“Click here to get your free widget today!”
How often do you see invitations like this on Facebook pages, websites, and Twitter accounts? Do you know why you see them? Because they work!
A call to action is exactly as it sounds – it’s an invitation for someone to do something. If you’re giving away freebies or trying to add names to your newsletter list, a call to action will tell people exactly what to do in order to receive something. When it comes to writing an effective call to action, there are three simple rules:
- Tell people what to do.
- Tell them what they’ll get.
- Add a sense of urgency.
What to Do
A digital call to action (on a blog, website, Facebook, etc.) is almost always a ‘click here’ option. When readers click on a link, they’ll go to a special page where they can claim their freebie, sign up for a newsletter, or receive any other items promised.
Not all calls to action are online, though. If you’re sending a newsletter or magazine through the mail, you can include a physical call to action. These are the post cards and/or forms that instruct people to fill them out and mail them back (often in exchange for a free issue of a magazine or other such item).
Regardless of how you’re asking people to respond, it should be easy and free (pre-pay the postage on any mailers!).
What They’ll Get
Be specific. Don’t promise the idea of something wonderful – tell people exactly what they’re getting for their efforts.
Make It Urgent
Click now! Get it today! Don’t wait – click here!
The call to action doesn’t necessarily expire, but you want people to feel as if they need to act now. Adding the above phrases will give your readers the urgent push they need to respond.
1, 2, 3 – that’s it! Now for the hard part – figuring out what you’re offering with your call to action (but that’s a discussion for another time).
Have you struggled to create an effective call to action? What’s stumping you?