Small business marketing happens for only one reason, to get someone to buy something sometime. Without a call to action, you are flopping around, hoping they get your message!
Ladies, have you ever had a fellow hit you up for a date in such a round about way that you weren’t sure at the end if you were actually going out for a “date” date, or just hanging out with a friend. This is what a sales message with no call to action leaves us with…a feeling like you should, could be doing something but there is no definitive action associated with it!
I call this being factually correct versus having a call to action and it happens ALL THE TIME. Just last week our company did not do anything for a client, although we DID receive an email about some things they needed, sort of. The email was factually correct and stated that there were changes that need to be made but a) it didn’t assign a leader to make sure they got done and 2) there were no call to actions. So let’s break this down so it is easy to understand!
A factually correct statement was, “we are going to use XXX’s Facebook Profile going forward”. Hokey doke, works for me, check I read the email…la la la. A call to action is, “we are going to use XXX’s Facebook Profile going forward, TARA I need you to switch them over to the new timeline and make a cool picture please!” DOH, goes on my calendar with a to do item and the picture comes out the other side!
So what if you are the one who is requesting stuff, do you have to hold everyone’s hand throughout the process and put all the details in? Um, yes you need to ask explicitly for what you want and no, you don’t have to micromanage it, but you do have to take some ownership for it!
Whenever my staff is not doing what I want them to do I think, “how have I screwed this up”. NOT why are they so lame and lazy. My staff is decidedly NOT lame or lazy so if they are not doing what I want, then the blame lies with me!
Call To Action Marketing
Okay, so now you get it with managing your peeps, how the hell does this work in the marketing world? I have been making display banners for number of clients lately and so have done a TON of research into what looks good AND what would make me DO something.
Many of the banners out there are factually correct. They have a picture of a brand and I THINK they think I will know enough about them to spontaneously figure out that it is a button to push AND that there is something wonderful waiting for me there. Huh. I am pretty busy and rarely have time to go “exploring”.
So parts of good banner design (and good marketing in general) are something eye catching, a WIFM (what’s in it for me) and a call to action. Could be a “click here”, could be a “go”, could even be a little arrow, just SOMETHING to let busy people know that they should DO something.
The banners in the pictures are some that I found doing research. In every case, the top one is factually correct while the bottom one asks you to do something. My favorite are the ones for women in Spanish (I think). Whatever language it is, I could tell on the second one that they wanted me to DO something by the button!
What Is Your Call To Action?
Okay, so banner ads aside, what is the call to action in your small business marketing? Does your brochure ask people to call you, do your business cards prompt them to “friend you on Facebook”, does your website ask them to sign up for your list with a free offer?
At every point in the process of designing your marketing you should ask two questions, what is in for them AND what action do I want them to take after they see it!