[TIPS] Drive Engagement Using Powerful Calls-to-Action

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[TIPS] Drive Engagement Using Powerful Calls-to-Action

In order to compete with the clutter of information that bombards people every day there are many strategies to keep in mind to kick start your participation and keep the momentum going throughout the engagement period.

One of the most important aspects of driving participants to take action is crafting powerful calls-to-action. Strong messages are those that are concise and connect with people on a deep level. Here are some ideas to help you create powerful messaging to drive engagement for your project.

Try Different Calls-to-Action

Your campaign is competing against the short attention spans of your potential participants. It’s critical to use the right language in order to motivate people to participate. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Different demographic groups will respond to different messages
  • Connect with people emotionally
  • Stories and images are more powerful than stats
  • Ask questions to engage people
  • Calls-to-action need to register in about 7 seconds

Listen to your target market early in the process to identify what their priority issues are and the language they use to describe them. From there test multiple options and see what works for each target audience.

Make It Front and Center

Your calls-to-action are key ingredients to any piece of marketing collateral you create. Make sure your message is highly visible and not buried under a pile of other text or images.

For online campaigns, use buttons and eye-catching graphics and images. Utilize a larger, bolder or different colored font. You should make it obvious to potential visitors what they should be doing. This also applies to positioning in e-mail blasts and social media.

Create a Sense of Urgency

A successful tactic is to let people know that there is a limited time for public input. When a website is up, people will assume it’s around forever. Start a countdown. In your calls-to-action and your marketing, let people know that there’s only a week left. Create urgency.

Be Concise

Your calls-to-action and even the messaging in your online engagement tools itself should be as brief as possible. For example, a MetroQuest Ranking screen title should be something like “Rank Your Top 5 Priorities”, not “Please Let Us Know Which Potential Community Directions You Would Prefer”. Be clear and use action-oriented instructions – don’t ramble on.

Relevance + Value = More Participation

Ultimately, everything boils down to one simple message: the more value and relevance you can convey in your call-to-action copy, the more people will participate. Time spent honing this message to attract your target audiences will pay huge dividends for your project. The strongest calls to action lead to dramatically higher conversion rates, and ultimately more participation.

Dave Biggs

Dave is the Chief Engagement Officer of MetroQuest and an internationally-recognized author and public engagement strategist focusing on the use of software tools to enhance community participation for planning projects.

1 Comment
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