Power of the Post-Click: Beyond the CTA
These days, almost everyone understands the importance of a Call to Action (CTA) when building out their online ads. This is the Learn More, Book an Appointment, and Sign Up (etc) button that takes visitors from whatever platform you’re advertising on to your website. The click on the CTA is a big win, but for many companies that is where their efforts stop.
If your time and money is spent entirely on getting people to click your ad, you are wasting it.
What happens after people click your ad is just as important, if not more important, than getting them to click it in the first place. A conversion is a conversation, and a click on your ad is the beginning of it, not the end. For example:
“Hi, I work for a nonprofit dog shelter in town. Would you like to hear about it?” - CTA
“Sure, I love dogs.” - Click
“Great! We need to raise $5,000 this month. Here’s the donation form.”
Too much, too soon. The bounce rate soars.
“HI, I work for a nonprofit dog shelter in town. Would you like to hear about it?” - CTA
“Sure, I love dogs.” - Click
“Great! Here are some of the dogs we got homes for that were going to be euthanized just last month, we’re really happy for them.” - Landing Page
“Thanks! As I mentioned, we’re a nonprofit. That means we rely on donors to keep this place up and running. We’re trying to raise $5,000 to cover medical expenses for our dogs the next month. Would you mind helping them out?
“Sure, I can give $25” - Conversion
“Thanks! If you want, we can send you pictures of the puppies you helped save!” - Follow-up
If at any point there is a disconnect in the conversation, your audience will check out.
Here are 3 practical things you can do to be an attentive conversation partner.
- Define your conversion. A conversion is what happens when people do what you’re asking them to. It is buying the widget, signing up for the webinar, scheduling an appointment, or whatever your goal might be. It is worth pointing out that a conversion is not typically someone clicking on your ad because all that is doing is getting them in the door. That first click on the ad is important, but if you are using that as your only measuring stick for success, you are going to see a disconnect between the success of an ad campaign and the actual results on your bottom line.
- Create landing pages specifically for your ads. Once people click your ad, there should be a landing page there waiting for them that speaks in the same tone and acknowledging where they came from. Your ads and landing pages should work like relay racers, seamlessly passing the baton (your audience) from one to the other. Like the example above, the audience should feel like they are still part of the same conversation. Just dropping someone on a page of your website is jarring and effectively ends the dialogue. This is how people go from intrigued to hitting the Back button.
- Always follow up. “Thank you for your order” pages have become commonplace, but if all you are saying is “thank you”, then you are wasting an opportunity. As in real life, offering thanks can sound reactionary and even hollow. Sure, it is good manners, but do you actually mean it or are you just saying it because you are supposed to? You now have someone who is bought in enough to have spent money, made a time commitment or given you some kind of personal information. Give them the opportunity to engage with you further. This could be signing up for a rewards program, a VIP membership or any number of things. Don’t be afraid to send a short message checking in a few days later, either.
Always be thinking about how your customer is engaging with your brand at every stage of the process and never leave them hanging or needing more information. The important thing to remember is that no matter what business you are in, you are in the business of building relationships.
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