psychology of CTA’s.
When we have one of the best-designed websites, that is both well written and visually appealing, we also want to think about the flow of information, including site navigation and how it all works together. The best websites tell a story in which the tone and values of a brand are gradually introduced.
Think about your favorite novels or movies, and how they begin by introducing us to characters and then give us a reason to like or even love them. Then there is tension or conflict introduced into the story—our favorite characters undergo a great challenge to overcome in order to save the day, get the girl or guy, and ride off into the sunset. Okay, we’re over simplifying, but the point is that there is a natural progression to storytelling that pulls us in, keeps us interested, and hits us with some kind of a surprise that makes us want more.
Good marketing is similar, only in a highly condensed form. Great web design introduces us to a band of characters (the brand), makes us love the brand, presents a challenge that a product or service overcomes, maybe even introduces a surprise in the form of exclusivity or a limited time offer, and then calls us to act.
The Psychology of CTA Placement
The unfolding story of a brand is the key to knowing where to place CTA’s for maximum impact. As mentioned in part I of this series, well known brands do not need to use as much real estate on a website to introduce the company and what it’s about, so they may begin with a CTA at the top of the home page. Ecommerce websites tend to be pretty obvious in their design that they’re about shopping, and so introducing users to an immediate CTA can be very effective for them.
For most other brands effective placement is after we have given visitors a reason to want more—we’ve made them like, or maybe even love us, we’ve established need or a problem for which we provide a solution, we haven’t overly taxed their attention span, and then we ask them to do something (contact us, click here, read more, buy now, and so on).
Conversion Through Repetition
Then we continue with the story of our brand, we tell them more about our product or service, we describe our unique approach, we give them client/customer testimonials, which serves to build even more interest, and then we remind them again to click, contact, read, buy, and so on. And if they’re still not ready to act, we have a blog we can send them to, a resource, a cost comparison grid, a special tip, a story from a satisfied customer, a video, and then another CTA.
In each instance we’re conveying the tone and values of our brand so that those who feel a connection with our unique brand personality will feel increasingly more interested and engaged, and at some point in the process there are those who will go looking for a way to connect with us. Repetition of CTA’s makes it very easy for those who are ready to connect with us to take action.
Good marketing involves a condensed version of storytelling, because storytelling draws us into a brand. Good storytelling is also what produces logical pauses and breaks in our unfolding story to introduce CTA’s. Including lots of well placed CTA’s throughout our website makes it easy for interested visitors to take the action we most want them to take.