The Right Way to Write a Call to Action

Probably the single most important part of any e-mail letter or squeeze page is the call to action. Without this, your efforts will come to naught because people will shrug their shoulders and walk away, thinking to themselves, okay, so now what? However, many of us have a great deal of trouble figuring out how to write a call to action. Here’s what you need to know in order to write a great one:

What Is a Call to Action?

Just in case you are new to marketing, a call to action is in essence a sentence or paragraph where you tell people that they should act now in order to get whatever it is that you have for sale. You see them almost everywhere you go that something is available for sale. Even on a website like Amazon, calls to action exist. The “buy now” button is a call to action. For our purposes though, a call to action is more like a sentence or a paragraph because you are asking people to take action after having read about your wonderful product which you want them to purchase from you right now.

Why People Make a Purchase

People rarely make a purchase just because they think you’re a nice person. In general, the reason that people make a purchase is in order to relieve a want or a need. When you boil things down to this essence, it gets a lot easier to picture the right kind of call to action.

Want

I may want to take a nice trip on a cruise ship for example and as such, a call to action for me might be:

So what are you waiting for? Book your adventure right now and make memories that will last for a lifetime!

In essence, this is a call to action which appeals to my desire to satisfy a want. I want to have this nice cruise and as such, I need to click here and buy my cruise.

Need

The stronger call to action is however a need rather than a want. Remember that people always look to cut out luxuries when money is tight. However, necessities are rarely cut back because people perceive that they can’t do without them. Depending on what you sell, you may have an easier or harder time in creating a call to action which satisfies a need.

If you are selling a product which relieves some kind of pain, whether it is physical or emotional pain, you have an easier sell. Consider an ad for hemorrhoid cream. You need relief from hemorrhoids rather than simply wanting it. It is also a pain that you feel and that you need to relieve. So a good call to action might be: Get the relief you need right now so you can live your life.

Turning Want Into Need

Now while it is trickier, it is usually possible to turn a want into a need in order to make a stronger call to action. Let’s look at that cruise again as an example. Instead of your customer wanting to go on a nice trip, you could sell it as a need: Don’t Let Job Stress Burn You Out. Take a Cruise Vacation today and Feel Better Tomorrow.

In essence, this allows you to tap into a need and a pain as opposed to a want. By the way, these are not necessarily the best examples of calls to action. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on them. My intention is not to offer you free copywriting services but instead to help you get your mind thinking about how to do this correctly.

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