Business Don’t Pay Without that CTA

In my previous post I talked about content marketing and how it creates the cornerstone of your prospect indoctrination strategy.

Content marketing is one side of the coin, but on the other side lives something very important that is NOT to be omitted from a successful strategy.

And that’s a call to action (CTA).

Content is important for drawing cold prospects to the warm light of your solutions, but if there’s no call to action when they get there, no opportunity to buy that which will improve their lives, then what’s the point?

Without a CTA you miss opportunities to sell, which is what business is all about, is it not?

So when you write blog posts and emails, when you record videos and podcasts, be sure every piece has a call to action.

It can, and often should be subtle. It’s not a pitch. You’re not standing on the corner, waving your arms shouting “Buy here! Buy now!”

Rather, you’re presenting the opportunity for them to walk through the door. You’ve guided them this far, now all they have to do is take that step to begin the transformation.

Of course, on the other side of the door you better have a great offer, a clean cart page, good guarantees and a “thank you” email in place.

Don’t leave them hanging after you make the sale! Be sure you’re nurturing those new customers with a follow-up email sequence that welcomes your new customers into the fold and makes them feel comfortable.


Click here to get your free 5 C’s of Indoctrination Checklist and start converting the curious today!

How the Psychic Readers Network Used Indoctrination to Pull Down $24 Million a Month

Remember Miss Cleo from TV commercials advertising free psychic readings in the late ‘90s/early 2000s?

Miss Cleo was a black woman dressed in Afro-Caribbean clothing who spoke in a thick Jamaican accent. With an inviting smile she would implore viewers to “Call me now for your free reading.”

On these commercials she would give “real callers” tarot readings over the phone. She usually advised callers about their love lives with a kind of tough love approach.

The callers would be shocked and delighted at her accuracy, proving Miss Cleo could indeed use the power of the tarot to show people the way.

Who was Miss Cleo?

The truth is, “Miss Cleo” was a fabricated spokeswoman for the Psychic Readers Network (PRN), a pay-per-call service.

Her given name was Youree Dell Harris (she passed away in 2016 from colon cancer). She was born in Los Angeles, spoke perfect English and came from a family with money. Just prior to becoming the PRN spokeswoman, she was part owner of theatre company in Seattle that produced plays she wrote.

In a 2014 interview with Vice, Ms. Harris claimed the company pulled in $24 million a month for two years straight using her as a spokeswoman.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) eventually cracked down on the Psychic Readers Network, charging the founders with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices. The founders settled out of court for $500 million. Ms. Harris was not named in the suit.

What’s Miss Cleo got to do with indoctrination?

Before Miss Cleo, nobody knew about Psychic Readers Network. Only a few fringe believers called psychic hotlines. But with Miss Cleo, whose commercials were in constant rotation in the 1990s, PRN made insane amounts of money.


Because “Miss Cleo” looked the part. The accent, the Afrocentric clothing, the setting of the commercials all worked together to create an air of believability.

People made a connection in their minds between Miss Cleo’s appearance and supposed background and the mystical, unknown nature of tarot cards and psychic readings. They figured she must be legit. That’s the power of stereotypes and imagery.

For better or worse, humans take mental shortcuts and tend to believe what we see.

The Miss Cleo Takeaway 

Cold prospects are taking the same kinds of mental shortcuts and striving to make connections when they visit your website.

To indoctrinate new customers your website has to “look the part,” as it were. If there’s a disconnect between who you say you are and what prospects think you are, your sales will suffer considerably.

PRN wouldn’t have made all that money with a white, bald spokesman in coveralls named “Joe Smith.”

Take a look at your website and determine if the imagery, design, copy and narrative are all in line with the essential soul of your business.

Are you projecting professionalism? Whimsy? No-nonsense sophistication? Cluttered confusion? Apathy?

And how can you ethically and effectively create your own “Miss Cleo” that represents who you are, what you do and what you stand for?


Get your very own 5 C’s of Indoctrination checklist here.

How Game of Thrones Indoctrinates Die-hard Fans and Newbies Alike, Every Week

You’d have to be living under a rock to not know about HBO’s mega-hit series Game of Thrones. Even if you’ve never seen an episode or read a word of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of books the show is based on, you’ve probably absorbed some knowledge about it through cultural osmosis.

In a nutshell: A lot of people are fighting to sit on the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms as the one-and-only, all-powerful monarch of the land. Heads have been rolling for seven season now.

There are two elements of the show that use a powerful indoctrination strategy: The opening credits and the “Previously On…” sections that appear before every episode.

The Game of Thrones Opening Credits and Theme Song

The opening credits sequence shows a map of Westeros, the country where most of the show’s action takes place. A bird’s-eye-view takes us from King’s Landing, the capital, around the map to places like Winterfell, The Wall and Pyke.

Observant viewers will notice that this sequence is not the same, static map opening every time. The opening sequence varies, highlighting each castle or region that’s featured in that week’s episode. These small changes tell viewers, dedicated and brand-new alike, where they’ll be visiting in that episode.

In such a sweeping story that covers so many characters and places, this attention to detail helps viewers orient themselves and prepare for the next installment of the story.

Not only do the places change, but the details of the castles themselves change as well. Normally the Direwolf banner of House Stark flies over Winterfell, the seat of the North.

But when the Bolton family ousted the Starks and held the castle, the opening credits showed their banner, the Flayed Man (which in itself is a form of indoctrination—any family with a sigil of a man with the skin cut from his body is not one you want to cross.)

Another element of the Game of Thrones opening credits is the clean design and clear copy. They don’t get overly fancy or clever. They show each element clearly and linger on it long enough for viewers to absorb what they’re being shown.

You can see how different the opening credits of Season 1, Episode 1 varies from Season 7, Episode 1. Not only have the places featured on the map changed, but so have the actors’ names as their characters shift in prominence (or die).

“Previously on Game of Thrones

To catch up viewers on what they might have missed, each episode features a highlight reel of previous episodes, shaped to give viewers context of how what happened before will play into the plot now.

When a particular scene is highlighted from previous episodes, you can expect to see that character again in this week’s episode. This not only serves as a refresher, if the scene had happened a long while back, but prepares viewers’ context for what to expect in the upcoming episode.

So, between the “Previously On…” and the opening credits map, viewers are given a framework in which to put their expectations of the episode. And the showrunners never let us down. Every detail is precise, every set-up knocked down smoothly and without distraction.

How can you use these ideas to improve your indoctrination strategy?

If your business were Game of Thrones, how do you keep your loyal fans engaged, while simultaneously welcoming in new people?

Grab your free 5 C’s of Indoctrination Checklist and start building your very own indoctrination strategy.

Lessons from My 20-Year Class Reunion

This past weekend I attended my 20th high school class reunion. We danced a lot, drank a lot, sang along to ‘90s songs and had a blast.

This is contrary to the stereotype of class reunions I had always heard of…

That everyone is stuffy and pretentious… Lording their (real and exaggerated) accomplishments over others…

Trying to one up everyone else.

There was none of that here.

The overall energy of the party was one of joy, acceptance and genuine happiness at reconnecting with old friends.

Seeing old friends, and meeting their spouses or significant others for the first time, made me think of indoctrination.

There are many parallels between the way you indoctrinate prospects to your business online and how outsiders are indoctrinated into a culture.


It Starts with the Introduction

At my reunion a classmate would say something like, “Hi! So good to see you again! This is my wife, Paula.”

And I’d respond with, “Hi, so nice to meet you!” Followed by a few getting-to-know-you questions.

Online, how do you introduce your business to strangers?

When a prospect discovers you in a search, do you introduce yourself with a brief synopsis of what you do and how you help your customers?

Or do you awkwardly shift your weight, look away, mumble “hi,” and wait for them to start the conversation?

If your SEO tags and search snippet descriptions don’t tell users who you are and what you do, then your business is the equivalent of that socially awkward person who makes people uncomfortable.

Back to the reunion.

After the introduction, most conversations centered around catching up on what my classmates and I are up to here and now, and strolling down a 24-year memory lane.

While there may have been some chit-chat with the spouse, the evening was more about the “Paulas” of the room gaining a window into the culture of her husband’s youth.


And Continues with Revealing Your Brand Identity and Culture

Just by virtue of being present, Paula can tell her husband comes from a culture of Midwest values by the way everyone in the room is engaging with one another.

What kind of values does your business represent?

If your website and marketing are a party, what kind of vibe are you giving off?

Is it one of problem-solving and service? Are you introducing yourself and offering help and guidance?

Or are you looking down your nose and boasting all about your (real and exaggerated) achievements?

And most importantly: Can outsiders tell right away? Or are you confusing them with your awkward silence?

In your Cold Prospect Indoctrination Strategy, strive to be the most gracious host at the best party in town. You’ll attract new customers and make them feel comfortable enough to do business with you.

Have you attended any class reunions? Have you noticed other parallels between social situations and business? Email me your thoughts at Indoctrinatrix!


And don’t forget to grab your free 5 C’s of Indoctrination Checklist!