Your customers want to know what they can do after reading your content, and that’s where a call to action comes into play.
A call to action explains exactly what they can do. It answers the most natural question they might have: “What’s next?” in a tidy and persuasive manner.
Good web copy should be a conversation between you and the reader. They have plenty of ways they can, and do respond. A call to action invites them to do this in the ways you were looking for.
Four Tips for Writing a Call to Action that Works:
Show the need – Before you have a chance at writing an effective call to action, your reader needs to be sold that your product or service really works. You have to focus on the benefits, and how you can help your readers improve their lives. If the groundwork is not there, it will be tough to compel people to take action. This is a main tenant in any B2b or B2c writing.
Perfect the language – This is the time to write decisively. Urgent language shows your readers it’s time to act.
- Call now
These are direct words that focus your reader in on a specific action. It’s not enough you tell people about your great product or service. Your web copy is the place to make them take action, and the language you choose plays a key part in that.
Keep your readers focused – Too many calls to action will confuse your reader. It’s akin to going to the grocery store, walking down the cereal aisle, and being overwhelmed by the dozens of choices in front of you. Less choices means less frustration on behalf of the customer.
Sweeten the pot – People value their email. They don’t want to be consistently bombarded with meaningless messages, so they are naturally a little defensive about who they give it out to. And believe me, nearly every business is asking for it. So how do you stand out? Offer them something valuable for free. An eBook, white paper, or a compilation of your best blog posts might all be ways to grab a little attention in your call to action by sweetening the pot.
A call to action doesn’t necessarily have to be about the sale. On your blog for example, there are times when it just shouldn’t be. Instead, you can ask for comments, shares, newsletter registrations, or downloads. These are all viable ways to get your reader to engage, and sometimes that is the main goal. A sales letter by contrast, will probably end with a more aggressive call to action.
Make sure you’re writing a call to action your readers will act on. You can test different calls to action from time to time, and see what works best for you. Do you have questions on perfecting a call to action to make your web copy more efficient? Contact me.
Matt Brennan is a Chicago-based marketing writer and copy editor.