Creating effective calls to action

What's the sense of having an Affiliate Marketing product or service you want to sell if you don't have a call to action?

What's the sense of developing a website, paying for a domain name, having your site hosted and sending out a message about your affiliate's product(s), if you don't have a call to action?

The call-to-action is one of the most important concepts to master, as it is your way of asking your potential customer(s) to check out your site and let your site do some selling for you. There is a basic principle in selling that simply states "no matter how we present our product, we still have to ask for the business".

So why would we fail to include a call to action in our website or blog? This is where you inform the prospect(s) what to do once they've finished perusing your website. Once you demonstrate you have value to offer in the body of your site, the call-to-action informs your prospect what their next step is. You can't expect your prospects to automatically know what they need to do next, so it is imperative you use a well-crafted call-to-action to help them out. To be effective, your call-to-action should be short, simple, and positive. In other words, make it clear what they should do and why they should do it in as few words as possible. This is also why most calls-to-action come at the end of your site

In Affiliate Marketing, we are selling someone else's product or service, so we have to enhance the features, advantages, and benefits of that product/service and let the destination site do its work as well. We have to really believe our product is good for the consumer, we have to target the right niche, we have to explain what is in it for the consumer, and we have to get them over to the destination site. That is the call to action you have to employ. If there is no call to action, you are merely putting up information and hoping someone will opt in. Hoping is not a call to action.

Once you have put in all the work of researching, keyword optimization, publishing a professional looking website, and marketing your site for traffic, you need to get your prospects to opt in. What are the best ways to accomplish this? Remember that very few people will opt in merely because they happen to visit your site. They came there for a variety of reasons, and you have to take that opportunity to ensure your prospect will at least opt in. I have found that one of the best tactics is to use a free gift. This gift generally is information PDF you create that informs your prospect(s) why you use the product, what it has done for you, and why it has helped you. This could be in the form of a mini E-Book PDF or a series of auto responder E-Mails. You could also offer a special price if they take action within a specified period of time. The idea is to give your prospect a viable reason to at least opt in to find out what your affiliate product is all about.

Some other aspects of creating a call to action would be to guarantee your product so the prospect knows they have nothing to lose if they opt in and take advantage of what you have to offer. Since you are the affiliate, I suggest you never pick a niche product that does not offer that guarantee because you can't personally back up your guarantee without the product originator doing the same. All reputable products or services that want to sell their goods will offer such a guarantee. Another effective tactic is to create a series P.S.'s at the end. You should emphasize the different aspects of the value they will receive. You could remind them of your guarantee. You might recant a particular benefit or feature of the product. You could also reiterate all those bonuses if they act now; this way you remind them of any deadline you imposed.

So let's recap an effective Call to Action:

1. Tell them what to do - A prospect should never visit your site and be left pondering "What do I do next?" Your call to action must quickly answer this question and give the reader some direction.

2. Keep it Simple - Your call to action should always be easy perform and understand. If it's complex, your prospect simply won't do it. You should consider any barriers they may face in following through on your call-to-action, as potential barriers may diminish their interest in you.

3. You Have One Call to Action - Your prospect's time is just as valuable as yours. If you give them more than one thing to do, they probably won't do anything at all.

4. Be Positive - People like to be associated with positive ideas, concepts, and people so keep this in mind when creating your call to action. Any negativity in your call to action will have an impact on how it's received.

5. Create Features and Benefits - Be clear about the main benefits of completing the call to action. You are asking them to opt in and directing them to another site, so explain why they need to take action. Since you have their attention, tell them to complete the action now. This may be the only time they visit your site, so use the call to action to open the possibility of developing a professional relationship.

Although there are several ways to word a call to action, you can find many alternative methods either on the internet or through trial and error. Depending on your skill level, I would strongly consider engaging yourself in a community of learning where the objective is to teach people how to build a basic foundation and employ the proper process to succeed with on line Affiliate Marketing.

At Red Chilli, we can work with you on a range of effective marketing projects across print and web, to help boost your conversion rate. Give us a call on Bolton 01204 467 866 or email info@redchillidesign.co.uk

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