In marketing, the call to action is the part of an advertisement that tells your target customer what they should do when they finish watching or reading the ad. It is an instruction meant to provoke an immediate response and usually takes the form of an imperative verb like “visit our website,” “click now,” “buy while supplies last,” and “find out more.”
It can be a non-demanding request, such as “like our Facebook page.” The call to action can also be a much more demanding request, like “stop by our store today” or “subscribe to our newsletter.” No matter how demanding the request is, it boils down to getting your customer to take action.
Want to improve your ads with a call to action? Here are four tips to get you started.
Use Commanding Language
With your call to action, it’s all about being direct and clear. You don’t have much time before your target customer might scroll past or turn the page, so it’s important to get right to the point. Quickly let the customer know exactly what you want them to do.
The verbs you choose are especially important. Pick imperative verbs that provide an instruction, like “download our app.” These verbs don’t make a request. They tell the customer what to do. For example, if you’re advertising your online store, try beginning your call to action with words like “buy,” “order,” “shop,” and “browse.”
Provoke Emotion and Enthusiasm
In order to get your target customer to do what you want, you need to elicit a strong response. This strong response can come from playing off the customer’s emotions and by inspiring enthusiasm. If your call to action is enthusiastic, there is a good chance that your target customer will be enthusiastic too.
Try a call to action that makes the customer happy or excited. If your add is for a travel agency, use a call to action like “plan your dream vacation” or “book the trip of a lifetime!” You can add energy by using an exclamation point, which shows strong emotions and enthusiasm.
Offer Something in Return
One of the best ways to get the target customer to do what you want is to offer them something for doing it. In many cases, these call to actions offer a free trial or sample product, like “register for a free trial period” or “sign up and get a free gift.” These reinforce the risk-free nature of the action. They can give customers the confidence to make a purchase later.
Coupons and discounts, such as “buy today and get 50% off,” are also a great way to encourage the customer to respond because they judge they have been rewarded for responding to the call to action.
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