Click and Treat! How to Create Compelling Calls-to-Action

What are you hoping for when you engage with potential dog training clients? That they’ll take some kind of action, right? Whether you want them to book a service, sign up for a newsletter, fill out a form, or click a link – we want our marketing messages to motivate and inspire action. ‘Calls-to-action’ (CTAs) are the prompts or instructions that encourage a response from your target audience. Common CTAs include phrases like “Buy now,” “Sign up today,” “Subscribe,” “Learn more”, or any other directive that encourages immediate engagement. But we can do better.

Effective CTAs are clear, compelling, and directly related to your marketing goals. They are often strategically placed within marketing materials, such as websites, emails, or social media posts, to prompt users to take the next step. These short phrases can have a big impact on potential client behavior, so how do you turn them into an excited ‘click!’ rather than a ‘scroll on by’?

Get clear on the journey

Before writing your CTAs, consider the journey you want potential clients or students to take, particularly on your website. It can be helpful to note down the primary goal for each page – whether it’s scheduling a consultation, filling out an enquiry form, subscribing to a newsletter, or connecting on social media. By defining these objectives, you’ll have a clearer sense of what the CTA for each page should focus on, and where it may be best placed.

Be explicit and direct

CTAs should leave no room for ambiguity. Use language that clearly instructs visitors on what action to take, and that stands out. Instead of generic phrases like “Learn more” or “Click here,” opt for more direct and engaging language. For instance, instead of asking visitors to “Read more about our services” you could encourage them to “Transform your dog’s behavior with our services.” Don’t be afraid to have fun with your CTAs! If you offer puppy classes, for example, “Ready, set, sit! Let the learning begin” is likely to better grab attention than “Sign up here”. 

Provide multiple opportunities and locations

While you want your main CTA to be clear and prominent, you don’t have to limit yourself to a single CTA per page. People visit dog training websites for various reasons, so try to consider their different needs and stages of commitment. Whether it’s a “Start training today” button or a “Free training tips” sign-up, aim to diversify your CTAs to cater to a broader audience.

Strategically positioning CTAs throughout your webpage ensures that users encounter them at various points of their journey. For instance, a prominent CTA at the top of the page can capture the attention of people who are ready to take immediate action, while additional CTAs within the content or at the end of a page cater to those seeking more information before committing. Including a CTA in the footer or sidebar ensures visibility even as users scroll, making it convenient for them to take action whenever they feel ready.

Most importantly – never let a page end without a CTA! Every page on your website should guide visitors to the next step. Whether they’re reading a blog post, watching a training video, or exploring your services, there should always be a clear CTA that nudges them forward.

Marketing messages and CTAs should be best buds

CTAs are not just about actions; they’re an extension of your marketing message. Your marketing message serves as the foundation for expectations. It introduces users to your business, services, and training approach, setting the tone for their experience. Aligning your CTAs with this message maintains clarity and relevance. For example, if your marketing message emphasizes the convenience of your day training packages, your CTA could reflect that with an action like “Put us to work training for you!”. When users encounter a seamless transition from the initial message to the action you’re prompting, they are more likely to follow through.

Add a sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) 

Ideally you want potential clients to act quickly rather than umming-and-ahhing or looking at twenty different training sites. Incorporating a sense of urgency into your CTAs taps into the natural desire to avoid missing out, making it particularly effective in prompting sign-ups for classes, purchases of training materials, or saying yes to time-sensitive promotions. In the context of dog training, where people are often seeking quick and effective solutions, urgency also reinforces that your dog training services offer valuable and timely solutions. Phrases like “We Keep Our Classes Small – Grab Your Pup’s Spot Now!” or “Say Goodbye To Stressful Walks!” can help to prompt the action you’re after.

Get technical with some testing

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different CTAs to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing involves trying variations of CTAs to determine which ones work best. You can use analytics to track performance and refine your CTAs over time. Given that the majority of users will be accessing your site via their mobile devices, be sure to optimize your CTAs for smaller screens, too. Test how they appear and function on various devices – a lost or hard-to-read CTA can be the difference between a potential client and a current one.

By implementing clear, direct, and engaging CTAs, your website and marketing efforts stand a much better chance of capturing those ideal clients. Less browsing, more action!