“Buy our stuff!”
That is an example of an obnoxious, obvious call to action (CTA). But what if selling a certain item is your main goal for a content piece? Luckily there are a number of ways to engage your audience, give them answers to what they’re looking for, and build a relationship that’s not all about your bottom line—all while boosting sales and strategic goals.
The following seven ways can help you cleverly weave CTAs into your content to move customers further down the sales funnel without causing them to bounce off the page or become annoyed.Create CTAs that your readers will actually respond to. Click To Tweet
1. Eliminate CTA Buttons
What’s the easiest way to avoid obvious CTAs? Nix the telltale CTA button. Try using hyperlinks instead or including a sidebar callout for a CTA, like Neil Patel does on his blog, Quick Sprout.
And if you must include a button, do so after giving the reader information that naturally flows to this next step of them clicking on the button. It’ll seem less clunky and sales-motivated this way.
2. Write Captivating Headlines
Write captivating headlines and incorporate the main goal of your piece into them. Use questions, add numbers, and make headlines intriguing. One of the most important ways to hook a reader and tell them what to do is through a headline—without it looking like a CTA—so try to use your headlines more strategically and thoughtfully.
3. Rephrase Your CTAs
Thanks to the 200,000+ words in the English language, there’s a lot more than one way to state a phrase or ask a question.
You could always say, “Give us your email,” but it might be more effective to say “Want insider tips? Subscribe to get savvy insights straight to your inbox.” Motivation Grid does this, and it even in a pop-up CTA, but the rephrasing makes it seem less obtrusive.
Both options include the main message of your CTA, but one of them communicates that idea in a way your readers might respond to more positively. Every time you write a CTA, rewrite it ten different ways to settle on the best option. You can also test a few options to see which CTAs get the most engagement and conversions.
4. Create a List of Smaller CTAs within Your Content
The best way to include a CTA subtly is by disguising it in a broader topic. For instance, if you’re ultimately trying to sell home security systems without seeming pushy, write an article about the top ways to secure a home. Then, you can “camouflage” this CTA with other tips phrased in active voice, like “Get a dog,” “Hide valuables,” and “Buy a home security system.”
Incorporating an overarching CTA in a larger list of smaller, subtle CTAs makes the main point seem more informative and useful to a reader than a direct sales pitch.
5. Use a Different Medium
Content is so flexible and there are always new ways to blog. For instance, you can use video on your page and incorporate your CTA into that instead of in a traditional button. Or, you could incorporate a cool design element that reinforces your CTA in an understated manner.
For example, you could make your blog post feel fun and opinion-based in style to get your CTAs to fit more naturally into that kind of content.
6. Format Posts into Sections
The more subheads, bullet points, and sections you include, the more places you can prominently place CTA messages without them seeming super obvious. Plus, since readers likely spend enough time on a page to consume 20% of the content, breaking up your copy can increase the odds of getting your message across to customers so they can act on the CTA—regardless of how much of a blog or copy page they’ve read.
Write your copy as you normally would, and then break it into sections after. You’ll be amazed at the better user experience this formatting offers your customers and how many more opportunities you have to insert CTAs effectively and inconspicuously.
7. Place Your CTA Further Down the Page
Content is being consumed more on mobile devices than on desktops, so your CTA no longer has to be the first thing a viewer sees on your page. And if you’re trying to be subtle, a CTA shouldn’t be right up front. Try to place CTAs further down the page and throughout your content to make them blend in naturally with the flow of your piece. Addicted2Success does this in conjunction with #4 to create two CTAs in the last paragraph, linking to another post on their site, but all calling for comments to keep readers engaged.
For example, you could place a CTA halfway through your content or at the end of the piece so readers can absorb more informative details before they get to this action item.
You want your content to appeal to your customers and drive results for your business. With the previous seven tips, you can incorporate your CTAs more subtly into your content, give readers what they want, and motivate them to continue interacting with your brand. If you have any additional tips, comment below.
This post was written by Shea Drake, a MarTech writer and lover of technology and how it affects the way people work, live, travel, and play. You can find more of her writings and stay in touch via Twitter, she’d love to hear from you.