Getting to the Point: How to Write an Effective Call to Action
You’ve put a lot of work into your marketing copy. You’ve described your products in vivid detail. You’ve outlined the benefits of your service. You’ve even found some testimonials. Your job is almost done. There’s just one last element to include in your copy, and it’s the element that, if neglected, could render all the other work you did useless: the call to action.
The call to action is the “point” of your landing page, email newsletter, and even your SMS marketing messages. It is the thing you want your audience to do. And it’s the last bit of encouragement needed for a prospect to part with their time, money, or both. Not to overstate its importance, but the call to action is what makes a marketing campaign a marketing campaign.
Despite its importance, the call to action is actually one of the shortest parts of your message. Just a few simple words that tell the prospect what you’d like them to do.
They key is not to overthink things. Some people don’t want to be direct lest they come across as rude. But being direct and rude is much more preferable to being indirect and vague. If you have a product for sale, your call to action should have the word “buy” in it. If you are soliciting donations, use the word “donate.” Customers appreciate honesty and are very receptive to bold action verbs.
A good call to action never assumes the customer will know what to do. Don’t assume that he or she will know that the button on the bottom of your page is where to click to buy the product. Put the word “BUY [name of product]” on that button. In fact, don’t assume the customer will know the button labeled “BUY [name of product]” is where to buy the product. Write, “BUY [name of product] HERE.” Your marketing communication is a map. The call to action is the X that marks the spot where the deal is closed.
Detailing the call to action to this extent may seem heavy-handed but it’s also effective. Visit some of your favorite retail or business websites and note how prolific matter-of-fact specific calls to action are. Feel free to test a few different ideas to see which call is best for you. If your call to action is on a website or landing page remember to adjust placement and color to make sure it stands apart from the rest of your text. Whatever you decide, remember that boldness on your end will be rewarded with action on your customers’ end.
For more help writing your call to action, check out this fun blog post by our friends at Unbounce.com: Your Call to Action is Lame! Here are 10 Ways to Make it Convert Better Ouch. Enjoy!