Yesterday, a client and I were discussing a series of emails I’m writing for her.
My first question: “What’s the goal?”
In other words, “What exactly do you want people to do after they read this email?”
> Fill out an application form?
> Schedule a call with a calendar tool?
> Put a product in a shopping cart and pay for it?
The answer wasn’t obvious.
This lack of clarity is quite common among the entrepreneurs and I work with.
Many are still working out their operational processes (or inventing new ones). They’re used to doing business pretty manually — someone reaches out and they respond.
Here’s the thing: Humans won’t move forward into a fog.
You need to make it EXTREMELY CLEAR to your potential customers what EXACTLY you want them to do next.
“The biggest mistake we see companies make is they don’t ask their customers to buy, ” says Donald Miller, founder of StoryBrand and Business Made Simple. ”If you don’t ask them to buy, they won’t buy.”
But Rachel, you might say, I don’t want to be pushy or annoying!
Here’s the thing: What you think is nice and polite, your customer will see as weak and confusing.
If you don’t stand in your authority as a guide and confidently call your customers to action, they will think you don’t believe in your product.
On the other hand, if you do believe in what you sell, you have a responsibility to clearly call people to action.
It’s how you give them an alluring path towards the transformation you offer.
(Side note: If you don’t believe in what you sell… I’d invite you to think long and hard about what’s keeping you so out of integrity in your life.)
You must clearly offer customers something specific to accept or reject.
That’s what makes it EASY for them to buy or take the next step.
Some examples of clear calls to action:
- Buy now
- Schedule a demo
- Book your meeting
- Start your free assessment
- Join the waitlist
- Apply now
On a website, calls to action should be everywhere: at the top right, in the center of the header, in every section as you scroll.
In marketing emails, they should show up in several places. (Often just before the end and again in the PS.)
Don’t worry about saying the same thing too much: It can take a human brain seeing or hearing something 8 times to metabolize and process it.
Back to my client…
We went to a competitor’s website to see how they structured the process of getting started.
Unfortunately, they were a case study in what NOT to do.
We scrolled around for a while… and NOTHING on the site called us to action.
We WANTED to understand how to get started, and we felt lost. No bueno.
Eventually, we found our way to a shopping cart system where people could pay for a service using a credit card.
Operationally, that’s likely a good idea for my client to implement.
That said, I’m just the messaging consultant, so I’m leaving that decision to her.
In the meantime? We’ll keep it super simple.
This post was originally sent as an email to the Magic Words of the Week newsletter list. Every week, I share reflections on a word, quote, or phrase I think will help you thrive in your life’s work.