A call to action or CTA is a phrase designed to encourage people to take a desired action. It is used across all areas of business, particularly in sales and marketing. Call to actions are everywhere, you may not notice them, but they are there.
The above are just some of an infinite number of examples of a call to action, with over 170,000 words in the English Dictionary, you can imagine the thousands of combinations that businesses have come up with to encourage consumers to complete a task.
Even with all these words and extremely creative marketers, the most popular call to action is the very basic, ‘Buy Now’. It’s is clear on what the desired outcome is and it directly relates to selling a product or service, which is the ultimate goal for businesses.
However, ‘Buy Now’ would not work in all scenarios, nor would a lot of call to actions. It is imperative that the right call to action is used in the right situation. You wouldn’t include ‘Click Here’ on a poster, nor would you have ‘Read More’ in a radio ad, and SMS marketing is the same.
SMS is the perfect medium to connect with your customers and promote your products and services, however, it cannot directly sell a product or sign someone up. SMS is a delivery mechanism, which is why you need a call to action at the end to get your desired outcome.
Call to actions to use in a text message
1. Link to website
Perhaps the most common call to action to use at the end of a text message is to include a link to a website. With this, you can ask your customers to click the link to find out more, buy the product you are promoting, sign up, or just browse your website.
You can even track which of your customers clicked your link with our tracked URL Feature.
“Visit our website for more information www.link.com” or “Buy now and save 40% here www.link.com”
2. Text back
By adding ‘please text us back’ at the end of your message, you can get your customers responding to you quickly. The end user has received your message on their phone, and replying is quick and effortless.
Two ways you can allow your customers to text you back:
Virtual Mobile Number – use your virtual mobile number as the sender ID and replies will go straight into your Message Box account.
Sender ID: 447618920983 “If you want to learn more about the services we offer, please text us back with any questions.”
Keyword – add your desired keyword into the body of the message and use that to get customers to reply to you.
“Text SAVE to 88802 to get one of our adviser to call you back.”
3. Call us
Similar to asking customers to text you back, asking them to call you is just as easy as for them. Either include a phone number in the body of the message or use your own number as the sender ID.
If you do use this option, make sure you have enough people to answer the calls or use our Schedule Message feature and spread your messages over a couple of hours. We have had customers send bulk messages and included a ‘call back’ call to action which meant their phone lines got jammed with lots of customers all ringing at once.
“For more information call us on 0123 456 7890” or Sender ID: 447618920983 “To speak to one of our advisors call us back on this number.”
4. Visit us
You may want to use SMS to increase footfall to your store, so the correct call to action here would be to ask them to visit your store. We would advise that you either include the address of your store in the body of the message, a link to google maps, or a link to your website where they can find your store location on.
Some of your customers may only ever shop online and do not know where your store is, so just asking customers to visit your store without including any directions is poor customer service. Spending time locating a store could decrease the likelihood of them visiting you.
“Come visit our store located on Highland Road just off the main high-street.” or “Come see us in store and save, we are located here www.link.com.”
Remember that no matter which of the 4 options you use in your SMS messages, make certain it is clear what you want your customers to do. Ask them to call or text you back, tell them if they want more information to visit your site or come to your store. Don’t just include your telephone number or website link without specifically asking them to do something with it.