The Importance of Calls to Action – the TIM Principle

Written by Matthew Parker
Print Industry Consultant
Can you imagine an athlete who didn’t train?
No athlete, no matter how naturally talented they may be, is going to win their respective sport unless they train. If you want to get results, you need to take action.
It’s the same for visitors to your website. No matter how much they like your website, they won’t become customers unless they take action. However, there is a big problem with this.
Website visitors are rarely given a reason to take action
In my last article, I talked about the importance of content that will engage and interest your prospects. However, unless a prospect is ready to buy (which is rarely the case), they likely will read your website and then go away without doing anything.
That means all the effort you spent on your website is wasted. Therefore it is essential that your website has a call to action.
What is a call to action?
A call to action is a specific request for a prospect to do something as a result of engaging with your website. It is the one thing that you would like them to do if they like what they see. In effect, it’s the next stage of your sales cycle.
I have seen a few websites from printing companies that have a clear call to action. You may want people to visit your website, but the visit is pointless unless the prospect does something.
Those companies that do have a call to action usually feature one that is unlikely to happen.
Many websites ask prospects to call the company
How many people are really going to pick up the phone and call a company as a result of visiting their website? This is an unlikely scenario unless the prospect is looking for a specific type of printed product right now.
That’s why it’s far better to have a softer call to action that allows you to communicate with your prospects on a regular basis. My suggestion is that you encourage people to sign up to an email or a physical mailing list.
Once you have prospects who have opted into your list, you are able to send them interesting information on a regular basis. It is possible to measure the people who are most engaged with your list. You can move these people straight into your calling system. Suddenly, you have warm prospects to call.
Some people may see a problem with this system.
Why should prospects sign up to a mailing list?
If you want people to sign up to your mailing list, you need to do three things:
1. Incentivise them
You need to offer prospects something in return for signing up to your list. This could be a free download of useful information. Alternatively, you could consider giving people a free demonstration of new marketing techniques, credit towards consultative services or an audit of their marketing or print strategies.
2. Make it valuable
People need to understand the true value of what you are giving them. A download must have a price attached to it. If you are giving people face-to-face advice, make sure they understand how much you would normally charge for it. In addition, you should tell people why they should download your resource. What will it do for their business or their personal circumstances?
3. Tell people what to do
You may be surprised, but you need really clear instructions for people to take action. Make sure that you issue clear instructions at several points on your website.
If you want to start creating warm prospects in this manner, you need to take action.
Here are five things you should do right now

  1. Create an incentive for visitors to your website to download
  2. Add the download and email capture to your website
  3. Make sure there are clear instructions about the download
  4. Create a system to pass the most engaged leads to your sales team for them to follow up with a call.
  5. Make sure you have a system to monitor engagement with your mailing list. Most email programs will allow you to see who has opened your emails and clicked through on links.

Don’t let your customers be like the athlete who never trained.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on getting the most out of your website:

Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably.  Find out more about Matthew on his site. Download his e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” for free here

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