As a rookie father of twin girls there are many lessons I’ve learned out of necessity, while other lessons were learned by accident. One of the things I’ve learned by accident is how easily my girls are distracted. If you put something colorful near them they’ll gravitate towards it. If something on the television is loud and interrupting they’ll drop what they are doing and run up to their bedroom gate to see what’s on the television. If they are the least bit hungry and catch a peak of food they drop what they are doing and go after the food. I can’t help but draw a correlation between their instinctual distractions caused by wants and needs and the distraction instincts all humans are born with. As inbound marketers we should take advantage of this natural human instinct when deploying our campaigns.
A good call to action (CTA) stands out on a page and clearly offers a unique value proposition while staying loyal to the brand’s design elements. I’m not saying to dump common web conventions by putting your CTA’s in the header or footer, but it is important to think of your CTA’s as a distraction to capture the attention of your visitors. If you can add a textual message to your CTA that resolves their needs or wants you’ll notice a much improved click-through-rate (CTR).
There are whole book chapters written on this very subject. I’m just giving you the cliff notes. Blog titles can mean the difference between 1000 unique visitors and 10. This is especially true today with social media distribution being so prevalent. Use your blog titles to grab people’s attention and make them click to read it. Whether your post is in a directory, RSS reader or on Twitter, your blog’s title is critical in drawing the attention of the potential reader. The more outrageous the title of your blog post is the likelihood of it being viewed increases. Keep in mind though, there’s a fine line between outrageous and offensive. Make sure your blog title doesn’t distort your campaign’s brand. Also, considering making your blog title pander to potential reader’s perceived needs or wants.
You don’t have as much flexibility with your email subject lines as you do with blog titles. Your emails are competing with every other email in a person’s inbox. Spammers tend to monopolize the art of distraction by using really outrageous subject lines. Instead, make your subject lines appeal to the reader’s sense of want and need.
I’ve been running CTR tests on Google, Facebook and LinkedIn ads for several years now. On every campaign I’ve created one “loud” ad that focuses on a prospect’s problem and that ad almost always garners more clicks. Consider dropping in a phone number or non-letter characters. These ads tend to draw the eye towards them. Use your ads to distract the visitor and draw them in.
Titling your advanced content with “What I Do Whitepaper” isn’t a very good way to grab the attention of your visitors. You should identify your prospects perceived needs and wants and title your advanced content so that it looks like the solution to their problem.
Keep in mind, the above represents a few best practices. Horse jockeys can argue all day long about who has the fastest horse, but until they race their horses they don’t really know for sure. I recommend that you always test advice in order to figure out what works best for you. Your inbound marketing campaign will thank you.
Image Credit: Me :)