The call to action is one of the most important parts of an article, blog, or really any content or digital marketing material.
This is where you get to prompt users to call your business, email you, download something, or take some other kind of action to move beyond the consideration phase and into the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Here are some of the most effective tips I’ve found for writing calls to action in my 30+ year career as a digital and content marketing expert.
Make the Offer Too Good to Pass Up
Calls to action shouldn’t just sound good. They should be good. Your offer should have at least some kind of value that users can get immediately upon taking action.
Great calls to action give users a good reason to click, call, or take some other action. Even better calls to action make clicking or calling the only reasonable or logical next step. If users don’t take action, there may even be negative consequences.
Consider these examples:
- Get 50% off an annual subscription to our international snack box – over $180 in savings!
- Sign Up Now For a COMPLETELY FREE Car Wash
- Live Lobsters $10/lb. Steamed Fresh For You
- Book your free skin and hair assessment
- Join our email list for $20 off your first purchase!
- Get paid just for watching ads – find out how.
Keep Your CTAs Short & Sweet
Calls to action that are too long are less likely to be read all the way through by users and even less likely to get the click.
Keep your CTAs short and to the point like the examples below:
- Book now for 50% off
- Create a website in 5 steps
- Request a demo
- Call now for a consultation
- Make an appointment now
- Order today
- Get your copy now
- Download the results now
- Book your cooking class
- Let’s chat
- Shop now
Create a Sense of Urgency
Consumers tend to act faster and more consistently when calls to action create a sense of urgency or scarcity.
You can create urgency by describing why the offer is time-sensitive. For example, perhaps the offer is only for a limited time or maybe supplies are not expected to last. These are often much more effective than calls to action that aren’t generating interest now.
Here are some examples of urgent calls to action:
- Massive Moving Sale Today Only!
- Get 50% off your annual magazine subscription if you sign up TODAY
- Shop our 3-day only President’s Day sale now!
- Book your appointment before our schedule fills up!
- Time is running out – preregister your copy of our New York Times bestelling book now
- Limited Time Offer – Get Yours Now
Use Action Words
Your call to action should tell users exactly what you want them to do next in no uncertain terms.
Phrases like, “If you have time, calling our office can help you get access to the resources you need” are weak and don’t do a good job of either creating urgency or giving the user clear directions on what action to take.
Instead, use action words like the following:
- Set up
Offer an Immediate Reward
Today’s consumers want instant gratification. If there is any indication that they will have to wait for something or that something will not be immediately available when they take action, the chances increase significantly that they won’t take action at all.
By offering an immediate reward in your advertising, you give users a great reason to click.
Here are some examples of calls to action that use rewards to entice consumers to take the next step:
- Click here to get your free copy of our latest eBook!
- Show me my results
- Sign up now for our email newsletter & get over $100 in coupons sent to your email!
- Get 50% off your streaming subscription when you sign up today
- Start your own business with our free marketing kit available for download now.
- Click to start learning Spanish today
Get More Writing & Content Marketing Tips From McDougall Interactive
Effective advertising is harder than ever before in today’s competitive market, but getting the tools you need to create great content that your users want to interact with doesn’t have to be so difficult.