Writing An Effective Call To Action


A call to action is designed to encourage the reader to respond in a predefined manner. Companies may place a call to action on their websites, or within their brochures, as a means of persuading the consumer to buy their products. Charities might use this technique to encourage monetary donations. Whatever the reason for using a call to action, you can maximise the chances of success by adopting the following strategies.

Harness The Power Of Persuasion

It stands to reason that a call to action which directs attention to an outstanding benefit is likely to elicit the desired response. The prospective customer may be enticed by a free trial or subscription to an informative newsletter. A business person may be persuaded by the opportunity to get ahead of the competition.

People will be more likely to take advantage of a special offer or discount if they are expressly asked to do so. Forceful imperatives such as ‘stop’, ‘act now’ and ‘do it’ are likely to prove particularly effective. Not only will these demands give your prospective clients a push in the ‘right’ direction but they’ll also reflect upon the authority of your business. However, you should be careful not to scare your customers away by using heavy sales tactics.

Understand Your Customers

It is worth looking at your call to action through the eyes of a typical customer. If they are unlikely to understand the technical jargon related to your product or service then don’t use it. If they are interested in luxury and extravagance then adapt your linguistic choices accordingly. The more directly that you appeal to your target audience the better.

As any good freelance copywriter will tell you, one of the best ways to hook the reader is to appeal to their sense of envy. People don’t like the thought that they are using inferior products or services to those used by their friends. If you can persuade your audience that your offerings are top of the range then your sales prospects will increase significantly. You may even be able to stimulate a buyer frenzy by giving the impression that your stocks are dwindling and special offers are set to continue for a limited period.

Listen To The Experts

There’s no point in employing these sales techniques unless your call to action can be easily seen. For maximum impact you may want to use a bold and coloured font. You could even add an exclamation mark for added emphasis. Jake Thomas summarises the importance of design by saying that the best ‘calls to action are simple, eye catching and positioned within the logical flow of information on the page’. You may reinforce the sales message with calls to action on multiple pages of a website, brochure or newsletter.

If you don’t have the time or skills required to design and write a hard hitting call to action then you should enlist the help of a graphic designer and freelance copywriter. Many such professionals work in partnerships, and therefore enjoy a creative synergy from the conceptualisation stage through to production of the finished article. They may even develop numerous calls to action, which you can trial to see which has the most impact.