Affiliate Tips: Your Complete Guide to CTAs
You may remember from a high school biology unit, or intro to psychology class, learning about Pavlov’s Dogs – an experiment conducted during the 1890s by Russian psychologist Ian Pavlov. His research found that, when trained over time, dogs can associate certain sounds, like the tick-tick-ticking of a metronome, with being fed. In scientific terms, the dogs “learned to associate a conditioned stimulus that brings about a particular response”. You might be asking, ‘How can I apply that lesson to the “real- world” as an affiliate marketer?’ Answer: By incorporating Calls-To-Action (CTAs) throughout your marketing efforts.
What is a CTA?
A call-to-action is a term that is most often used to describe a critical component of most marketing campaigns’ conversion rates. A CTA is designed to signal users to perform a specific action, just like Pavlov’s metronome. While it’s unknown if CTAs can result in a buyer salivating, it’s been proven that they do in fact result in higher conversion rates, follower growth, and increased customer engagement.
CTAs can be included in promotions, emails, newsletters, blogs, landing pages, or any consumer-facing content and campaigns. Using CTAs in sales and marketing to solicit certain actions is achieved through using direct-action verbs like “sign up”,”follow”, “schedule”,”download”,”call”,”email”, or “demo”. Incorporating these words into your marketing content will lead the consumer to the next step of a sales process.
Different Types of CTAs:
- The Social Experiment – A simple way to consistently incorporate a CTA is by providing links for consumers to connect with you or your company through social media, e-marketing/newsletters, or even signing up for your blog. This allows customers to be able to interact with future content you produce, so it’s important to make following and receiving that content as easy as possible for your intended audience. Adding a CTA—like social buttons or links at the end of each piece of content you send out—is a good way to do this. Consumers are used to seeing these types of icons on a lot of content they interact with, and a one-click follow process becomes second nature to them.
- Pavlov’s Favorite – At the end of each piece of content from an email newsletter to a lengthy blog post, it is important to have a CTA that wraps up whatever came before it and leads your audience to take an action. Placing buttons or links at the bottom of every post will condition visitors to move on the next step in their buyers’ journey. However, it’s important to remember that not every consumer is the same. You may have visitors that have never read a piece of your content before and are just discovering your landing page, while customers who are subscribed to your email newsletters may be far more familiar with your content. Creating vague CTAs that you think apply to both ends of your customer base is not the way to go. Instead, carefully think about the audience certain content is meant to attract and tailor your CTAs to each audience. By making your content, and follow-up actions feel more personalized, your conversions will be consistent throughout your entire buyers’ process, not just some parts of it.
- The Placebo Effect – While social icons and placing large and attractive buttons at the bottom of your blog posts and landing pages will result in desired outcomes, it’s not the only way to use CTAs in your business strategy. Often, marketers will encourage other blog posts with related content by creatively linking them within other articles. This is not only to recommend other related pieces of content, but also to increase visitors, qualify buyers, boost SEO, and help with conversions as well!
Humans have been conditioned to respond to the online buying process that each time there is a CTA on a blog post or landing page, their instincts are telling them to react. To ensure that customers are in fact following those certain conditioned instincts and changing their behavior, consistently incorporate a CTA through certain digital prompts (buttons, links, forms, etc.) to convert leads. Your CTAs should be clear, meet customer expectations, and result in a beneficial outcome for whoever is responding.