In a crowded marketplace, it’s difficult for small businesses to get the attention that they deserve. Potential customers are inundated with advertisements on TV, radio and even at the gas station pump. Given the tendency of potential customers to tune out when they encounter advertising, it makes sense to draw them in using interactive online advertising. However, it is not enough to simply create online advertisements; small businesses must create compelling Calls to Action (CTAs) that engage potential customers. Here are 3 great calls to action for small businesses that you can use to attract potential customers.
What’s A Call To Action?
A call to action is simply a subtle command to visitors of a website that invites them to interact with the website in some specific way. If you want a more thorough introduction to calls to action, check out our other article on that very topic:
Call to Action 1: View Portfolio
Potential customers want to see your portfolio or case studies of other clients you’ve served. Your portfolio can include testimonials, uploaded files demonstrating your work, and the like. Once they have proof of concept that you can do what you say you can do, they can trust you to perform in a similar manner when they work with you.
Example CTAs: “View Portfolio;” “Check Out Our Work;” “See What We’ve Done For Customers Like You”
Call to Action 2: Login with [Trusted Online Website]
You probably have yet to gain the full trust of your potential customers. But it is likely that your potential customers have come to trust at least one popular website. Rather than have your potential customers create an account exclusive to your website, you can have them create an account with your website using their account from websites like Google and Facebook. By providing this option, you can expedite their account creation process and make it more likely that they will create an account on your website.
Example CTAs: “Login with Google;” “Login with Facebook”
Call to Action 3: Sign Up For Updates
Another great way to engage with customers is to ask them to sign up for an email newsletter or to subscribe to your blog. Another version of this CTA is inviting them to download an ebook you’ve written and the only “price” is their email and other contact info so you can follow up with them. This is a great “foot in the door approach” CTA, because the would-be customer gets free information and you get to follow up with them.
Example CTAs: “Get Free Weekly Updates on [Topic];” “Sign Up to Receive Free Information on [Topic]
Call to Action 4: Get Your Free [Product or Service]
Potential customers may be averse to trying new products or services. At supermarkets, staff offer samples of food and drink to try to entice potential customers to purchase their products. Via the web, small businesses of all types can offer “free samples” on their websites. Small businesses can create public blog posts, downloadable files (including templates, pdfs, audio files, etc.) and free trials and subscriptions. If a potential customer likes the sample that a small business gives them, they may be more likely to purchase from the small business.
Example CTAs: “Download Your Free Copy;” “Create Your Free Profile”
Call-to-Action 5: Opt Out [Of Product or Service or Follow Up Communications]
To create positive relationships with potential customers, small businesses should always make it clear that the potential customer is voluntarily interacting with the small business at all times. Potential customers hate to feel “trapped.” By providing easily identifiable options (bold colors, big font sizes) to curtail their relationship with small businesses, potential customers will feel that they are in control.
Example CTAs: “Opt Out;” “Unsubscribe”
Small businesses need to have some version of these great CTAs in their online advertising to create a positive image of themselves and to forge trust with potential customers. Of course, the exact words and design that small business owners use should be specific to their industry and target audience.