The Marketer’s Guide to Simplifying Calls to Action

The call to action is defined by as words that urge the reader, listener, or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action, such as "Write Now," "Call Now," or (on Internet) "Click Here." A retail advertisement or commercial without a call-to-action is considered incomplete and ineffective.

You need a call to action. But just having a call to action is not enough. You want your call to action to be clear, attention-grabbing, and action-driving.

How do you do that? Here is a list of 5 ways you can make your call to action more affective:

  • Make sure it’s the only call to action there. An ad or page with more than one call to action tends to do little more than confuse the viewer and usually results in no action being taken.
  • Make sure it is clear what the viewer needs to do. Don’t make a call to action vague or ambiguous. Make it direct and active, such as “Call” or “Click” rather than “Learn More” or “Act Now”.
  • Make it clear what the viewer can expect when they take the necessary action. Here is where the rest of your ad or page comes into play. If I call, who will I speak to? If I click, what will I see next? Address the “why” as well as the “what” in any call to action.
  • Make it easy to take the action. If I’m viewing an ad on a subway, it’s tough to visit a website. If I’m at work, if might be difficult to call. Whenever possible, make it so that the people viewing the call to action can easily accomplish that action right away.
  • Be bold. The call to action should stand out among other elements. If I have to go looking for it, you’ve failed. Most people won’t give you that kind of time. Make it very clear what I should do as soon as I look at the ad or page.

Do you have more call to action tips? Share them in the comments below or on Twitter using #CTA.