Do you ever feel “dirty” after reading a piece of sales copy?
Yeah, me too. Marketing can sometimes be so in your face and pushy that it can leave you feeling talked down to, insulted, or even less-than-human. Honestly, that kind of tone probably works sometimes, depending on the industry. But you know where it never ever works? The interior design business.
You already know that. The real challenge for designers like you when writing copy is maintaining a soft touch (i.e., not being sales-y or sleazy) but still actually getting your audience to do the thing you want them to do.
Because regardless of what industry you’re in, studies still show that people want and need to have their actions guided when they’re perusing websites. Without direct instructions of where to go and what to do next, they tend to feel lost and aimless.
You wouldn’t invite a guest into your home and then just stand back expecting them to wander through the rooms alone, would you? No! You’d tell them to follow you, have a seat, help themselves to the refreshments you’ve laid out for them, right?
Same goes on your website. Your site visitors expect you to guide them. And if you don’t, things can get a little, shall we say, awkward.
So what’s the best way for you to guide them without coming across as sales-y? Carefully crafted calls-to-action, also known as CTAs.
A CTA is usually a simple instruction that tells the person reading what they need to do next. “Buy Now” and “Call Today!” are perfect examples of traditional, sales-y CTAs.
If you don’t include strong CTAs on your website pages and at the end of your marketing copy, your reader can feel that they are left hanging. Sure, they know they COULD fill out your contact form, but they’re not sure they SHOULD. They might want information about your pricing, but don’t know if you want them to send you a message through your contact form for that or if it’s reserved for people ready to hire you on the spot. And you know what? That’s the kind of uncertainty that can result in them giving up and moving onto another interior designer’s website.
Customers WANT you to tell them what they can do next. They need you to guide them to a next step (ideally a step that brings them that much closer to working with you) and the way to do that is with buttons and compelling CTA copy.
Hear me out on this. I know big celebrity designers don’t use CTAs on their websites or blog posts. And I know you want to emulate them. But the fact is that they don’t need to work to get clients – but you do. As long as you do it right, your website and blog will still be just as classy as theirs, even with CTAs everywhere!
So, how do you sprinkle calls-to-action around your copy without coming across as pushy, bullying, rude, or cheesy?
Be Clear About the Next Step
If you want your CTAs to be effective, you need to be clear about precisely what you want the reader to do.
Rather than thinking about a CTA as a piece of sales copy, think about it as a simple instruction. If you want your contact form filled out, say so! If you only want calls – not emails – tell them that! Generally speaking, people don’t want to annoy you, nor do they want to waste your time or theirs. If you provide them with clear directions, they’ll be happy knowing they’re doing exactly what you prefer. Forget about “making the sale” at this point. Just concentrate on making them feel comfortable enough to take that next step with you.
What Action Do You Want Them To Take?
Of course, there is a time and place for calls-to-action that lead to a purchase. But, again, you need to make sure that it’s a soft sell rather than a bullying push to an “Add to Cart” button.
When you’re writing a CTA, try to focus on what the customer will get by taking the action you want them to take. By emphasizing what they’ll receive when they click (even if it’s just more information about your services), it will feel classy and appropriate to them rather than sleazy and selfish. Remember, when writing interior design copy (or any copy, really), it isn’t about you. It’s about them. You want your copy to be about what you can do for THEM, not what they can do for YOU. It’s a subtle shift in attitude that causes a HUGE shift in tone.
Don’t Forget About Your Blog Posts
We all know the point of your blog posts is to share useful, relevant, free content with your audience that shows you as an expert. But they’re also one of the most potent tools in your marketing arsenal – if you include CTAs in them.
It’s precise because your posts are showing you as an expert in your field that you shouldn’t be afraid to use CTAs in every blog post. By being the expert, you are providing the reader with solutions, ideas, and inspiration. But you never know when there could be a fantastic prospective client reading your post, and unless you help guide them to a final step (such as contacting you), they may leave the blog wiser, but with no real way to move forward. So, help them by providing a CTA! It’s a shame that too few designers do this, as it’s a very effective way to move readers/fans into the client category.
In fact, you can (and should) also use CTAs in a lot of creative places, like your email signature, website bio, business cards, portfolio, and even branding collateral. The more people you guide to “the next step,” the more clients you’ll be bringing in the door!
What Are Some Great Examples of CTAs?
Personally, I break CTA ideas for designers down into three categories: Cute & Creative, Direct But with a Soft Touch, and Pretty Darn Direct But Still Perfectly Appropriate!
Cute & Creative
- Yes, please!
- Right this way!
- Hit us up!
- Let’s get started! / Let’s do this! / Let’s get this party started! (depending on how cheeky you want to be!)
- Get the 411
- I want in!
Direct, but With a Soft Touch
- It all starts with an email/call
- Learn more
- Let’s talk about your project
- Let’s chat
- We can help!
- See how it works
- Read more
Pretty Darn Direct!
- Schedule a call with ___
- Request a free quote (this is a great one if you actually give quotes over the phone OR if the button will take them to an online scheduler where they can set up an in-person meeting)
- Fill out our contact form
- Check pricing and availability (should take them to either an explanation of your fees and timelines OR to a contact form that expressly says you need to find out more about their project in order to give them an idea of pricing and availability; If you have a waitlist, don’t say so here – tell them over the phone after you’ve won them over with your charm and professionalism!)
- Talk to __ about your project
You can also mix things up by using CTAs on blog posts, white papers, emails, and other kinds of marketing copy if you want them to do something other than just contact you:
- Want more design ideas? Click here to get a free copy of “MY OPT-IN” and to sign up for our newsletter (or “emails” if you don’t send a regular newsletter)
- Want more inspiration? Click here to see our project portfolio!
And how about just one more example of a great CTA? You got it! Contact me today to get started revitalizing the copy on your website? I’ve worked for years figuring out the exact tone and style that appears to interior design audiences. With that experience, I can tailor your web copy and blogs to reach out to the kind of customers and clients you want to connect with. You can even schedule a call with me right now so we can chat about your business’ copywriting goals!
(See how that works!?)