Call to Action
The hook in the bait of your marketing copy.
WHAT IS A CALL TO ACTION?
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt in a piece of content that encourages the audience to take some sort of next step. It is the pièce de résistance of marketing, if you will.
What Does a Call to Action Look Like?
A call to action could be an invitation to sign up for a newsletter, visit a website, complete a purchase, or subscribe to your monthly artisanal cheese box. A CTA usually comes at the end of a blog, commercial, or other marketing material, and it often will be bold or highlighted to attract attention.
The CTA is where the rubber meets the road and you see whether your marketing efforts have been effective in getting your audience to take the next step in your relationship.
A good CTA can be compared to the punchline of a joke. The content is the build-up, and the CTA is the thing you wait for that makes you laugh, or in this case, comply. When properly worded — and if the preceding content has done its job — your audience will jump at the chance to take action.
What is the Purpose of a Call to Action?
The goal of marketing content is to inform and engage with your target audience in order to build relationships. The goal of those relationships, in turn, is sales or some other form of commitment.
A call to action is the most important piece of a marketing effort. You've provided the audience with information to educate them about your products, which has helped them trust you and form a connection to your brand. Now, it's their turn to share their information or spend money with you.
The ultimate purpose of the CTA is to generate leads, develop relationships, build a customer base, and entice consumers to make a purchase, either now or in the very near future.
How to Write an Effective Call to Action
The best call to action is catchy and convincing. It can take the tone of a direct command as in Buy Now, or it can be more subtle like Learn More. Most people aren't fond of being told what to do, so how you word a CTA is key.
Create a Sense of Urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is one of the best ways to make a successful call to action. The fear of missing out on an opportunity will drive many consumers to act fast. If a price is valid Today Only, it doesn't matter if the product is needed or if the amount of money saved is negligible. The message will encourage the target audience to move quickly and make a purchase before that advantage disappears.
Give Something In Return
A free offer in exchange for providing an email or visiting an online or physical location is another effective tactic. The gift can be a newsletter subscription, an e-book, discount, a pair of socks, a sticker... The possibilities are endless. Offering something for free is a great way to build an email list, generate awareness, and develop a loyal following.
Keep Context in Mind
A prospect who just landed on your site for the first time because your blog post on the best cheese/wine pairings came up in their search results probably isn't ready to make a 6-month commitment to your brand. A prospect who's reading your case study on how your subscription cheese box inspired a wannabe pizza chef to experiment with different types of cheeses, on the other hand, may be closer to buying.
Use different CTAs in different contexts. Think about what type of content it is and where in the funnel the reader likely falls, and provide an appropriate CTA. You don't want to ask for too much information too soon, nor do you want to send someone who's ready to buy back to square one with a weak "Learn more."
Why is a Call to Action Important?
Without a call to action, your marketing is just fluff. Regardless of how much valuable content you're providing, at some point, you're going to need to ask your audience for what you want. It's how you strengthen their connection to your brand, grow your following, and ultimately build your business.
Hi, we’re Verblio.
We create content for SEO and content marketing for every niche.