Ian Campbell
0430 584 143

I.C. Enterprises

Business Strategies For A Digital Age

What Is A Call To Action

What Is A Call To ActionWe are often told that to be more successful with our content based marketing, we need to have a clear call to action (CTA) on every piece we create. To get people to take the next step, they need to be guided along the pathway. This is done by creating a Call To Action that specifically tells your viewer what they should do next.

On the most basic of levels you could have your phone number or email address on each and every article, but this does not really guide the visitor on an action, it merely suggests they call or email you.

A clear call to action however will tell the visitor to do a specific task in a way that is compelling to them.

What You Need To Think About….

Exactly what do you want your visitor to do:

  • Subscribe to your email list?
  • Phone you?
  • Fill out a form?
  • Connect with you on Facebook?
  • Comment on your blog?

If you are not 100% clear on this you cannot be clear on your call to action. It has to be just one thing, a clear call to action will not work if you ask them to add you to Facebook AND fill out your contact form. Each CTA should focus on only one task.

Different Call To Action Messages:

Simple – Please do this
Benefit driven – If you do this, it will help you to [benefit]
Time limited – This is only available for the next [time period]
Incentive driven – Subscribe now and receive [incentive]
Or a combination – Limited to [time period] only, download [incentive] and achieve [benefit]

Looking at a variety of different websites relating to your industry or interest will give you some insight on how to write your call to action more compellingly. Some people use a fear based compulsion to elicit an action; “You will never succeed without our product“, whilst others use a more positive approach; “Our product will help you succeed quickly and easily“. Each has its own merits and is effective in different ways.

Whichever style of Call To Action you use, make sure it has a clear message to take the next step. Your visitor will not always know what you want them to do, so you need to spell it out in a precise manner.

Using a button for the CTA is a good way to make it stand out from the page. Buttons entice the user to click them and adding a relevant message to it will help this even more. Instead of your button saying “Click Here”, you may like to make it more relevant. If you are offering a download, you could have “Download your free gift now” as your button text, or “Get Updates Now” for a subscription button. Just think along the lines of what would get you to click the button if you were on your page.

To summarise, a call to action is something that guides your visitor to take an action, it can be used for various things like email opt-ins, requests for comments or social media connections. It must be clear in its purpose and only be for one thing, it should entice the user to take the action, it must tell the visitor what the action will result in and should be benefit driven at the very least and it must stand out from the rest of the page.

Do you have a Call To Action on your website and does it work for you? Let us know your experience in the comments below.

23 Responses to What Is A Call To Action

  • My call to action is to sign up for my newsletter Cosmic Meanderings and in return they get a preview chapter of my book. This made the most sense to me, as being a writer, this is what people seem to be the most curious about. My book. I think depending on the products you are offering, your list of call to actions makes perfect sense. In several joint venture book launches I used a different incentive to attract people to my email list and often so many people are included in the giveaways, that results are less than encouraging. Thanks for the tips on the different call to action strategies and perhaps it is something to continue to look at and reassess. Appreciate the info and the prompt, Ian!

    • That is an excellent way for authors to get newsletter signups Beverley. It gets them interested in your book and can lead to more sales over time. Do you use a follow up sequence to promote your book as well? Cheers, Ian

  • Hi Ian,
    Thank you for laying out the specific types of calls to action. This is an area I am working to improve. I took some notes and plan to implement asap. Thank you!

    • Hi Sharise, glad you found some value in this post. We should always look at ways we can improve our calls to action. Just remember to keep monitoring your results from any changes you make so you can make sure you are on the right pathway. Cheers, Ian

  • I so agree the fear based ones have to be used sparingly. It’s always a good idea to change things up and not always ask for the same thing in every post. Sometimes, I also like to work beginning with what I want people to do, then write a post around that.

    Even if it’s something that doesn’t result in money immediately, it’s a good idea to ask for an action – so people expect it.

    Great post as usual Ian.

    • Thanks Lynette, having a call to action helps you to train your audience to take an action, even if it is just to comment or share your post. I love the tip about writing a post around an action you want the viewer to take, that is an excellent way to do it. Thank you so much for commenting Lynette, as usual you have provided even more benefit to my post. Cheers, Ian

  • Love this post Ian! So many people are disappointed that their websites aren’t giving them the results they want. BUT they’ve failed to let prospective clients know what to do once they land on their site. Good reminders for all of us in our messaging to be purposeful.

    • Absolutely Deb, if we do not guide our visitors to an end goal they will not always know what to do. At least by providing a clear call to action we can move them closer to engagement and hopefully a purchase. Thanks for the comment, much appreciated. Cheers, Ian

  • Most of my cta in my blogs are to drive traffic to website. Need to revisit this based on your specific tips. Good post.

    • Thanks Roslyn, yes you should revisit your CTAs so there are a variety of them pointing to different things within your business and not just to your website. Glad you got some ideas. Cheers, Ian

  • Most of our call to actions also include driving traffic. Sounds like we need to rethink this in order to provide our guests with a clear call – such as “buy now for a deal.”

    • Hey Lori Ann, the clearer the call, the better the result. Being specific will help those who are interested in your products or services a better pathway to find your deals. Thanks for the comment. Cheers, Ian

  • Thanks for the reminder of how important a clear call to action is Ian. When I first started in the Internet Marketing business, I totally over looked this and sort of took it for granted that visitors would sign up to my newsletter or take the desired action. Little did I know the value of guiding them through the 1,2 3, step process to get them to make that all important click. The simpler the better I may add.

    I think buttons work well for CTA’s or I often use ‘click here’ url’s as you can’t get much clearer than that!

    I really like your bite-sized post. Being a newbie to it all, I feel rather overwhelmed by too information on one page but in your case, keeping the information clear and concise, makes for easy reading and it is also very easy to understand. Outlining different CTA’s also has merit so thank you for this invaluable info.

    • Hi Michelle, Glad this reminded you of the importance of a clear call to action. The simpler the better works well on some things, whilst others require a bit more incentive I have found.

      I am concentrating on smaller posts presently for exactly that reason, it is great to do long informational pieces but too often it ends up overwhelming newer followers so I will keep them short for the moment. Thank you for commenting, much appreciated. Cheers, Ian.

  • Hi Ian!

    Wow what a great post you shared on Calls To Action and all the different kinds 🙂 Having a Call To Action is so very important so you can guide your readers to take an action that YOU really want them to take! Great ideas and awesome value! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Joan, Thank you, I am glad you liked this post. Being clear on where you want your visitors to go and what you want them to do is very important. I thought this post may be a timely reminder that we should look closer at what we are asking our visitors to do as the next step in the journey. Cheers, Ian.

  • This is a really good explanation of a call to action, Ian. Call to actions are really important tools to positively impact your conversion rate.

    • Thanks Niquenya, too many bloggers miss this one important aspect of content creation for marketing. If you don’t direct your visitor to the next step then you cannot expect them to make it by themselves. Thanks for the comment. Cheers, Ian 🙂

  • I have CTA for my website but I’m not getting what I want to get. So it was great to read the information about the CTA. I might implement some of your tips. Thanks Ian for sharing!

    • Hi Kaz, having a CTA for your website is good, but having CTA’s on your content that gets people to do an action is much more effective. Thanks for the comment. Cheers, Ian

  • Hi Ian,
    Very helpful, timely and clear tips! We were just talking about Calls To Action in our Social Media seminar for SCORE on Wednesday. While I am familiar with them – these tips will help me to remember to explain it a little further so the students understand. Thank you!

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