Marketing Tools: How to Write a Call to Action


Call to action

Get to the core of your content.

When was the last time you tried to convince your audience to take action? It is not as easy as it sounds. It is an art form, and it takes a bit of practice to match the right tone with motivation. Here’s my basic guide.


1. Keep it short and sweet. The short part means aim for 55 characters or less. The sweet part means don’t threaten your audience. Instead, appeal to their curiosity. In practice, curiosity is the most effective pre-existing condition to appeal to with internet marketing (It also performs well in direct mail campaigns).

2. Write a haiku. Look at your content. Whatever your destination: a webinar, whitepaper, product, etc… On scrap paper, boil it down to the simplest, most powerful elements. As quirky as it sounds, the  poetic element helps me keep the creative muse around my marketing tablet. Everyone has their own style. This gets to the core of what you are promoting. Once you have the core, you can appeal directly to your customer’s root need.

3. Animation is optional.

Beyond that, I prefer to use action words and present tenses when possible- but not always. These are successful alternatives to your standard present-tense call to action:

The six word story. Like Hemingway’s famous short story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” usually, it breaks the 55 character rule, but with animation it delivers results.

If-then logic: If _______ then __________. The consumer’s need goes in the first blank, your solution goes in the second. The word “then” is optional.

Metaphors. Along the lines of a haiku, a metaphor gets to the core of your content.

Platitudes with a twist. These sayings are popular for many reasons, for example, “A Penny Saved is A Penny Earned.” A bank might create a call to action using only the first part as a teaser. The click-through content could be a whitepaper about their new savings account features. Or modifying elements of the saying: “The early bird catches the sale.”

Questions. Asking the right question usually gets a good response. What do you think?

Share your inspirations for writing calls to action with the community at MarketFix by leaving a comment.


About marketini

Marketing, SEO, SEM, Brand Management, Market Strategy, Fundraising, Media Design...
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