As a travel agent, you know that getting customers to visit your website or social media profile is only half the battle. To turn those curious travelers into leads and then into confirmed bookings, you need action - specifically, a call to action!
A call to action (or CTA for short) is simply a specific action that you want a website visitor to take, with a clear result. Something like “book now” or “schedule a consultation.”
So why are CTAs important for travel agents?
Simply put, they’re an effective way to turn browsing into bookings. By creating a clear and compelling CTA, you’re telling your audience exactly what you want them to do next. This not only increases the likelihood of them taking action, but also helps to build trust and credibility with your brand.
Let’s take a look at exactly what it takes to create an effective CTA that helps turn your website and social media visitors into paying clients.
Types of calls-to-action
There are two types of calls to action you can include on your website or social media profile, and they each have a specific purpose.
Your primary CTA should be something that gets a website visitor into the booking or consultation process, like “book now” or “schedule a consultation”.
But there is a different CTA you can also include, specifically for those visitors who are browsing, but not quite ready to buy. It’s called a transitional call to action.
The purpose of the transitional CTA is to transition visitors from cold contacts, aka people who know nothing about you or your business, into potential customers who are open to learning more and considering working with you.
Most often that transitional CTA is some type of lead generator or opt-in. Something that allows someone who is interested in your services to take a simple step and get more information. A good lead generator is a way to collect email addresses so you can include a subscriber in your email marketing.
Understand your audience
Before you start crafting your CTA, it's important to have a good understanding of your audience. Who are they? What are their needs and interests? What motivates them to take action?
You may have a general idea of the types of clients you work with, but unless you have clarity about who exactly your audience is, the language you use in your CTA probably won’t connect with them.
The best way to make sure you’re crystal clear on who your audience is, is by creating an Ideal Client Avatar, or ICA. Your ICA is simply a representation of the clients you serve best and most enjoy working with.
Your ICA can be based off of an actual client, a summary of a few clients you love working with, or they can be a made up person. If you haven’t already created your ICA, check out this post and worksheet to help you craft your Ideal Client Avatar.
Another way to gain insights into your audience is through market research. This can involve surveys, interviewing people who are similar to your ICA, or simply analyzing your website analytics to see what types of content and pages are most popular.
By understanding your audience's preferences and pain points, you can tailor your CTA to speak directly to them.
Ultimately, the key to crafting a successful CTA is to make it relevant and compelling to your audience. By speaking directly to their needs and interests, and using language that resonates with them, you can encourage more of them to take action and become loyal customers.
Create a compelling call to action
Now that you have a good understanding of your audience, it's time to craft a CTA that will stand out and get noticed. There are two things you need to keep in mind when you’re creating your CTA.
Keep it clear and concise
Your CTA should be easy to understand and quick to read. Use short, snappy phrases and avoid using jargon or complex language.
A call-to-action should tell a potential client exactly what to expect when they take action. “Book now” is clear because it tells them that they’ll be starting the process to book their next vacation, and it’s concise, with only two words.
But “get started,” while it’s concise, isn’t clear because it doesn’t tell them what getting started means. It may seem obvious to you, but it isn’t to them.
A call to action example that has room for improvement is “learn more”. While it's more clear than “get started”, “learn more” can have a variety of meanings. If they click the button will they learn more about you and your company? About the services you provide? About how to start booking their next vacation?
When you create your CTA text, view it through the eyes of someone who knows nothing about your business. Is it clear what they can expect when they click that button?
Use action-oriented language
Your CTA should encourage your audience to take action, so use strong action verbs. Good call to action examples are words like "book", "reserve", “get”, or "contact us". This creates a sense of urgency and makes it clear what you want your audience to do next.
The more concise, action-oriented and direct your CTA is, the more it will help people be crystal-clear about why they should take action now. This helps turn those website visitors into paid bookings.
Where to put your CTA
Now that you have a compelling CTA, it's important to place it in the right location so it gets noticed.
The one place I always tell travel advisors they should put their CTA, no questions asked, is the top right corner of their website. They need to have a call to action button there, which takes potential clients directly into the consultation and booking process.
Failure to put a CTA button in the top right corner is simply leaving money on the table, and who wants to do that?
It’s also important to continue placing your CTA in strategic places down the page. This is especially important if your website header vanishes as a visitor scrolls through your site.
It’s ok for each section to have a CTA button that gets people into your consultation and booking process. Each of those buttons should be identical to the button at the top of the page.
What you’re aiming for is, no matter where a visitor is on your website, it’s easy for them to take action as soon as they decide they’re ready to do so. If, at that moment, there’s any difficulty or confusion about what they should do next, you could lose that potential client.
Once you’ve figured out where on your website to put your CTA, it’s time to make it stand out. Buttons always stand out more than linked text, and buttons that contrast with your site stand out even more.
If you have a main color that you use in your brand and on your website, use a complementary color to make that CTA button pop. If you’re not sure what exactly that means, try using Canva’s free color wheel to help you find colors that work for your site.
Your transitional CTA button color can be similar to your main website or brand color, but you want your main CTA button to contrast and be easy to find.
It's also important to put a CTA into each blog post and marketing campaign you create. A well-written blog post, optimized for search engines, could easily be the first exposure potential customers have to your brand.
Including a CTA at the bottom of your blog post, that immediately tells them how to start the booking process or takes them to other posts about similar topics, helps keep a visitor on your website and increases the chance they choose to engage with you.
Be careful about including multiple CTAs. You want it to be clear what single action you want a visitor to take, normally booking a consultation with you. However, where it's appropriate, multiple CTAs can be used.
For example, in this post I've linked other blog posts that go into a topic in more depth. Each of those is a CTA, but I also include the main CTA in the last paragraph of the post.
The bottom line
Now that you understand what a CTA is and why it’s important, it’s time to turn that knowledge into action!
Take a look through your website and do a self-audit. Do you have a clear, concise CTA? Is there a button in the top right corner? Have you repeated that CTA with buttons in other places on your website pages?
If so, congratulations! You have an effective CTA that will help turn those website visitors into paying customers.
If not, that’s ok! A great place to start improving your website is with an effective CTA. Create your CTA and get those buttons placed.
Don’t have a website? Need some help turning your website into something that you’re proud of, that clearly explains your value and services, and turns website visitors into customers? I can help you create the website you’ve been waiting for. Click here to get started by scheduling your free consultation.