The 5 C’s of Calls to Action

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A good deal of time has been devoted to calls to action on this blog recently. We’ve talked about using calls to action in all forms of marketing in order to capitalize on the messaging that you’re putting out there. Tell people what to do next, or you risk losing them.

Here are my 5 Cs of Calls to Action to keep in mind as you prepare your next marketing piece:

  1. Clear – It should be obvious what you want me to do next. Tell it to me straight, e.g. “Call 1-800-555-5555”.


  2. Concise – Keep it short and sweet. It doesn’t need to take a long time to spell out how to follow up. One, simple action is all you should offer.


  3. Cheap – Where possible, keep the commitment level low and you’ll get more people taking action. And I’m not just talking about money here, but time and privacy as well.


  4. Captivating – This is the “why” of the call to action. It’s made up of the rest of the message. What am I going to get when I call, or email, or visit, or purchase. The “why” is what gets me to take action when you tell me to.


  5. Central – Don’t hide the call to action amongst a thousand other messages. It should be obvious, it should stand out. Everything else should lead toward the call to action. So start with the call to action, and complete the rest of the piece with that in mind.