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It’s your call: how to write an effective “call to action”

Whatever your precise reasons for generating marketing content, you ultimately want whoever sees it to take some form of action beneficial to your company. Perhaps you want people to buy from your online store, subscribe to your newsletter or get on the phone to you to learn more about your offerings. 

Therefore, you should wrap up every piece of marketing content – like an ad, social media post, blog post or promotional email – with a “call to action”, and a compelling one at that. Here’s how you can do it.

Keep your call to action short but sweet 

There’s no hard and fast rule about how long a call to action should be – it’s basically just a case of, well, whatever works. However, you might have noticed that many CTAs are rather to-the-point, simply saying something like “buy now” or “click here”. 

Generally, you should strip your CTA down to whatever’s essential. Doing so will help to prevent the target customer from getting unhelpfully distracted partway through reading the CTA. 

Show enthusiasm to inspire enthusiasm 

In the same way that your favourite teachers at school were probably those who were clearly enthusiastic about their subject, a euphoric CTA can linger in the memory for longer than a merely perfunctory CTA. 

So, if you’re offering a 50% discount, you could say something like: “Don’t delay, get 50% off today!” Alternatively, if you’re running a competition where an all-expenses-paid holiday is the top prize, you could say: “Get your competition entry in today for the chance to win your dream holiday!”

Let the reader know why they should take action 

Many brands that do include CTAs in their marketing materials get the “what” right but not necessarily the “why”. In other words, many CTAs tell people what they should do but not why they should do it.

If your business is an online store, you could tell your audience how your products could improve their lives, such as help with losing weight or saving money. If you are a corporate training provider, you could inform other businesses about your courses’ ability to help employees work more efficiently. 

Include a limited-time offer 

When Apple brings out a new iPhone model in a “limited edition” colour, this could be incentive enough for you to buy it. That’s because of the “fear of missing out”, or FOMO – which you can now play on with your call to action. You can do this even if you simply sell – rather than make – things. 

You could, for example, advertise that you are running a sale or promotion but that, say, it “ends on Monday” or the discounts will only be available “while stocks last”. 

Apply a little creativity when you can 
Crafting effective CTAs is definitely more of an art than a science, as no CTA – however successful it has proven in the past – is guaranteed to keep mining the same returns. If you’re struggling to add a sufficiently creative touch to your CTAs, our copywriters could help you to make headway.

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