Updated: Feb 9
The time has come. You're a warrior of Gondor, the last stronghold of the men of the west. Aragorn has led you outside the Black Gate and the beasts of Mordor are fast approaching. Looking death in the face, you’re nervous. Aragorn begins his monologue, sword raised, he rides his horse up and down the line. At least he shouts “By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!!!”
In this scenario, Aragorn’s raised sword and shout, “I bid you stand,” is the call to action. CTA’s are important in websites, on emails, and when fighting orcs and uruk-hai. They are especially important for alternative healthcare providers. A CTA is what brings your audience to the logical next step. It’s a well packaged conversion opportunity for consumers who are at various different commitment points. So what is the perfect little CTA for busy healthcare providers?
If you’re not a die-hard fan of Lord of the Rings like me, you may not understand my reference above. So, let’s unpack Aragorn’s call to action.
Every CTA must include action words, or verbs; and they should be engaging verbs. Seeing as we aren’t living in Middle Earth, or the 1800’s, I wouldn’t recommend using something like, “I bid you book an appointment.” But, you do need action words that lead your patients forward.
Next, every CTA needs a value proposition. The value proposition is your promise to the patient.
For example, if we listen to Aragorn’s speech before his CTA he says, “....when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!!” His promise to the soldiers is that today they will fight and win. Then comes his CTA with the logical next step before going into battle, “I bid you stand.”
Let’s look at another example of a value proposition that’s a little more applicable to busy healthcare brands.
Check out Jennifer McCord, M.D. and functional medicine practitioner. The hero on her website says, “Jennifer McCord, M.D. | Your partner on your whole health journey.” Her promise, or value proposition, is that she will be with you every step of the way on your holistic health path. Her CTA is directly underneath with a compelling offer to start you on your journey, “Is functional medicine right for me?...Take the quiz!”
Now, let’s review. A good CTA needs action words and a value proposition, but what makes a perfect CTA? There are two aspects of perfect CTA’s that every healthcare provider should know.
Make it CLEAR
First, you need to dispel the unknown. What is the most commonly used CTA by healthcare providers?
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What does that tell the patient other than give them vague instructions?
A perfect CTA gives the prospective patient a clear next step - based on their most relevant needs! Imagine you’re about to roll out a program to help women start tracking their hormones. You offer a 31-day challenge to kickstart the program. Rather than say, “join here,” your CTA should convey clarity and address relevant needs by saying, “start your 31-day challenge now!”
Make it UNIQUE
You want to be clear, but you also want to be unique. You’re not like a regular functional medicine practitioner, you’re a cool FMP. Mean girls, anyone? Yes, certain words work better for CTA’s than others, but there are still ways to spice up boring call to action words.
Call to Action Words:
One important principle to remember when crafting the perfect CTA for healthcare is KISS (keep it simple stupid). Don’t overthink it.
On the topic of keeping it simple, I want to share what I read in an article by Ann Handley on CTA’s. Her key principle is that the best marketing ideas are often proposed as jokes. That’s right, because it’s easier to present a unique, original idea as a jest in the hopes of avoiding ridicule if it’s deemed bad.
Why does this make good marketing?
For the simple reason that marketing is based on originality, the expected gets overlooked.
I want to share the case study from Ann’s article because it’s just that good.
Let’s look at North Carolina’s Currituck County Economic Development home page. There are two CTA’s, the first one is basic. The second CTA, “Call Larry,” is fantastic.
You might expect something that casual from a marketing agency, but this is a local government run agency. Instead of talk about the things every other municipality does to convince people to move there, this one simply says “Call Larry.” Larry is the economic development director.
The old timey, personal act of calling someone perfectly represents Currituck Country. It stands out because it is unique and clear, and because it stays true to the values of Currituck County!
That’s what I want you to take away from this. The perfect little CTA for healthcare doesn’t actually exist. Yes, there are certain call to action words that you should know about. You should also know how to create a clear and concise CTA. BUT, the most important part is that it reflects who you are.
People can easily find out what you do, your job is to sell them on who you are.
You can read all the blog posts on marketing for healthcare providers, but none of them will tell you exactly what to write. If you want the perfect CTA for healthcare, you have to know the fundamentals of what makes a good CTA and then know the values of your unique brand.
If this sounds like a challenge to you, my job is to write website copy, including CTA’s! I will work with you to identify your core values and intersperse those values through your website. Contact me here to get started with a free 15 minute consultation call!