Tips for Creating Compelling “Calls to Action” That Convert “Shoppers” into Prospects


Jul 15, 2015 | Programming & Outreach

The “Call to Action” (CTA) should be viewed as an essential element of any senior living community’s marketing message. CTAs add a sense of importance and urgency to your message as well as providing a means for your customers to gain additional information about your community.

A CTA is an instruction to your audience designed to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now,” “find out more” or “schedule a tour with us today.” A CTA can also be a simple non-demanding request like “watch our video,” or “read our testimonials.”

Melinda Schmitz, Senior Consultant and occupancy enhancement expert for SageAge Strategies says, “Your marketing messages should always be designed to accomplish two important objectives: attract customer attention by highlighting a solution, and motivate action. That is, they should address how your product or service solves your prospects’ problems while also providing compelling information that prompts action.

“Use CTA’s on your website to position yourself as an educational resource. These consumers are seeking information and by providing it, you in turn become a thought leader in their eyes. Additionally, when providing resources, take the opportunity to collect prospect contact information to ensure the lead is captured.”

“At SageAge Strategies, we follow several proven best practices for creating customer-directed messaging and Calls to Action that motivate senior living consumers to get leads. As simple as creating a call to action sounds, there are precise steps you should take to optimize your CTA message for best results. In this case, results equals interested, engaged prospects for your sales team.”

11 Key Elements of a Compelling CTA

Many of these best practices for CTAs are conveniently captured in an article titled, The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action.

According to this article, CTAs represent one of the smallest changes you can make that deliver the biggest return. Optimized CTAs have been shown to yield a 30 percent increase in conversion.

The author, Ginny Soskey, asserts, “To optimize your conversion rates, souping up your out-of-date and gnarly looking calls-to-action is the way to go.”

The checklist below provides a valuable summary of eleven key elements to remember:

  1. Use actionable language – When you’re designing CTAs, effective copy all boils down to using action-oriented, second-person verbs, like “discover, learn and find” instead of ones like “be smarter.”
  2. Be consistent with your terminology –Be sure your CTA copy and your landing page copy align. The name of the offer you are promoting – whether it’s a tour with lunch, a special move-in discount or a seminar should align with the name used on the landing page.
  3. Include a clear value proposition – Make the benefit of clicking on your CTA crystal clear. How will it be useful to your target market?
  4. Emphasize its time sensitivity – Tap into the element of urgency and tell people to do something right now. Add words such as “now,” “today” and “for a limited time” to your CTA. Just reminding people to do something “now” can increase the chance of them actually doing it now.
  5. Make it big You can’t create a tiny little button that appears at the bottom of the page and hope that people will click on it. Chances are, people are going to miss it.
  6. Create a highly contrasting design – Calls-to-action shouldn’t blend in with the rest of your design. You can use similar styling, but the way you combine fonts and colors should make your CTA stand out from the rest of the page.
  7. Make the button look “clickable” –If you want your CTAs to be clicked, make it look like something people are familiar with clicking. Use your design program to add shadows and borders to make your CTA look functional.
  8. Add “alt text” – Alt text enables you to clearly display text whenever a CTA doesn’t appear properly in a website or email.
  9. Place your CTA prominently on your website – Put it where it can get noticed. You can even add directional cues to generate more clicks.
  10. Test alternate CTAs to find the one that performs best – Keep tweaking copy, design, sizing, placement, etc. until you find a CTA that performs best.
  11. Personalize CTAs for different segments of your audience (e.g. senior adults and adult children) – You can also tailor CTAs to only appear to select audiences. For example, your visitors can see one thing, your leads can see another and your customers can see something else altogether. Note: You’ll need the right software to do this.

Think Big. Think Bold.

Dean Kistner, Senior Art Director for SageAge Strategies emphasizes the importance of the creative element saying, “The placement, visibility and visual appeal of your CTA is extremely important. Be bold, be clear and create urgency!”

“Whether you’re asking for a click or a call, your CTA must have impact. It should be prominently placed and easily seen with a compelling reason to respond. The CTA should be in a BOLD FONT and in a different color from the rest of your message. It should never be buried in other text. In other words, it should POP on the page and be impossible not to notice”

“In print, the CTA can be either right on top or the last item you read on the page, as long as it stands out and evokes a response. Most of all, it cannot be missed.”

“For web design, the CTA should always be ‘above the fold’ so users don’t have to scroll down to find it. I usually recommend that our clients repeat the CTA at the bottom of the page for emphasis, especially if there is a lot of scrolling involved on the site.”

We Would Love to Hear from You!

If you have comments or questions on the value of behavioral selling methods and best-practice sales training, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any experiences you’ve had in these areas, whether they have been successful or not. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Learn More About Growth-Based Marketing Best Practices Today

SageAge Strategies is the ideal partner for strategically growing your sales and building your census. If you are a senior living provider considering the need for assistance in increasing your sales and growing your community through best-practice marketing, communications, creative design and online strategy, we encourage you to contact us today for more information.

SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning, strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry and was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub today at 570-601-1720 ext. 202 /

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