7 Ways To Improve Your Call To Action

7 Ways To Improve Your Call To Action

Improve Your Call To Action

In just about any piece of writing where you are trying to influence or persuade someone to take a certain action, the final part of the message is called the call to action. No matter how persuasive your writing may be, without literally telling the reader what to do next, you may be missing out on click throughs, leads, sales or whatever the call to action is trying to achieve.

A call to action can be used in email marketing where you are trying to get a reader to click through to an offer or your latest blog post. It may also be used on an affiliate site to encourage the visitor to click through the merchants site. It could also simply be a call to buy a product on sales page copy or to give an email address on a squeezepage.  Given that it is used in many cases, what makes a good call to action ? Here are 7 ways to improve your call to action.

  • 1. Be direct

It might go against the subtlety of rest of the writing but you have to be direct. The simplest form of this is “Click here”. If the copy before this call to action has built up the anticipation or tension, simply saying click here may be all that is needed. Above all, you have to be clear about what you want your reader to do next.

  • 2. Add an element of urgency

“Click Here Now” adds to the original call to action but the now urges then to do it immediately. The truth is that if a person doesn’t click through to whatever you are offering immediately after he/she has read the copy, they will never click through. Strike while the iron’s hot as the saying goes.

  • 3. Describe the benefit or value of clicking through

Even though the preceding copy should have made it clear what is on offer, the call to action must reinforce the main points. “Click here to get a 37% discount on Product X”. The benefit of clicking the link is clear – you will save 37% off the cost price.

  • 4. You could even add an increased urgency to the call by mentioning a finite period of time.

So “Get  Today’s 37% discount on Product X here” implies that the 37% discount may only be available for the day.

  • 5. To really ramp up the urgency, you could introduce scarcity to the call

“Get Today’s 37% discount on Product X here: Only 5 more available”. You see this trick on most internet marketing products but you will also see it on Amazon sales pages, usually just below the price.

  • 6. Make the call to action stand out from the rest of the copy.

This could be as simple as bolding the text. If it is a text link it will be underlined and blue anyway so it’ll stand out from the rest of the text.  You could also add characters that point to the cal to action like >>> and <<<, *** and *** or =>> and <==

  • 7. Have more than one call to action

The general advice on this is one at the top and one at the bottom of your copy. People skim copy. Some people have already made up their minds before they even read or after the first paragraph.

  • Bonus Tip – Add pictures

This is vitally important in the right context.

If you are selling a physical product then a clickable picture of the product with a call to action underneath will improve the click through rate without question.

If you are selling a virtual product, such as a book, a picture of the book can crystalize the concept in the readers mind and thus improve click through.

(Image : Turbomilk)

5 Responses to “7 Ways To Improve Your Call To Action”

  • Sean A on July 2, 2012

    I agree completely with what you have written here. I would also add that it should always be above the fold, so people see it quickly. I also want to expand on the “Have more than one”. Make sure this is a single call to action located in more than one place, two different call to actions on a page can get confusing.

    • admin on July 2, 2012

      Spot on…all your writing, including the call to action should be crafted to get your reader to take one action.

  • Karl Dieterich on July 2, 2012

    Hi Adrian,
    Those are great tips you’ve provided.
    Until I tried writing my own sales copy I had no idea how difficult it was! It still amazes me how important it is to tell the reader what to do: “Click the link below to finally end your pain…” I guess you can’t just assume they’ll get the gist of the copy and go looking for the “buy now” button. You must tell them what to do, and tell ‘em with absolute confidence and conviction.


    • admin on July 3, 2012

      Hi Karl, thanks for the comment. These tips apply to affiliate marketing more so than sales pages but in the end they are both direct response ways of communicating. Simplifying the message and telling the person what you want then to do as a result of reading the message is key to improving conversions.

  • Adrian,
    Thanks for this useful tip. I especially love the call for directness.

    A lot of new email marketers seem scared of asking for anything, and they end up beating around the bush till the lose the prospect.

    If you want your reader to take a particular action: TELL IT SO IN PLAIN ENGLISH!

    You won’t hit. At worst, the reader unsubscribes and so what?

    You don’t need readers who feel its wrong for you to earn a living anyway…

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