4 CTA Types You Need To Know (To Sell Anything You Want)

What do you think of when I say “Call To Action?”

If you’re like most entrepreneurs – myself included – you think of that buy button that’s hanging out on your sales pages.

But sales copy is for more than simply money-to-pocket transactions.  In fact, we’ve identified FOUR things that you might ask your customers for on a regular basis.  And each one of them is a different ask – a different part of your relationship with your customer.

Which also means that each one requires something different from YOU in order to get the “sale.”

So let’s talk about each of them and what it might require.

1. Money

This is the CTA that everyone knows about – money! But just because you’re used to selling this way doesn’t mean that you’re following the DOs and DON’Ts properly.

We’ll start with the most obvious – you’re asking them to buy something!

Entire books have been written on this subject, so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel here – but let’s just go with some Do’s and Don’ts.

  • DO write as long as is required. DON’T skimp out on writing because you’re worried about how long it is.  If it’s interesting, they’ll read all the copy – I promise. (Now… the key is to make it interesting.)
  • DON’T underestimate the task at hand – at the very least, you’re asking someone to stop what they’re doing, get their wallet, enter in their credit card information, and stick with you until they get your “thing.”
  • DO recognize that the easiest thing for your customers to do is nothing. Reading your copy needs to be as easy as possible if you want them to stick with you.
  • DO be clear about the next step that you want them to take. Yes, asking them to pay you is your Call To Action, but you need to instruct them exactly step-by-step how you want that to happen.

The second most popular Call To Action that I see out there?  That one’s easy…

2. Information

Every single time you publish a landing page that asks your visitors to opt-in for your freebie, you’re making a sale.

Information is a form of currency, just like money is. Do you spend enough time “selling” your free offers?

Yes, that’s right – you’re making a sale even though you’re not asking for a single penny.

Here’s why:

Information is currency. Just like everything else that we’re going to talk about on the rest of this list.  They have something that you want – they have their e-mail address and you want it!

So you’re asking them to trust you with a precious resource that they have.  You’re asking them to say “yes, you can invade my personal space and interrupt my day with your information.  I like you enough to let you do that.”

A little story to illustrate:

Just the other day I was in a store and they asked me if I wanted to sign up for their loyalty program.  Yes, yes I did. I liked the store and thought I’d be back very soon.

But when they asked me for my e-mail address, I was a little hesitant.  Because I don’t want to get e-mails from this company every single day touting their newest sale. I didn’t want to get burned out on the e-mails and then end up disliking this brand new treasure I had just found.

This is the dilemma your customers face every single day. They wonder if you’re going to bombard them with promotions and turn them off of you.

Your sales copy has to overcome this.  Yes, sales copy.

Here’s how:

  • DON’T underestimate the amount of trust that’s needed to provide you this information.
  • DO ensure that you have a followup sequence that does exactly what you say it will do, when you say it will do it. (DON’T leave them hanging to get their freebie!)
  • DO spell out precisely what will happen once they click submit (i.e. “You will immediately be taken to the page where you can download your freebie.” or “Your freebie will be e-mailed to your inbox instantly.”)
  • DON’T forget the privacy notice at the bottom (and DON’T leave the stock one in there that your website builder uses. Make it your own!)
  • DO consider your landing page the first point of conversion for your audience, and act accordingly.

Now, these first two CTA thingies (that’s the technical term) are all about them giving you something tangible in a sense (money or an e-mail address) … but not all CTA thingies are “tangible.”

The last two that we’re going to talk about are a little more heady, so buckle up and let’s dig in.

3. Attention and Time

Understand that it’s a big deal for someone to get you in their schedule. Your customers are busy and you need to make it worth their while.

When you’re selling a webinar, course, ebook, regular book, or any other “thing” that takes time to consume, you have to sell the customer/prospect on taking the time to actually DO it.

Let me explain.

When I sign up for a webinar, I block out time in my calendar to attend. And if you know me, you know I LIVE by that thing. If it pops up on my calendar, it’s happening.

So if you want a coveted spot on my calendar, I need to know that it’s going to be worth it.

It used to be that you could have a webinar and people would flock to sign up because it was so neat and cool and new.  I bet the same used to happen when you first started on Periscope or Blab or Twitter Chats or any of the new shiny technology that’s out there.

But now … maybe you’re finding it a bit more difficult to talk people into joining you.  Maybe your signup rate isn’t what you think it should be. Maybe more people are ditching your webinar in favor of one of the other 43,231,386 things taking up their attention at any given time.

Here are some tips:

  • DO offer a free gift that your attendee can use IMMEDIATELY to show them how much value they’ll receive on your webinar. Think of this freebie like another little lead magnet that you’re using to solidify their decision to invest time in you.
  • DON’T always assume that people will want to spend so much time with you right off the bat. You may discover that they need to get to know you a little more before they’re willing to spend X hours with you reading your book or digesting your content.
  • DO use a nurture sequence to help them through the content if it will take multiple days to digest. You can help them through a book by giving them teasers about each chapter once a week, for instance, or give them guidelines to complete a course.
  • DON’T expect that everyone who signs up or buys your content is going to participate/use it/attend. It just won’t happen so don’t set yourself up for failure with unreasonable goals.

When you consistently deliver high value, you’re setting the expectation that spending time and attention on your stuff is worth it.  So one of the best things you can do is… well, consistently deliver high value! 🙂

4. Feedback and Opinion

Okay, so this one is a little weird because we don’t ALWAYS ask for this.  In fact, it’s typically only when we’re surveying our customers that we ask for their feedback or opinion.

Whether it’s a review site or asking about how you can serve them with better content, your customers’ opinions have value. Which means they’re currency!

But be aware that asking for this is a real thing, and it’s a request that your customers can easily say “no” to.  Here’s why:

If you want your customers to give you their feedback, you have to make a compelling argument for how it will benefit them.  Many companies don’t do this.

I don’t have a list of Dos and Don’ts for this one – mainly because there’s one big DO that most people miss:  Make it worth their while!

I cannot tell you how many e-mails I get with “We’d really appreciate your feedback!”

Great.  I’m so glad that you’re going to appreciate me taking my time and spending my energy telling you how to make your company better.

Here’s the cold, hard truth:  Your customers are not that interested in how you can make your company run/sell/be better.

I know that we all want to think that we have customers surrounding us who are personally invested in the future of our business.  We all want to dream that our customers are going to be there for us through thick and thin and that they’re just going to tell us things out of the goodness of their hearts.

The truth is – your customers are your customers because you’ve solved THEIR problem, not because you want them to solve yours.

I know it sounds harsh, but this is a point that so. many. people. miss all the time.

When you send a survey out to your customers, BRIBE THEM.  Offer them something awesome for free as a ‘thank you’ for spending the time telling you what they think.  Give them access to something really awesome.

And please, don’t make it a 10% off your next purchase coupon.  That just sounds like a marketing ploy where you actually want TWO things from me – money AND my feedback.

Give me a free shirt if you’re a clothing store – give me a free webinar if you’re an info-seller.  Give me something that has nothing to do with your business (I can always use a nice golf umbrella and chocolate is rarely turned down.)

Don’t just tell me that you appreciate my feedback.  Show me.

The Moral of the Story

At the end of the day, the point is to understand the task you’re undertaking – you’re asking your customers to change their behavior or do something they’re not already doing just because you’ve asked.

That’s not a small feat. And your copy has to stand up to that task.

Don’t underestimate what it will take to get your prospects and customers on board with your ideas.

Comment below with the CTA you have for your customers and we’ll walk through how you can improve it together. 🙂