Every offer needs a call to action!

Here I will present 7 sales promotion techniques that will increase your Call To Action response.

The Call To Action (CTA) definition is ‘an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response’. Act Now! SqIt should be clear, direct in an uncluttered space. Call to action examples such as call now, click here, buy now and other imperative verbs are the types of CTA’s that focus the consumer’s attention to elicit a response.

Tap Into Emotions With CTA’s

Simply telling the consumer what to do to buy works well when your have a motivated buyer. Often marketers have to build some additional excitement around their offer to motivate a purchase action.

For example, tying in your product benefits with the call to action allows the consumer to combine their vision of what they will receive with the CTA.

Click Here and Lose Weight’ and ‘Call Today to Earn More Money’ are some ways to involve the prospect as you call for action.

Over 80% of Americans use coupons and with mobile redeeming coupons is becoming easier

Over 80% of Americans use coupons and with mobile redeeming coupons is becoming easier

Invite the consumer to envision a better future through purchasing your product. This technique can be thought of as combining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) with your Call To Action (CTA).

Often sales promotional offers are also tied into the USP. Motivating the consumer on an emotional level by activating the pleasure center within the human brain is the best use of sales promotion.

With increasing competition for consumer attention, and the need to continually attract and maintain repeat customers, we have to hit consumers with all we got.

A good product, an emotional hook and a pleasurable buying experience can be achieved using sales promotions to close the deal.

Sales Promotions As A Call To Action Deal Closer

 

1. Free Gifts

The law of reciprocity states that ‘if someone does something nice for you, you naturally want to do something nice in return’. I recently read that when waiters bring guests mints with their check, automatically tips increase significantly.

Have you received free return address labels in a solicitation for a donation from a charity? For a little extra printing cost the response rate increases significantly.

40% of Americans were likely to purchase more from a shopping web site after receiving an offer for a free gift

40% of Americans were likely to purchase more from a shopping web site after receiving an offer for a free gift

The law of reciprocity is at work in these examples. Often, we are not even aware of what we are doing the reaction is so natural. Evoking the law of reciprocity works best when you offer the free gift before you ask for something in return.

The Free Gift With Purchase offer is another take on using this technique. Getting free stuff elicits joy, releases endorphins and stimulates the nasty greed gene within us.

A survey by Harris Interactive reported that 40% of Americans were likely to purchase more from a shopping web site after receiving the offer for a free gift. Many of us have probably increased an order from an online store to get free shipping or a free travel mug, or free anything just because we can. It does make pushing the purchase now button more pleasurable…don’t you agree?

2. Free Trial Offer

Popular online, in Infomercials and Direct Mail Campaigns the free trial offer effectively lures us in. Allowing the customer time to experience the product gets them into a habit of using it. Once they realize the benefits, they may not want to give up once the trial period ends.

Moving the prospect from perceiving value from your great ad copy and emotional call to action, to a place where they actually realize value from using your product is what improves conversion rates.

Knowing your product benefits and how long it takes prospects to realize your products value sets the trial period timeframe. Although the majority of free users may not covert, receiving up to 25% new customers from the free trail offer is a success. Doing an A/B test of a free trial offer CTA and a no free trail CTA will help you determine if it’s right for you.

4. Sampling

I remember wondering into the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Manufactory as a tourist in San Francisco and a pleasant lady handed me a piece of dark chocolate. Although it was a hot summer day, and I had to bring everything I bought on the plane home or eat it before I left, I just had to stock up. Funny thing, I had no plan on buying chocolate when I headed out that day. It just happened!

The law of reciprocity had a lot to do with my purchase action, and I do love free chocolate. Tasty food samples in big box stores like Costco have been known to boost sales as much as 2,000 percent.

The emotions elicited are joy and gladness when faced with a FREE tasty treat. The ability to stimulate our enzymes through taste, smell and touch bring out our most primitive instincts.

Some of the best call to action techniques begin at the beginning of your presentation with small calls to action introduced to create a pattern for consumers to get into the buying mindset. Sampling a product and offering it for sale as prospects experience all their sensations is very effective call to action technique.

5. Sweepstakes

Giving away one big prize that is coveted by your customer niche may be far more cost effective than giving a free gift to everybody. Like lottery ticket buyers, people have to consider the desire for the gift over the chances of actually winning it.

Giving away one big prize that is coveted by your customer niche is far more effective that giving a free gift to everybody

Giving away one big prize that is coveted by your customer niche is far more effective that giving a free gift to everybody

When using a sweepstakes or contest to motivate a response you really have to know what your customers truly desire.

Make the offer fun and appealing. Tie it in with your USP and CTA and you will generate activity.

An advantage of running a fun or exciting sweepstakes prize over offering a free white paper or e-book is that many of us are overloaded with these e-delivered materials that our clogging up our storage space. A fun offer, stimulating the imagination vs. having to decide if I actually need another report may be just the thing to create interest and motivate an action

6. Coupons

With mobile coupons becoming more popular redeeming coupons is becoming easier.

It is estimated that over 80% of Americans use coupons and, in 2014,  2.8 billion coupons were redeemed. Clearly, consumers want coupons! Offering a high-value coupon for the current or next purchase is a great deal closer.

7. Point-Of-Sale Displays

Getting out in front of the consumer with a POS unit makes for an unconscious call to action

Getting out in front of the consumer with a POS unit makes for an unconscious call to action

At the retail level, Point-Of-Sale (POS) displays are a great call to action. It is estimated that an end aisle POS display can increase sales of a product in store by 20%, without reducing the price.

Getting out in front of the consumer with a POS unit makes for an almost unconscious call to action.

 

The definition of what is a call to action can be expanded when you sweeten the deal with a product sample, a spectacular sweepstakes prize of an enticing free gift.

Identify your sales goals or response objectives and consider testing sales promotions techniques to create an emotional response. You may be surprised how it outperforms  the basic imperative verb technique, instructing prospects to buy now.

Also, look for a lift in response rates, sales, loyalty and brand recognition as you create a stronger emotional connection with your customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More