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Best Practice

Having Our Calls to Action Heard

Getting things done is one thing.

Getting other people to do things is another challenge entirely.

Consider your best mate. You might see them every day and message them constantly on WhatsApp, but they didn’t RSVP to your wedding in 1993.

Call to Action header image

They were there, tearing up the dance floor to No Doubt. But that tiny bit of admin - the reply card - never saw the light of day.

If we struggle to nag paperwork off our friends, getting a diverse pool of strangers to complete admin can feel, frankly, nightmarish.

Which is where bulletproof ‘calls to action’ become our friend.

Here’s a checklist of how to ensure your contact centre’s pleas are heard:

   1. Knowledge isn’t always powerCall to Action body image 1
What you know can hurt you - don’t bog down simple commands in specialist terms. Your consumers won’t thank you.

    2. Don’t oversimplify
Equally, don’t skimp on detail. Stripping back language to its bare bones is pointless if we lose the meat of the matter: what needs doing and why.

    3. Play with language
We’re exposed to common commands like ‘update details’ so often. We could hear this from our gas company, our online grocer, or the overpriced wine club we should really unsubscribe from.

Meanwhile pairing strong command verbs with specific detail nudges people into action. Even a tweak like ‘update your address’ can work. Think less abstract, more precise.

    4. Ace the placement
Whacking your call to action at the bottom of a lengthy email is a lost cause. But right at the top, the reader has no context. Which gives them little motive to act. Instead, we need to promptly scene-set, before gliding into our call to action.

    5. Create a win-win
We all know why we want our customers to do something, but what’s in it for them? That needs to be abundantly clear. Or they simply won’t do it - even if they’re a kind-hearted humanitarian who happens to have a day off.

    6. Be device fluid
We should be aware of how content reaches our customer. If their phone is the messenger, we need to tailor to a smaller screen. Which means if we’re dealing with lengthy terms and conditions - consider placing them behind a short hyperlink, rather making a three-act Shakespearean tragedy of our email.

    7. Go on the link diet
But don’t go mad on extra links - only add these in if they serve a purpose. If we don’t make the information behind links useful and rewarding, we’re conditioning customers to stop clicking on them. They need to feel mighty worthwhile.

    8. Dress things right
The hard truth is that you can’t doll up bad content, but it’s easy to mask good stuff. Bogging calls to action in frilly design and clunky formatting could drown it entirely. White space around a call to action is often the way to go. Less is more.

Call to Action body image 2    9. Don’t be greedy
Let’s not ask for more information than we need. If we need a customer’s phone number, we shouldn’t ask for their hair colour.

    10. Urgency can be good
If something really needs doing, let your reader know this. Be firm and honest about the time frame. For example - “in order to confirm tomorrow’s call out, please confirm your address today”


    11. But don’t be dramatic
On the other hand, don’t create a false sense of urgency for the sake of it. It will annoy people. Set realistic deadlines for realistic reasons.

    12. Save your reader some mileage
Can you shorten the number of steps a user needs to go through to complete an action? Unless the answer’s no, there’s work to be done.

    13. Predict stumbling blocks
Clear flags above data entry fields can keep frustrated form-fillers on side. For example, a hint like ‘DD/MM/YYYY’ is helpful. Whereas “Error message #49203” might make people do things they regret.

We recognise this is a hefty checklist. We hope it helps, but we’re also here to implement it for you. Our guess is you have better things to do.

Our expertise comes with knowing where in this checklist your call to action stumbles. We put your customer journeys under the microscope and identify pain points with precision. By working out where exactly customers fall out of journeys, we can reroute them for you - and get everyone safely to the desired end point.

Just give us a call - we’re ready for action.

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About the Author
Suzy Hyatt
Author: Suzy Hyatt
Head of Client Services

With over 12 years of experience at Adexchange, Suzy oversees the Account Management and Production teams, ensuring the planning and delivery of all our projects are completed to the highest standard.

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Adexchange Media Limited
Company number: 04344957

The Old Garage, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7NP