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Using Calls to Action

Sometimes people say to me, that marketing campaign didn’t work. Or, we tried that, and it didn’t work. Show me, is my usual response.
Then I read the marketing piece and can instantly understand why the company has perceived the marketing campaign didn’t work.

Have you included a Call to Action ?

It didn’t work as there was no “ask” for the reader to act on.  So without an ask or “call to action”, the audience might simply read the piece, and EVEN if they think it’s a great piece, if there is no CTA they cannot respond.

What is a Call to Action ?

A call to action is when you ask the reader or recipient of your message to act upon your message. So when they read it, they immediately – or by a deadline if it’s a promo – are self-motivated to act. It’s the opposite of reading something, thinking its interesting (if you do) and tucking it away to read again or simply binning it or deleting it.

Examples of Call to Actions

Examples of a call to action include : Call now to request a demo, Buy before (specified date) to get a discount, Submit your email to download something, Request a call back, Book now for an early bird discount etc.

Tip : Think about the result you want to achieve for your business in order to determine the call to action.

Test Your Call to Action

Perhaps you want to test more than one call to action.

Why ?

  1. Some call to actions are cheaper for your business than others. For example, a giveaway of a product or service that your source for a low cost price might be more profitable for you than discounting off a top seller. So work out the cost of your call to action if it’s a promo.
  2. Perhaps you want to understand what motivates your target audience most ? is it money off or is it a giveaway ? or something else entirely

Tip : If your call to action is for a promo, don’t forget to include the date that the offer expires. It could be costly if not!

Calls to Action are not always Necessary

Campaigns without a CTA might be around branding, ie to educate your market – or those you hope who will become your market, on something around your business.

So before you judge your latest marketing campaign a failure, double check it to see if you actually asked people to respond in any way.

Note – not every marketing campaign should have a call to action. But if you want to measure something or test something, a CTA is a good idea.


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