A call to action, or CTA (call-to-action) is a way to convince the audience to do something: go to a website, make a purchase, place an application, subscribe to a newsletter, register for a webinar … In simple words – a CTA is a kind of instruction, in which you tell the prospect what to do after viewing your content (landing page, blog article, pop-up ad, product description, and so on). What makes a call to action effective? Let’s talk about CTAs for selling articles.
How to write calls to action
Creating a CTA is an art. It’s hard to imagine a sales copy or sales proposal without a call to action. Familiar with the AIDA formula? This is a 4-step model for writing promotional articles: grab attention (attention) + arouse interest (interest) + evoke desire (desire) + motivate action (action). By the way, in one of our articles we wrote how to manage Instagram using this formula.
Actually, the CTA is what everything is started for: even if the user has already made a decision to buy, at any moment he can get distracted and just forget about what he was going to do. Your task is to shorten the “distance” between such stages as the emergence of a desire and the fact of a purchase, so as not to let the client leave. That is why the CTA phrase should be as concise and simple as possible – the site visitor will not waste time reading a whole paragraph.
Alas, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for creating a call to action – it all depends on your industry and target audience pain points. Although each company has its own marketing strategy, there are aspects that are common to all.
In articles, CTAs are usually written according to the following schemes:
- Question + answer. The goal is to provide a simple solution to a specific problem. Example: “Do you want to learn English in 1 month? Sign up for courses with a native speaker! “
- Offer + advantage. The goal is to describe how the customer will benefit if they use the offer. Example: “Sign up for a language course right now – and in a month you will be fluent in English!”
Here are the three main components of a call to action:
- Emotionality. The job of an emotional CTA is to hit the strings of the prospect’s soul and awaken the buying instinct in him. How to achieve this: make sure that the call flows smoothly from the text and is personalized, that is, it meets the needs of the buyer as much as possible, inspires him to achieve the goal.
- Specificity. The task of a specific CTA is to impress the client with facts, to create credibility in the proposal. How to achieve this: use numbers (500 reviews from satisfied customers, 200 branches across the country), set limits (5 days until the end of the promotion, 10 last copies), promise a gift / bonus (2nd copy is free, discount 5th first clients).
- Harmony. The goal of a harmonious CTA is to instill in the site visitor the confidence that he is on the right track, to effectively finish the article. How to achieve this: refuse the monosyllabic “Buy now” or “Leave a request and we will contact you”, and choose phrases that summarize what was said in the article (emphasize the advantage, reflect the company’s motto).
How NOT to write calls to action
There are some marketing techniques that only get in the way. Alas, they are quite common, especially in articles from content people who have no experience in selling copywriting.
Here are some things to forget about:
- CTA reruns. The opinion that the repetition of the same phrase in the text increases the response of the readers is wrong. It may have worked a few years ago, but the methods of influencing online audiences are changing at the speed of light. Now the price is high-quality content, and the calls in every second paragraph of the text are at least annoying. As a maximum, they cause suspicion: the reader begins to think that you are trying to sell him something unnecessary, and even at a high price.
- “If” statements. What would you think when you saw a call like “If you want to buy a phone, follow the link”? Hardly anything good. For a person who is looking for a phone, there is no “if” – he is already looking for it! By formulating the CTA in this way, you demonstrate uncertainty about your own proposal and do not motivate you to buy at all.
- Impudence. Yes, some marketers find calls like “Don’t screw up, like it” as a great technique. However, it must be remembered that this does not always work and not with everyone. There should be an appropriate target audience, disposed to “familiar” communication, and a suitable type of content, for example, a post in a youth public on a social network. Although here it is worth being careful – among young people there will certainly be those who do not accept familiarity.
So, when creating a CTA, remember who you are writing for. The needs and expectations of your audience should come first. It makes no sense to use abstruse phrases just for a catchphrase. Replace them with a short, simple and understandable call that captures the essence of the article and demonstrates the uniqueness of your proposal. Arouse genuine emotion with impressive facts about your product, without annoying ifs, endless repetitions and familiarity!