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Writing a Better Call to Action

by Tara Hornor  |  
April 30, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Six ingredients to composing a successful call to action
  • How to lead into your call to action

The call to action in your marketing materials—whether on a printed flyer or in an email campaign—is one of the most important elements in a campaign.

If you do not include a solid call to action, you are not telling your customers the next step they need to take. And just as important, without a call to action, your marketing materials fail to create a sense of urgency. When your audience is left with no direction and no urgency, you'll probably receive little or no return on your investment.

Of course, if you have been doing business for even a small amount of time, you probably already know the importance of a solid call to action, but you may be wondering how, exactly, to write one that works.

Every call to action must be customized to the specific campaign, so no one can give you a rulebook full of the right calls to action for every situation. However, a few tried-and-true writing tips can catapult you from "beginner" to "intermediate" in your call-to-action skill level.

Keep in mind, though, that to reach "expert" level, you will need to test, test, and test some more before you find that perfect phrase that will generate the highest ROI for each marketing campaign.

Among the tips you will learn in this article are the following:

  1. How to use the right words
  2. How to lead into your call to action
  3. How to test your call to action

1. Verbs

The first thing to consider when composing a catchy call to action is the introductory verb you will use. The very first word of your call to action should be a hard-hitting, action-calling, no-nonsense verb.

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Tara Hornor writes for, an online printing company offering flyers, brochures, business cards, posters, postcards, and more print media.

Twitter: @TaraHornor

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  • by Joanne Mon Apr 30, 2012 via web

    I would add: Know your audience. I have found that there is a direct correlation to the target audience and the CTA, particularly in the B2B space. If they're technical, for example, you may want your CTA to be a download of compelling content, such as a whitepaper. If they're more of an end-user, perhaps you want to lead them to a demo or a free trial. Of course if you can get them to interact all the better...can you get them to fill out a survey or play with an online calculator where they input their information to determine ROI? Those are golden leads in my book!

  • by Dara Schulenberg Tue May 1, 2012 via web

    Don't forget the power of social proof in encouraging conversion. And no more HIPPO campaigns, use your data to measure and tweak the conversion path!

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