Your call-to-action deserves as much thoughtfulness as the rest of your advertising, if not more, since it’s the most powerful statement you’ll make. Without a well-crafted call-to-action, your prospects may lose interest in your offer, no matter how great it is.

Calls-to-action can be found anywhere you publish or market online. They belong on your blog, emails, social media, guest articles, and any other content you create. Anytime you want your prospects to do something—to click somewhere—use a call-to-action.

However, your call-to-action must be appropriate for the buyer’s situation. If it doesn’t match how your prospects feel about your business at that moment, it could actually repel their interest rather than drive it. For example, a call-to-action that asks prospects to schedule a move-in TODAY is out-of-place in a Facebook display ad. They have no idea where you’re located, let alone whether they’re ready to make a buying decision.

Calls-to-action are a bit like dating. Typically, asking someone to marry you before buying them dinner is a bad idea. Likewise, your prospects need time before they decide to commit. Don’t move too fast, too soon.

Mapping your buyer’s journey can help you stay in tune with prospects. When you have your buyer personas and journeys clearly mapped out, you’ll be better prepared to create a call-to-action that speaks to their needs, wherever they are. It won’t be too aggressive or too weak.

For some guidance, we’ve mapped an example buyer’s journey for an apartment complex and included a potential call-to-action for each stage. Use these calls-to-action and journey as a model to inspire statements that fit your situation. In the following weeks we’ll walk you through examples specific to the Self Storage and Senior Living industries.

1) Search

Initially, your prospect is simply looking. Let’s say she’s a single, educated woman with a good career, who’s wanting to move closer to work. First, she researches the area using a search engine and talks to friends on social media about your neighborhood. She’s just starting to seek—she’s not even ready to visit an apartment yet.

From your perspective, you just want her to find you and begin to like you. In dating terms, you’re making yourself look good to catch her eye.

With that in mind, your call-to-action should be crafted to catch her attention. You could highlight something interesting about your building, like your terrific view or weekly activity. Consider a phrase like this on social media: “Wind down from your busy week at our weekly wine tastings! Visit our website for more details.” It’s not intimidating; it speaks to her exactly where she is.

2) Visit Website

Now that you’ve caught her attention, she begins to check out what you have to offer. You started with a weekly activity, but she’s drawn to your website now. In dating terms, she’s looking at your profile, browsing through your photos. Are you what she’s looking for?

Having a high-quality website is important. She wants to learn about your features and amenities, without the pressure of contacting you. Consider posting or linking to positive customer reviews with a call-to-action such as, “Read what our tenants say about living here!” Seeing these third-party comments is like talking to your friends. It’s casual, but you’re still piquing her interest.

3) Schedule a Tour

After reading the reviews, she feels secure and ready to talk with you. You seem like what she wants. Is it simple for her to schedule a “date” with you?

Contacting someone takes courage, so you want to make it as easy as possible for her. Can she find your information from the reviews page? Is there a call-to-action to encourage her to visit? “Come see why people love living here! Schedule a tour today.” This call-to-action shows your interest and makes her feel comfortable contacting you.

4) Visit Property in Person

She comes to the property, and the tour impresses her. She enjoys the “date”—but she’s still not ready to commit. Asking her to sign a contract at this point would be a mistake.

Instead, you could continue showing your interest by sending a follow-up email and inviting her to explore the area using content from your blog or website. For instance, you could write the following call-to-action: “Want to learn more about South Lake Union? Download our map, highlighting the best spots in the area!” Still no pressure. You’re simply offering a gift.

5) Research Further

She spends time thinking about the tour, considering whether to commit. While she debates, she researches your brand on search engines and browses your website again. If she follows the link you provided, her visit starts on the right foot. She’s looking at high-quality content appealing to her interests—from you.

Now you can prompt her to commit. Can she apply online? Is the application easy to access from anywhere on the website? Even better: Does the content you provided link to the application? Is there a call-to-action? “Live in the center of convenience and fun—apply to move here!” You could place this statement next to a star marking your location on the map, unobtrusive yet clear.

6) Apply Online

She’s clicked to apply. It seems like she’s decided to commit, but she might still back out. Make the application process convenient and encouraging, so you don’t lose her.

Moreover, to make her feel comfortable with the decision, continue to prompt her with positive calls-to-action. For example, if your application includes scheduling a move-in, you might phrase your call-to-action as follows: “Choose a move-in date to finally make this place your home!” The word “finally” conveys a sense of relief about her decision, rather than anxiety.

You might think the journey is over now, but even seemingly committed prospects need encouragement. You can convert them into advocates by inviting them to join activities and befriend other residents. Remember that calls-to-action aren’t just about hitting your numbers. They help you build a relationship with the prospect, which will ultimately last longer than any single act.