Common Mistakes to Avoid When Translating CTAs
What is a call to action? A “Call to Action” (CTA) is a marketing term referring to the specific instruction designed to provoke an immediate response from the audience. It’s a key component in persuasive writing that often takes the form of a command or action phrase, such as ‘Buy Now,’ ‘Sign Up Today,’ or ‘Learn More.’ The primary goal of a CTA is to guide your visitors towards a particular action, consequently boosting your conversion rates.
In the most recent globalization index for 2022, Switzerland led the pack with an impressive score of 90.61. The Netherlands trailed just behind in second place, and Belgium clinched the third spot. When globalizing your marketing efforts, website localization and translating CTAs become complex. Here are three common mistakes to avoid when doing so:
Missing the Language Intent
Every language has unique nuances, cultural undertones, and societal norms, all of which shape the intent behind certain phrases. A direct translation of a CTA might make perfect sense in English, but when translated verbatim into a different language, it could lose its efficacy or, even worse, convey an entirely different message.
Languages vary greatly in their sentence structure and grammatical rules. For instance, in English, the verb generally comes before the object (e.g., “Buy now”); however, this may not be true in all languages. A direct word-for-word translation might result in a confusing or awkward CTA.
The tone of a CTA, like its content, must be carefully tailored to the target audience. Every culture has its preferred communication style, which resides on a spectrum between formal and informal. A tone that one culture might see as friendly and approachable could be disrespectful or unprofessional in another.
Note: Translation and localization serve distinct purposes that contribute to adapting your CTA for foreign markets. Applying pure translation to your CTAs may lead to misunderstanding or lack of engagement, while over-localization might make your message too colloquial.