How to Make a Good Call to Action
READ NOW! All about “Calls to Action”! They are everywhere. They whisper to us from billboards and shout at us in printed ads. They call to us from radios and televisions. They encourage us, cajole us, and insist we listen to them every day.
They are ever-present and unavoidable. We cannot escape them. They are known as “calls to action.” But what exactly is it and how can we make a good call to action? How can we harness their power and write good calls to action that work for us? Read on and find out!
WHAT IS A CALL TO ACTION?
A call to action, or CTA, is basically a command or prompt used in advertising and marketing with the intent to invigorate or inspire a potential customer into doing something, whether it be making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. “Buy now” and “like and subscribe” are CTA’s that we see or hear fairly regularly, if not every day. They are commanding us to take action.
There are two types of CTA’s. There is the hard CTA and the soft CTA. Both have their place in marketing. We have to be careful, however, which type of CTA we use in different situations. Using the wrong CTA can turn a potential customer off of your product or service. To understand what type of CTA to use and when to use it let us explore their differences.
HARD CALL TO ACTION
A hard CTA is pretty much straightforward. “Buy now!” is an example of a hard CTA. You aren’t beating around the bush with this type. You are instructing your potential customer or client to purchase on the spot. It’s okay if your product speaks for itself and your sales pitch is strong. Some customers respond well to a hard CTA. Others may need more convincing.
SOFT CALL TO ACTION
A soft CTA uses a lighter touch in drawing in the consumer. A soft CTA entices the potential consumer towards the desired end, which is the purchase of whatever you are offering. “Start your free trial today!” is a soft CTA.
You are still leading the reader to take immediate action, but you are not insisting that they fork over cash on the spot. You can use this type of call to action if your product or service is new or unfamiliar to the customer.
You wouldn’t want to scare this potential source of revenue away by insisting they purchase something that they aren’t even sure they would value. Hence, the soft CTA.
Now we know what a “call to action” is. We know the two main types. Let us read further and learn how to write our own CTA’s that will entice our readers and turn them into customers.
WRITING A GOOD CALL TO ACTION
A good CTA should be compelling. Like the closing of a sale, we should not leave room for the potential customer to hem and haw. We want the customer to take action, and the sooner, the better. There a few ways to achieve this effect and maximize results.
“Buy now,” the example of the hard CTA I used earlier, is as bland as oatmeal. It stirs nothing in the reader. It ignites no impulse to actually “buy now.” A better, slightly more creative CTA might say “Buy now and get started right away!”.
A CTA worded this way might make the potential customer begin to anticipate the results of owning whatever product you are selling or using whatever service you offer. They may, indeed, wish to get started right away. The point is, you want to speak to the customer in a personal way to invoke a response. A little creativity can go a long way in this regard.
A CTA that reminds the customer what they will be getting will undoubtedly be more effective. If you are selling a gym membership, a CTA that reads “Join today and enjoy our pool, sauna, and weight room, day or night, seven days a week.”
That CTA is going to pull more people into your gym than one that reads “Join Today!”. It reminds the prospective customer once again what exactly they will be getting if only they heed your well written CTA.
Put your potential customer at ease. If you offer a free trial, mention that in your CTA. Tell them that their satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Depending on your refund policy, let your customer know that if they are not satisfied they are entitled to a full refund.
It will help reduce any apprehension your customer may have and increase the likelihood that your CTA will have it’s desired effect. A CTA that puts a customer at ease might read, “Click the button below and start receiving your free trial issues of “Blah Blah Blah Weekly,” with NO obligation to buy!”.
The trial is free. There is no obligation. The potential customer feels safe. They are more likely to click the button below.
Sense of Urgency
Make your customer feel a sense of urgency. I know this is nearly the exact opposite of what I have just said about putting the customer at ease, but it is still an effective tool in writing a good call to action. In this instance, you want the customer to feel like they might regret NOT heeding your CTA.
Utilizing a call to action that reads along the lines of “Act NOW while supplies last!” would make the potential customer feel as if they MUST act now or it will be too late. Another way to achieve this emotion in your customer is to remind them of a deadline. “Hurry on down! Sale ends Sunday!” elicits the same response in the customer, spurring them to take immediate action.
It is important to note that the type of CTA you use can affect how customers view your business or product. How often have we seen seedy and disreputable businesses employ CTA’s to the extent that they have tainted that particular call to action?
“Call now for your free psychic reading” and “call now to talk to hot local singles” used to be so hackneyed and overused that a poorly worded “call now” CTA might invite a potential customer who remembers these types of shady ads to make undesirable associations.
Similarly, overly aggressive use of a CTA might invoke thoughts of a “get rich quick” company slick with promises and quick to grab the customer’s money.
In the end, it’s all about the image you want to project and how well you’ve pitched your sale that will lead you to choose which style of CTA to use or write. A call for action tactfully used will help you grow your business and draw customers to your door.
Now that you have a better idea of how to make a good call to action, what’s keeping you? Write your call to action today!
How are you doing with your call to actions?
I would love to hear about your personal experience with using CTA’s. Please feel free to share your comments and tips for CTA’s in the comment section below.
Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate