If you've ever felt unsure or overwhelmed about how to write a call to action, you're not alone.
If you've never heard of a call to action, or feel that they should only appear on a sales page, you are also not alone.
What is a call to action in marketing?
A call to action (often shortened to CTA) is a prompt that encourages someone to take action. In the online world, this usually equates to a link or a clickable button.
- Click here to learn more
- Watch the video
- Get 50% off when you order today
- Buy now
- Download now
Why use a call to action?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but your audience wants you to tell them what to do.
They want to follow clear and concise instructions and not have to think too much. Yes, we human beings are quite lazy. If something looks like too much hard work, or if we have to guess what you mean, we'll pass it by.
Where to use a call to action?
The best place to use a call to action is at the bottom of your content. For example, you might add them to:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Videos and video descriptions
- Any printed literature
- Every page of your website
CTAs should be used sparingly. For example, if you have 10 different CTAs on the same page, you're going to confuse and overwhelm your readers. And confused minds can't take action!
If a piece of content is particularly long, you may want to add CTAs throughout, since your audience may not have time or patience to read through to the end.
How to create a compelling call to action in 4 simple steps
(1) Know your desired outcome
What specific action do you want your audience to take after consuming your content? If you want them to sign up to your free course, then make sure you specifically ask them to take that action.
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Whatever action you want your audience to take, make it clear and unambiguous in the call to action.
(2) Be super clear
This is not a time to hint at anything, nor is it time to be coy, polite or clever. You don't have to be aggressive or employ hard-sell tactics, but you do have to draw attention to it.
Just give clear instructions that are straight to the point.
- Don't just state the name of the course/service/product, without text to instruct your audience what to do.
- Don't use clever or discreet text like: 'You know what to do', or 'See you there', or 'To new beginnings'.
- Do say 'Buy now, while stocks last' or 'Download our Ultimate Guide For A Fabulous Business here'.
Just remember, make it bold, forthright and straight to the point.
(3) Don't go crazy
Too many CTAs are as bad as no call to action at all. Ideally, you should focus on only one call to action per message.
But if you do have to include more than one CTA, organise them clearly so your audience knows exactly what to do.
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1. Share the film
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(4) Make your audience want to click
In your CTA, use either command verbs or words that convey emotions.
Strong command verbs include:
- Go here
- Sign up
- Buy now
- Leave a comment
- Try for free
Emotional words usually convey a benefit, which should appeal to the reader on a subconscious level.
- Buy your dream home today
- Write a killer call to action in ten minutes
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Creating a killer call to action is simple if you just remember to keep it clear and to the point. Failure to include a CTA in your content leaves your audience wandering around frustrated, aimlessly looking for the next step. And you miss out on an opportunity to lead your audience to a potential conversion.