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AMiable Solution #290: Do you ask customers to “watch” or “DVR”?



The fall TV season is upon us, which means commercials. Lots and lots of commercials advertising premiere dates for every new and returning show on television. While they all have the same goal—to generate hype for their shows—one commercial in particular stands out. Instead of simply advertising the date of that particular show’s first airing, it carries a different tag line: Set your DVR.

Set your DVR. Not only is that a more interesting call to action than simply “watch it,” but it’s also a clever one. “Set your DVR” communicates so much more than just “watch.” It says, we know you have a lot going on, but you’re not going to want to miss this. It says, this show is so good, you’re going to want to be able to rewind it or watch it again. It says, you can take care of this now and worry about it later.

How do you ask your customers to respond? Do you stick with the typical and obvious “watch” version of your industry’s standard call to action, or do you get inside your customers’ lives, inside their realities, inside their heads, and ask them to “DVR” your offer?

In his September 14 article, “21 Call to Action Examples in Writing and 3 Rules for Effective CTAs,” David Zheng, Editor-in-Chief at CrazyEgg, an analytics platform that helps companies create better websites, says a good call to action (CTA) does three things in traditional marketing:

1. Provides a no-obligation statement that removes or reduces risk. That may mean offering a free trial, providing a free resource, or sending out a free sample in exchange for an email address or a bit of contact information. The idea is to give prospects and customers the confidence to act without the fear of a commitment they’re not ready yet to make. As Zheng says, the less your customers or prospects stand to lose from an action, the more comfortable they’ll be with the idea of taking it. In other words, let your customers sample—DVR—the goods on their own terms. No pressure.

2. Contains easy-to-follow directions. “Return this card,” “Click the button below,” or “Call us,” are all common examples. Tell your market what you’d like them to do, and make sure your readers understand what they stand to gain by taking the requested action. Feel free to deviate from the “norm” when it comes to your language, but make sure your message and your instructions remain clear. According to Zheng, the most effective CTAs are extremely straightforward.

3. Encourages your market to respond right away. You don’t want people to put off a decision until later. Get them to act immediately. Deadlines are a perfect “act now” initiator. So are freebies, which can include instantly downloadable or emailable resources. Marketing online? Zheng recommends offering multiple CTAs: additional “offers” that visitors can take advantage of for free or ways that users can stay engaged with your company. Show your prospects the benefit of acting now, and then ask them to do it.

Your market looks to you for answers. Direct them wisely


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