The Call to Action in Copywriting: How to Create Yours | Express Writers

The Call to Action in Copywriting: How to Create Yours

by | Jan 27, 2014 | Copywriting

In the business and online marketing worlds, the goal is to motivate customers with potent calls to action. While a call to action may sound like a complex and hard-to-master thing, that’s more of a misconception than a reality.

If you strip away the fancy name, a call to action is just an “ask” of your readers. When you look at it that way, the only question left to answer is “how do you ask them correctly?”

While it takes some time, effort, and skill to master the call to action in copywriting, doing so can earn you more sales, more customers, and a bigger bottom line, so it’s well worth your while.

call to action in copywriting

The Basics of a Great Call to Action in Copywriting: 7 Essential Techniques

Remember the magic word we learned early on in life? Please.

The epitome of politeness, please had the power to earn us things, to make people help us, and to strengthen bonds with our friends and family.

In the world of marketing, it’s no different.

Today, most marketing tactics involve asking readers for something, such as their email address or a share with their social following. That’s made difficult, however, by the fact that today’s customers are protective of their privacy, money, and personal information, and rightfully so!

While there’s no getting around the fact that most of modern marketing is one big “ask,” there is a right way and a wrong way to ask people to do something for you and your brand. Push too hard, and you risk scaring your readers off. Whisper too timidly, and you’ll come off as confusing and indecisive.

To be effective with your call to action in copywriting, it’s critical to master the following CTA techniques:

1. Provide Value

It doesn’t matter if something is free or costs thousands. If the customer finds it valuable, price is no object. Unfortunately, most of today’s copy fails to take this simple fact into account.

The most effective CTAs work because they offer a clear value proposition. They tell the reader exactly what’s in it for them and what they’ll get for sharing their personal information, clicking, or subscribing. This clarity is essential for great CTAs, and can go a long way to make yours more compelling.

2. Address Objections Head-On

Good businesses familiarize themselves with the objections their potential customers will have before they begin marketing. After all, the only way to generate sales is to address and overcome objections.

Fortunately, you can use your call to action in copywriting to nip customer objections and concerns in the bud. By addressing and solving customer objections before the customer has a chance to offer them, you can encourage trust in your brand and your company.

Simple things, like offering money-back guarantees, providing social proof (stating how many people have already taken advantage of a product, good, or service) or including reviews are ideal for anticipating and addressing customer concerns.

3. Pique Customer Curiosity

Curiosity is human nature and it leads us to try new things. Piquing curiosity is a great way to build the customer’s anticipation and encourage them to fulfill your “ask.” Including language like “VIP” or “top secret” can make your CTAs more enticing and exciting for your readers.

4. Tailor the CTA to Your Reader

You’ve heard it once; you’ve heard it a thousand times: know your audience. Creating a compelling call to action requires that you custom-design the CTA copy and content for a select portion of readers.

By setting up different CTAs and landing pages for different campaigns (rather than re-using the same ones) and ensuring you’re using personalized language, like “you” and “your” in your CTAs, you can offer your customers a truly customized experience.

5. Offer Social Proof

Power exists in numbers. This is especially true when it comes to a proper call to action. Your potential customer probably doesn’t want to be the only one trying a product or service. You can entice them into action by leveraging social proof. Check out how Tim Ferriss does this in a CTA on his website:

call to action in copywriting

By stating that more than 100 million episodes have been downloaded, he inspires trust in his product and encourages a herd mentality, wherein people want to be involved because so many other people are already interacting with said content.

6. Make it Urgent

People are more likely to take action when they feel a sense of urgency. You can weave this sense into a call to action in copywriting by saying things like:

  • Limited time offer!
  • While supplies last!
  • Act now to receive…
  • Only X days left!

7. Offer An Incentive

You can make your CTA more compelling by offering your reader something exciting in advance. The way you sweeten the deal will depend on your business and industry, but can take the form of offering a free piece of content, a coupon, or even a voucher for services. In addition to showing readers you value them, offering an incentive makes your CTAs feel like gifts.

Using CTAs in Copywriting: Foundational Tips

Now that we’ve discussed the seven critical tactics of all good CTAs, let’s talk about how to use them in your copywriting:

  • Tailor Your CTA to the Type Of Content. The CTA you’ll use on a web page varies from the one you’ll use on a blog. By tailoring your CTAs to various pages and approaches on your website, you can make them more effective and compelling.
  • Keep Them Informative. Your CTAs should always be simple and informative. They should tell the reader exactly what they’ll get and why it matters. Information inspires trust, and trust is critical to high-performing CTAs.
  • Personalize, Personalize, Personalize. The goal of a CTA is to speak directly to the customer. By personalizing your CTAs with words like “you” and “yours” and ensuring that each CTA you publish lines up with a specific, targeted offer, can shorten the distance between you and your customers and make your “asks” more compelling.
  • Keep It About the Customer. One of the biggest copywriting mistakes a company can make is producing self-centered copy. A compelling call to action is focused fully on the customer and nothing else. The customer shouldn’t buy from you because you have 50 years of experience and 100 awards. That’s great, but irrelevant. Show the customer the value of your offer and motivate them to learn more instead of just talking yourself up. While the former approach will turn the customer off, the latter will inspire interest.
  • Be “All Ears.” The ability to listen is and will always be your most valuable asset. It can also be the one big thing that sets your CTAs apart from the competition. By listening to your competition, your partners, and your customers, you can adjust and enhance your CTA strategy accordingly. After all, the best way to learn exactly how to motivate your audience through compelling calls to action is to listen to what’s motivating them right now and to pay attention to what they’d like more of.
  • Cut Clutter. When you write copy for your CTA, don’t clutter it with worthless words. Be clear. Be concise. Be brief. Your potential customers are in a hurry. Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t bombard them with sales fluff. Give them the facts and insert a call to action that encourages them to make an informed decision. Not only does this demonstrate respect for your customers, it also saves you time and energy.
  • Make It Pop! We’ve all sat through enough boring lectures in life. Don’t subject your customers to another with your CTA. Instead, write with enthusiasm and make your CTA as snappy and exciting as possible. While being brief is important, you also want to weave your brand identity into the CTA and make the voice sound like your own. Limit the jargon and keep it natural for the biggest impact.

A Case For The Compelling Call To Action In Copywriting

Writing an engaging call to action in copywriting isn’t easy, but it’s necessary, and it can be done. To do it, though, you need to build some skills. When you understand what gets your audience hopping, what they find valuable, and what inspires them, you can craft highly targeted and compelling content that makes them excited to click, rather than making them feel turned-off or used.

At the end of the day, the call to action is one of the most essential tools in the entire copywriting universe, and knowing how, when, and where to use it in your online material is a critical way to improve your writing and strengthen your brand message. Plus, a great CTA can earn you more sales and boost your bottom line, so what’s not to love?

To learn more about how to use the CTA in copywriting, or to hire a team of writers who have it down pat, contact Express Writers today!