Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes courtesy of Josh Haynam, the co-founder of Interact, a platform for creating lead capture quizzes. He frequently writes about using content effectively and getting the most from it. Follow Josh on Twitter @jhaynam.
If only there was a sure-fire way to write calls-to-action that always demanded a click, we would all make unlimited sales. Unfortunately there’s not, and it’s a constant struggle to convince browsers that your offer is worth clicking on. Fogg’s Behavior Model suggests that for every action there must be sufficient motivation to take that action.
While it looks simple, it can be difficult to translate the concepts of this behavior model into words that can be put on a web page. To help out, we’ve looked at several case studies where ‘triggers’ were used to win people over. Triggers are anything that causes someone to take action – whether the action is engaging conversation, buying a product, or signing up for updates.
Here is part 1 of our two-part series on how to maximize your use of trigger techniques to create valuable interactions and garner positive responses..
Trigger #1: Focus on the Wants of Your Audience: Consider this hypothetical. A traveling speaker rented out a hotel conference room for two weeks every year. One year, the hotel decided to increase his rent by three times. The speaker was infuriated, but instead of yelling, he explained to the hotel manager that by raising the price he would not only lose the speaker’s business, but the business of the speaker’s attendees and followers. Therefore, it was more profitable to not raise the rent beyond what the speaker could afford. The result – the hotel only raised the rent by ½ instead of three times. The speaker positioned what he wanted as being what the hotel wanted. If he had gone into the hotel manager screaming about how he wanted the rates to be lower, an argument would have ensued. Instead, he gave the manger what HE wanted and they both won. Visitors don’t care much about what your company wants, they don’t care that you want them to ‘click here’ or ‘download now.’ Show them why they want to take action instead.
Trigger #2: Make Your Audience Feel Special: President Theodore Roosevelt could make anyone feel like they were the most important person in the world. He would spend hours prior to dinner meetings researching people and understanding their wants, needs, and passions. Everyone who interacted with him felt like they were special and needed. His trick? Personalization. He didn’t have canned lines to throw at people or stories he would tell over and over again. He did his homework and made every meeting personal and sincere. The web as a medium is impersonal, we no longer face each other in conversation and content marketing is one of the worst offenders when it comes to being callous. Get to know visitors, care about them. Use surveying tools to ask questions about their interests and wants and use live chat programs to get real-time problem solving done. Use this information to tailor your calls-to-action towards the personalities of the people who visit your site. They will feel special and wanted just like Theodore Roosevelt’s visitors, and be much more likely to take you up on your offers.
Trigger #3: Show Your Audience Your Appreciation with Excitement: Dogs practically jump out of their skin with happiness when they see strangers! The excitement they exhibit when seeing their owners is unreal. That’s why we love dogs — they are so happy to see us and aren’t angry that we haven’t purchased yet or aren’t spending enough time on their site. Write your calls-to-action like a dog would write it, not in a literal sense, but have the enthusiasm for your visitors that a dog has for strangers. Remember, web browsers have access to millions of other sites that could be capturing their attention. When holding a visitors’ attention, you are not only competing with your competitors, you are also competing with Buzzfeed, the news, and Facebook feeds, so show your excitement that visitors are choosing to spend their time with you.
This is not a guide to writing web copy or a list of best practices for calls-to-action. Rather, it is a series of studies on what motivates people to take action – trigger marketing. If we understand how web visitors think, we can more effectively sell to them.
What was the last marketing interaction that triggered your attention?