Let’s talk about CTAs. A strong and effective call to action is mission-critical to your event planning business. It’s how you’ll attract attendees to an event. It’s also how you’ll attract new clients to your services. But there’s a lot to unpack and understand with how CTAs work. And there are plenty of “best practices” out there that don’t always apply to the event planning industry. What you need is a roadmap for creating game-changing call-to-action steps for your business model. Here’s how to build an arsenal of CTAs that work every time!
Call to Action Definitions
Starting with the basics, a call to action is the next step you want the user, the visitor, or the recipient to take. You’ll send messaging about your upcoming event. You’ll outline dates, times, and maybe even what’s on the menu. But it’s the CTA, the “here’s what I need you to do next” statement, that matters.
In digital form, with an email or digital invite, the CTA might be an “RSVP Now” button that links to a form the recipient can submit. But there’s more to it than that. What your CTA looks like, where it’s positioned, what it says, and where it leads ALL matter.
Call to Action Devices & Channels
Before you can dive into the creatives associated with developing strong CTAs, you’ll need to consider where they’ll live. You’ll have call to action statements on your website, in a newsletter, with an email invitation, and on a landing page. But as a New York event planner, you’ll also deal with printed invitations, which you’ll need to consider.
If your primary attendee list is going to get their invitation on a mobile device, your CTA will need to be ideally formatted for mobile consumption. Consider your target audience and how they will receive your message. You can use those parameters as a guide when developing your official CTA message.
Call to Action Characteristics
It’s equally important to consider what your call to action looks like and how it’s designed. Not all CTAs are created equal, and there’s plenty to consider when you decide what yours should look like. Keep in mind for each CTA button or statement you create, you’ll need to be keenly aware of your audience. What you ask event attendees to do may require a different strategy than one used to attract event planning clients to your website.
Start with the Text
Think action words since, after all, you’re asking the reader or invitee to do something. Don’t make the statement too long and wordy, either. It’ll feel like a commitment to read and even more taxing to do, even if it is just a “click.”
Your font size, bold versus italics, and added graphics need to help your CTA button stand out from the rest of the text. If it’s on a printed invitation, the same rules apply. Separate the CTA visually, using a change-up from whatever else is in your message. Also, be mindful that overuse of all caps and exclamation points can come across as too demanding.
CTA Color Matters, Too
If your button is red, it could signify an emergency situation, which could be helpful if your goal is to inspire feelings of urgency. We’ll get to more of that later. But be precise about the colors you use to highlight or showcase your CTA. Align color palettes with your brand colors or event themes. But don’t overdo it with a call to action that feels like a trip down the Las Vegas strip, either.
Smart Use of White Spaces
If your CTA lives in a vibrantly colored digital layout or printed invitation, make your CTA white. Or you can make your call to action text stand out by making smart use of white spaces around it to help colored text pop visually.
Call to Action Strategies
The really fun part is getting creative with your call-to-action buttons and statements. Don’t default to the typical “Learn More” or “RSVP Here” phrases if you can come up with something more brilliant. And you’re a creative event planner. Brilliant ideas are your jam!
Where you place your CTA is important. You’ll want to build up the enthusiasm and excitement, and, bam, there’s your CTA. Don’t assume they always belong at the bottom of the invite or toward the end of the email. Yes, those locations can make sense in some cases. But if you have an opportunity to build momentum, don’t let that sizzle fade without a CTA strategically placed.
Urgency & FOMO
Creating some urgency about taking action absolutely works. RSVP now to save your seat! Don’t miss out! Sign up today! These are all triggering that “fear of missing out” nerve that people still do respond to in great numbers. If there’s an opportunity to build a thrilling invitation, don’t take the invitee up the hill on the roller coaster, teeter them at the top just teasing the adventure about to come, and then say, “Click Here to Learn More.”
The Value Proposition CTA
If you’re looking for something different, consider a value proposition CTA. These statements usually capture the value with the action. Yes! I Want My Free Ticket… or, Sign Me Up for Big Savings! In a way, you’re asking them to take the next step, take advantage of the value, and opt in all at once.
Use words and terms that provoke an emotional response or build on your enthusiasm about the event. Event planners know how contagious fun and excitement can be. Now channel that strategy into your invitation or messaging. It’s not just a “party,” for example; it’s a “party of the century!”
Call to Action Testing
Here’s the beauty about CTAs. You can always change them. In fact, try to avoid using the same few statements for every event. Build yourself a library of great CTAs, based on results and rotate them as they fit with your core message.
Another key piece of CTA advice is to always be testing. Changing things up, including how many CTAs you use throughout an email or in an invitation, will only help you test new ideas for color, placement, and text. It’s like perfecting a favorite recipe. You have all the ingredients; now season to taste.
For some of the best insights about attracting guests to your events and clients to your business, get your tickets to The Event Planner Expo 2022!