How to create more effective calls to action

Any interaction you have with a lead, a prospect, or a customer will likely have some kind of call to action or desired outcome attached to it. Those calls to action or desired outcomes are key to how well your business runs today and how successful it will be in the future.

Here are some desired outcome examples: It might be about educating them about your amazing product or service so they them further down your sales funnel. As they get closer to buying something, your desired outcomes might be to take action and buy now. Once they are customers, you might interact with them and end with desired outcomes of deepening your understanding of them or perhaps asking them to refer you to someone else.

Calls to action help to propel your prospects and customers forward and, ultimately, they help to propel your business forward. So doesn’t it make sense to improve your ability to create better calls to action? In doing so, you’ll improve how your marketing and selling abilities, your networking, your copywriting, and more!

Creating an effective call to action is about understanding what your audience is looking for and showing them how the desired action you’re describing will help them find it. (This is really basic sales stuff and you probably know this part already).

But there’s another aspect to creating effective calls to action that I never really thought about before now: You also need to understand exactly what you are asking the person to do — what behaviors you are asking them to change. Are you asking them to take action once (“buy now!”)? Are you asking them to hire you for some service (“let’s work together!”)? Are you asking them to make a permanent change (“stop smoking!”)?

I stumbled across a really useful tool about this. The tool is called the “Behavior Grid” and it was created by BJ Fogg of Stanford University. The behavior grid is useful for many applications (and I first noticed it in an article about improving the user experience in web design). But I realized that this tool is really useful to help you create powerful calls to action in your marketing and sales efforts (including interactions and copywriting).

Click here to check out BJ Fogg’s Behavior Grid (opens in a new window).

Screenshot of Behavior Grid websiteThe Behavior Grid shows the 15 different types of behavior changes someone could make. Down the side of the grid are the three possible scopes of change — one-time, over a period of time, or permanent (from now, on). Across the top of the grid are the 5 possible types of change — do a new behavior, do a familiar behavior, increase behavior intensity, decrease behavior intensity, and stop existing behavior.

So when you are thinking about the call to action you want to ask your lead, prospect, or customer to do, you would figure out the scope of the change you are asking them to do and then you would figure out the type of change you are asking them to do. “Buy now”, for example, is a one-time new behavior if you are asking a prospect who has never bought from you before.

Once you’ve figured out the scope and type of behavior then click on the intersecting square in the grid to get more information about the change and tips about triggers and motivation to help you compel the action.

Click here to check out BJ Fogg’s Behavior Grid.

6 quick sales funnel tips to make more money today

6 quick sales funnel tips to make more money todayRunning a business means managing a sales funnel. Sometimes you need to roll up your sleeves and do some serious work in your sales funnel to fix things that are broken or to optimize it for more profit. But other times, you just need to make minor tweaks to get a quick “pop” in you business.

Here are six quick ideas to get more money out of your sales funnel today

1. Draw out your sales funnel

You’ll gain such a clear understanding of how essential your sales funnel is to your business, plus I usually find that just drawing it out reveals some great opportunities.

2. Create just one clear call to action in your site

It’s easy and tempting to put in all kinds of calls to action — “Contact us” or “download this” or “subscribe here” — but if you have one offering, make it the front-and-center action that website visitors should take.

(Disclaimer: I’m not saying that you should take the other stuff off of your site. Just make one of those things the primary action).

3. Offer a dramatic one-day bonus

Create some short-term urgency by releasing a huge bonus product or service with the purchase of a a popular product or service you already have. Keep it short-term (a 24 hour period is good). See what kind of response you get. Find out if more people are being because they want the free bonus or because it’s a great deal.

4. Announce that you are about to raise your prices

Hey, we all need to raise our prices at some point and most business owners silently raise their prices and hope that there isn’t a lot of backlash. Work this to your advantage by announcing — via press releases and social media — that prices are going to rise on a specific date. (If you sell services, make sure you let people know that they can buy now at the lower rate but receive the service after the price increase).

5. Get back in touch with old buyers

Confession: I find it pretty easy and fun to go after new business so it’s really easy for me to finish a project and then not get back in touch with previous clients. I know I’m not alone here. Lots of entrepreneurs let old customers dry up. Spend some time today combing through your past few years of business and getting in touch with your top ten customers from there. Let them know that you have some availability or extra products and would love the chance to serve them again.

6. Double your lead-generation efforts today

The more leads we generate, the more prospects we end up with and the more customers we can convert those prospects into. But sometimes, lead generation becomes a big strategic endeavor when really just a few extra minutes or hours of effort can have a dramatic, positive impact. Don’t think long-term, just go out and try to double the amount of leads TODAY.