If you’re not making a specific, compelling, and limited time offer in your marketing initiatives, you’re throwing money away
I’ve spoken to a lot of small business owners in Scottsdale and Phoenix, and many are perplexed that prospects who have been exposed to her/his advertising do not take any action. “We’ve run an ad in the (insert advertising medium here) for several (insert length of time here), but we haven’t gotten any action from potential prospects. Can you tell us why?” At the risk of sounding blunt, I’ll inquire, “Did you ask them to take any action?”
The challenge here is much more involved than this. However, as one of the most critical aspects of effective advertising—businesses have to offer an easy, low risk ways for their prospects to take action. If they don’t ask or prompt their prospects to act—they won’t! Small businesses can focus on getting their prospects to act by offering valuable information, promotions and contests, discounted products/services, coupons and more. It’s critical that this last step in the marketing equation the business offers a call to action that is easy, inviting, effective, and logical.
Determining exactly what form of action that will be beneficial is a function of both the type of business and the nature of the prospects that business wishes to attract. However, this goes beyond the scope of this article. Offering a call to action isn’t a magic bullet that will increase sales exponentially, rather it merely moves or encourages the prospect along the decision-making process.
Conversely, businesses that offer no calls to action in their marketing and advertising efforts are relying heavily on the idea that the prospect is willing and able to make an instant decision, which is a tough place to be for a business.
What makes for an effective marketing call to action?
- It’s clear.
- It’s compelling.
- It’s easy to take advantage of.
- It’s for a limited time (or for a limited number of people)
- It’s something you know your potential customers want.
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