The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten
379: How to Design/Write Great CTAs (Call to Actions)
Jan 15, 2019
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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about how to design and write effective Calls-To-Actions (CTA).

In the marketing world, a call to action is a prompt on a website, email or social media that tells the user to take some specified action. Call to actions generally takes the form of a button or hyperlink and are typically written as a command, such as “Book my call” or “Buy It Now” and so on.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten dive into what  Call-To-Action are, why they are so important in business, common mistake people make when designing CTAs and they share some tips that can help you design more effective Calls-To-Action for your Startup.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:00 About today’s topic.

00:40 Why this topic was chosen.

01:02 One common mistake people make when they design CTAs.

02:16 Another common mistake people make when they design CTAs.

03:32 Why Hiten dislikes generic call to actions.

04:19 Why using disconnected CTAs is a bad idea.

05:49 How to determine what type of copy to use for your CTA.

06:25 The importance of telling the prospect what they are going to get with your CTA.

11:44 Why you should make your copy all about them.

09:17 The Startup Chat’s Call-to-action.

3 Key Points:

I see companies using way too many calls to action.
I don’t want to mind-read what you want me to do.
Don’t be overly generic with your CTAs.



Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: And in today's episode of the Startup Chat we're going to talk about CTAs, calls to action. How to design and write effective and killer CTAs. I can't believe we've never had a dedicated episode to these, such an important topic, maybe it's so all encompassing. We've touched on a lot of it, so we're probably going to give today in many other ways, in many other episodes, but I thought it'd be fun to do a quick episode and bang it out on call to actions. So let's go maybe through some of the mistakes people make, and then maybe we end the episode on some tips on how to do really killer call to actions. I'll step in and give the first and biggest mistake on CTAs that drives me nuts. It's actually two mistakes, and this is true both on websites, it's true in emails, it's true in many different form factors. It doesn't really matter what the form factor is that you are communicating to a prospective customer to. It's either, I see either companies have way too many call to actions, just like seven different things they want me to do, and I always go "Whoa, whoa. We don't know each other that well and it's not reasonable of you to ask me to do this much work." Taking so much action means I can't do anything else for the next two, three hours. I don't have that kind of time and we don't have that kind of relationship for you to ask me to watch this video, download this white paper, sign up for a newsletter, sign up for a free trial, and read these latest three blog post scripts. It's just too much stuff you're asking me to do, and they're all not differentiated and not prioritized. And the exact opposite problem is when you have almost no call to action whatsoever. This is something I see more in emails than I see, in emails and in conversations in meetings I see this more often than I see this on websites, but it drives me crazy. It's like somebody sends me an email, they write all this stuff about their company, the value they can create for me, all the things they could do, why this would be a great partnership, and then they just end this entire fucking email with "Thanks, Bob." I read all this and I go, "What am I supposed to do now with all this information? What, specifically, do you want me to do?" Now, I can assume you want me to respond to you,

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