I’ve been asked to expand on an earlier post – Never. Ever. Forget your call to action.

While most agreed with me, some wanted to know more about how to write a call to action. So here goes…

Here’s how to write a call to action

Don’t start rattling out a call to action without some prior thought. It may be the smallest part of your post or page, but it’s up there with the headline and subheads for importance.

The key thing is to stop being shy. There should be no beating around the bush. Unless you’re plain rude, your readers or customers will love you for it.

Why? Because a good call to action makes life easy.

Think about this. You’re in a shop with an armful of stuff you want to buy, but you can’t see where the checkout is. Then compare it to being on a web page, not knowing how to make a purchase or sign up to a newsletter, or find out more information.

The result is frustration. Your job is to alleviate that frustration, or even better, stop it happening at all.

Putting your call to action in writing

Here are some simple ways to write a call to action:

  • Don’t just say ‘Buy [name of your product]’. Add ‘Here’ or ‘Click here’ – think about being in the shop, trying to find the checkout
  • Be clear about the benefit of clicking – say ‘Click here for free next day delivery’
  • Create urgency – with a cut-off date for an offer, say
  • Include some stats – Join 10,000 subscribers to Writing For SEO Update

Don’t use these call to action words

Be straightforward, but not rude. Work for yourself by helping your readers. Don’t say:

  • ‘Buy now’ – see how that’s different from above? It’s pushy, for a start
  • ‘Submit’ – what the heck is that supposed to mean? What kind of site are you running? 🙂

Use design elements

Make your words even more effective by using:

  • Different fonts, sizes or weights
  • Buttons
  • Coloured backgrounds to make your call to action stand out
  • Pop-ups

Have you experimented with calls to action? What works for you?

Thank you to Henry Zbyszynski for allowing me to use his image.