Three Secrets to a Winning "Call to Action"

Have you ever received an email, letter or even a beautifully designed brochure and thought "Um, what?"

The likely issue: the lack of a clear call to action. "Call to action" is marketing speak for convincing the audience to take a certain action immediately, but it is an essential component to most writing -- marketing or otherwise.

In order to develop a clear call to action:

Get focused. Before you write anything, determine what you really want ...

I want a raise of $10,000.

I want to set up a meeting to discuss a position on the board of directors.

I want my neighbor to stop letting her dog conduct its business in my yard without removing the evidence.

You'll be surprised how focused your communications become when you determine what you really want before putting pen to paper.

Collect evidence. You're more likely to get what you ask for if you show you have done your homework.

I doubled sales in the last year and recruited 25 new clients.

I've been active in the organization for 3 years, and my leadership skills can help further the organization.

I snapped a picture on my phone of your dog pooping in my yard.

Whether it is experience, statistics, results or information you have gathered, build their confidence in your abilities before you go in for the kill.

Say it like you mean it. That is, don't make your reader figure out what you want -- tell them.

I'd like to set up a meeting to discuss a salary increase this week. Please let me know your availability.

Please let me know how to apply for a position on the board by emailing me at or calling me at 123.456.7891.

Please start picking up after your dog immediately, otherwise I'll start scooping it up myself ... and dumping it on your front porch. (Kidding. In general, I think it is ill-advised to start a dog-poop war with anyone.)

The secret to an excellent call of action? Tell the reader what you want and make it easy for them to make it happen. It's that simple.

Tell me: can you think of a recent example where a call to action worked for you? Or, better yet, on you? 

Have a fabulous week!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,

Your tips on how to write a good call-to-action are really useful. I keep using the same phrases and I'm always on a look-out for new and clever ways to write a better call-to-action. Thank you for sharing.

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