Call to Action: Drive Readers to Action in 5 Steps
JULY 18, 2012:
Melissa Caravella, Director of Client Services, Content and Design
Marketing Strategy Results
Your custom publication has it all: informative content, eye-catching design and tools to help readers engage with your services. But how do you help readers move from simply reading content to acting upon it? Effective calls to action.
A call to action (CTA) is a sentence or paragraph set off from the body of the article that gives readers direction about (1) how to act on the information given and (2) what they can expect in return. Here are five ways you can craft compelling CTAs.
Set it apart. An effective CTA stands out on the page. Use color and contrast to call readers’ attention and white space to draw them in. Effective use of white space helps readers differentiate a CTA as an important stand-alone element.
Create urgency. Start your CTA with a verb that inspires action, like “register” or “call.” Using words like “now” or “today” encourage readers to act right away rather than wait until later.
Offer an incentive. People love free gifts—and they don’t have to be costly. T-shirts, first-aid kits, sunscreen, calendars and $5 coffee gift cards are popular incentives. Can’t add to the budget? Consider offering perks like discounts on a product or service, free parking or free attendance at events.
Be specific. Asking readers to take too many steps can be confusing, and dueling CTAs dilute your message. Limit CTAs to one per page and call for one clear action in a simple, concise way. (Bonus: Fewer options make it easier to track ROI, too!)
Many of these CTAs could apply to your interactive marketing efforts as well. Do you have any helpful tips for creating effective CTAs? Please share with our readers below!