ABCs of compliant CTAs

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Ah, the humble Call to Action, also known as the “CTA.”

Writing CTAs that get responses can be tricky enough, but let’s also make sure as a financial brand you ensure that your CTAs are compliance-approved.

What’s in a CTA? 

A call-to-action (CTA) is a line of text with a link or button used to encourage readers to take a proactive step toward engaging with your business.

CTAs in your content, on your website, and in customer-facing communications offer significant boosts to engagement, for example:

  • Emails with a single CTA increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1,617%
  • button-based CTA can increase click-through rates by 28% over the text-based variety.

And yet, 70% of small business websites don’t use CTAs at all.

FINRA and the CTA

CTAs can be used to invite readers to take just about any action. However, FINRA advises that financial communications regarding securities must stringently avoid implying any recommendation. So financial brands, advisors, wealth managers, and others are restricted from making any call to action in the form of a solicitation.

CTAs that promise specific returns or products that may fluctuate in cost are also likely to get flagged by compliance.

As a rule of thumb, the most effective CTAs simply encourage customers to take the next logical step in your desired content funnel, rather than attempting to make a sale.

You can modify these persuasive CTAs, which use first-person action verbs and phrases, and apply them to all kinds of “sales funnel” driven stages in the customer journey:

  • Apply in Minutes
  • Reserve Your Spot
  • See Today’s Rates
  • Start Building Your Saving Now
  • See Our Funds List
  • Talk to an Expert
  • Review Your Score
  • Use Our Calculator
  • Download the Free Whitepaper
  • See Our Planning Approach

6 best CTA practices

If you want to up your CTA game, there are some long-standing best practices that make are a good place to start testing in your customer-facing marketing and content.

  1. Place only one clear CTA button or link that takes visitors further into your content on every webpage or communication
  2. Use the CTA to invite a next step, not make a sale
  3. Do your best to emphasize the benefits of taking that action
  4. If using a form, only request must-have data (keep forms short)
  5. Avoid recommendations and advice
  6. Avoid guarantees of specific rates, fees, and services

If you’re running into compliance bottlenecks in any phase of your content creation process with freelancers, we can help.

Book a 15-minute Discovery Call to find out if Finance Studio is a fit for your financial brand.
We offer high-quality strategy, content, design, and digital options that won’t break the bank, including à la carte services tailored specifically for the finance industry.