The Difference Between an Indirect and Direct Call to Action

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    Calls to action can be an extremely effective customer conversion tool.

    A good call to action will help draw in new customers, increase customer engagement, and grow business.

    The question is: What makes for an effective call to action? How do you create an attention-grabbing, persuasive Call to Action (CTA) without being obnoxious?

    Keep reading to learn how to craft the best call to action for your business.

    Call to Action graphic

    Direct Calls to Action

    Every time you explicitly tell a potential customer the main action you want them to take, you are using a direct call to action.

    You are likely looking at a direct call to action if you are reading the words:

    • Buy now
    • Click here
    • Apply today

    An effective direct call to action is compelling and concise.

    In order to get the best customer conversion rates, your direct CTA should be ten words or less and begin with a strong verb. While submit is the most commonly used, it is the least effective. Instead, you may want to consider starting with "Click here", "Go", or "Register".

    Call to Action Graphic Direct Call to Action

    Indirect Calls to Action

    An indirect, or transitional, call to action is designed to build trust with potential customers by offering a lower-risk option that eases them into doing business with you.

    An effective indirect call to action will help draw in potential customers, deepen your business's relationship with them, and encourage customer loyalty.

    Transitional CTAs often take the form of allowing customers a limited test of products or services for no cost. This includes:

    • Providing free samples
    • Offering a free trial
    • Using a lead magnet

    You can also give away free information about your company and services through newsletters, a blog, videos, or webinars. That being said, the more generous you are with your indirect call to action, the more customer engagement and conversion you will see.

    Call to Action Graphic Free Trial

    How to Create an Effective Call to Action

    The best calls to action are eye-catching but not desperately so.

    You don't want your CTA to yell at the customer and scare them away. Instead, you want it to draw customers in and encourage a friendly interaction with your business.

    One way to do this is through colour choice.

    Yellow is attention-grabbing, red makes people want to buy more, and green equals go. Depending on your customer population, some colours may work better than others.

    Also of note, indirect calls to action should not be competing with direct calls to action. Be sure to make the direct call to action more noticeable than the indirect one. You can do this by placing the direct CTA first and with a more stand-out design.

    Overall, different strategies work for different types of customers. Be sure to test out a variety of CTA strategies to figure out what works best for your business.

    Grow Business Using a Call to Action Today

    An effective call to action will boost customer engagement and increase your customer conversion rates, making it an important tool for business growth.

    Depending on your target customer, the best call to action will vary, so be sure to try out different strategies to see what works best for your business.

    For more advice on customer conversion, contact us today.

    Owen is a business consultant with extensive experience in corporate affairs, external relations, strategy, marketing and engagement. He consults with clients to understand the challenges they face and create solutions to overcome. Owen holds an MBA, Master of Business, Bachelor of Business, Diploma of Investor Relations, and certifications in corporate innovation, digital marketing, and product management.

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