Once upon a time, you could build a blog post and people would come and they would subscribe just because the opt-in form was in the sidebar.
No more. People are wary of getting more emails. They tend to swoop in, get what they need, and quickly leave.
So you need to integrate a call to action (CTA) into the blog post itself. A call to action is an offer of some type and you ask the reader to take action to get whatever you’re offering.
A CTA can grow your list and your sales much faster.
What kind of CTAs can you include?
First, let’s talk about the content
It’s too much work to create a different offer for each blog post. Plus each one requires a new opt-in form with a new list in your email service. But research by Hubspot, a digital marketing company, does show that if you have multiple free offers, you’ll get more subscribers.
So you could create 4-5 freebies and cycle through them in your blog posts. People will be more likely to take action if the content is related to the blog post.
Here are some ideas:
- If you have the time or someone to outsource the work to, you could create a PDF of a blog post, add some nice design to make it look nice, and use that as a simple freebie.
- A 1-page checklist is also a great idea and easy to create.
- You can just lead people to your regular freebie. Just be sure to mention it in your blog post.
- Another CTA is to ask people to share the post on social media. I do this at the end of all of my posts. (Have you noticed? Have you shared?) You can create prewritten tweets for people to tweet using the Click to Tweet WordPress plug-in. This is great for posts including data, infographics, or any tidbits of knowledge that are easy to share. I wrote about this plug-in here.
- Of course, you can ask people to subscribe to your newsletter.
- You can ask people to comment. I do this at the end of all my posts, too. (Have you commented on my posts?)
- You can offer people a free or low-cost trial of a product.
Where to put your CTAs
If you want readers to opt in, there are several types of opt-in formats. Here are some of the most popular:
- Exit pop-up: Well, it isn’t popular with viewers but they do result in some subscribers. I’ve been using Thrive Leads and I’m testing PopUp Ally for this now
- Sliders: These slide in, usually from the right. The idea is that they cover your sidebar but not the blog content, so they aren’t as intrusive. You can generally set then to come in after a certain amount of scrolling or number of minutes. My tests showed that these outperformed an exit pop-up.
- In-line: These can be a box somewhere within the post (after a certain nunber of paragraphs) or you can just use some text with a link.
- Sidebar: This is the old standard, but many visitors ignore it.
How should you word your CTA?
Here are a couple of ideas for wording your CTA, but you should always test and see what works for you.
Ask a question: Questions engage your readers. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post on a way to format text on a PowerPoint slide. You could ask, “Do you deal with text-heavy slides? I have a training video that explains some great techniques for dealing with text on slides. Get it here.”
Use the “if / then” format: This is another way to make the choice to act seem like a no-brainer. In a post on ways to grow your email list, you could say, “If your email list isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, check out my report, “30 Days to a Massive, Responsive List.”
Use direct, active language: Just be simple and direct. Say something like, “Get your video training here” or “Click here to get instant access” or “Download your list-building training now.”
You’ll learn from experience what works for you in which situation, but here are some guidelines to try:
- From a blog post, send people to a free or low-cost offer that seems like you’re adding value to the blog content
- Don’t use overly flashy techniques like blinking boxes
- Clearly and succinctly explain the value your readers will get, that is, why they should opt in
- Incorporate emotion to help people feel the need to act
What CTAs do you use in your blog posts?
Why don’t we turn this post into a resource of ideas about CTAs in blog posts? Share your ideas here in a comment and invite others by using the Share buttons below. Wouldn’t that be great to have such a resource? (That’s my CTA for this blog post.)