In advertising, even a single word can make a difference. If you want to write an ad with a powerful call to action, you need to have one specific goal in mind.
A call to action is a statement that directs your readers towards taking a certain action. For example, you want your audience to give you a call to learn more about your business, or for them to click on an ad that will lead them to a sales landing page. Either way, you want them to act immediately.
Get Your Audience To Do Exactly What You Want
Advertising is more about human psychology than it is about a beautiful design and a buzzword.
When you understand what makes people feel a certain way, the easier it is to write a successful call to action. Using the right trigger words and images that make them tick, will make it easier to influence them.
That is the advertising way of leveraging human psychology.
Flash sales are a good example of how a call to action works. A limited-time offer incentivizes people to decide whether they want to save money on the offer right now or let it pass.
Everyone wants to save some money whenever possible. But the less straightforward your ads are, the longer it will take people to take action – and the less likely they will end up doing it.
Humans tend to ignore ads and to forget things. That’s why writing a call to action must give people a reason to TAKE ACTION RIGHT NOW.
Also, read How Buzzwords Are Killing Your Ads
Let’s Take a Look at These 2 Imaginary Examples
Let’s say you own an agency and you want people to contact you.
Business owners and some marketers seem to be afraid of advertising and end up writing ads like the first one. From your perspective as a business owner, it might seem like the safest road to take – but that does not make it any more effective.
Ad 1: We can see the services they offer, what they think of themselves, a generic illustration depicting social media, and a “take the leap” call to action.
To be honest, that’s the kind of ad you tend to overlook. It’s kind of generic, it doesn’t stand out, and that call to action doesn’t make it any better.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Would you want your business to take a leap of faith?
Ad 2: If you could describe the ad in a single sentence, it would look like this: “We can help you make more effective advertising”. That’s what the ad is telling you, but in a clever way. Plus, watching a giant ball of fire while scrolling on a “business tips” online article, will get your attention for at least a few meaningful seconds.
‘Am I wasting my money? Can they help me? Ok, let’s see what they have to say’
You’ve earned yourself a call.
There Is Real Science Behind Effective CTA’s
Writing a call to action is very much like a science experiment. There are steps and things to take into consideration. Do it wrong and it might end up blowing in your face.
To give you an idea of how many things you can test and take into consideration, just imagine that even the color of a button can be the difference between 7 clicks and 1 click.
If your call to action is not able to catch the attention of readers, you won’t be able to influence them.
So, to write a strong call to action, you want to focus on purpose and urgency.
What is the purpose of your call to action?
A call to action always has to be clear, communicate a specific purpose, and deliver its promise.
Example 1: If you want your audience to visit your website where you share self-improvement tips for business owners, your call to action could be something like this:
Click Here To Read Our Blog and Unlock the Best Version of Yourself
Example 2: If you have a giant outdoor furniture business and want people to follow you on social media, you can try something like this:
Follow Us To Stay Up-To-Date With The Most Sought-After Outdoor Furniture Styles
Both CTA’s are targeted at different people but are probably equally effective. The purpose is clear and people will know exactly what they are getting out of clicking on your call to action.
Make it clear and it will be effective.
If it takes more than 3 seconds to read your call to action, it’s too complicated.
Sometimes a good call to action can be as simple as [Keep Reading…]
Urgency: Why should I take action immediatly?
If your ad doesn’t answer this simple question, people will see no reason why they should take action.
Without the sense of urgency, chances are people will just “leave it for later” – And we all know what that means.
They will never come back.
Here’s a good example of urgency.
This ad can be improved, but for practical purposes, you can see how urgency works.
If they book right now, they will save themselves 75% off their next project. Even if people are not looking to replace their roofs right now, they might benefit from it in the future. But they only have this one shot to grab that offer.
It’s today or never, and if they ignore it chances are they risk missing out.
Combine the old-school marketing “secrets” with the power of precise analytics!
Emotions Determine a Person’s Behavior…
And believe it or not, there are 27 different emotions we can experience.
No matter how hard we try, we are emotional beings, and that is our nature. Everyone will react differently to a certain situation depending on their mood – Whether they are good at hiding it or not. For example:
imagine you’re having the worst day of your life. You didn’t have enough sleep, lost some good clients that morning, your car broke down (or the public transport did), you lost your wallet, and you left your phone charger at home. Suddenly, you see an ad offering you a discount on their car detailing services.
It’ll probably irritate you or make you want to ignore it even harder.
On the other hand, imagine you’re in a positive emotional state; you had the best sleep of your life, you bought a new car a few days ago, everything seems to be flowing smoothly, and the future shines brighter than ever before. Suddenly, you see this ad offering you a discount on their car detailing services.
The same exact ad as in the first example.
You will probably think that’s a great deal and go with it, or go on with your day.
Human psychology plays a big role in advertising, and understanding how it works will allows advertisers to leverage it.
What To Look For In a Powerful Call To Action
If you, a partner, an employee, or an agency are writing ads for your business or working on their websites, there are some key points you can look for and think about:
- What exactly is the offer?
- What are the benefits of your offer?
- Who will you show your offer to?
- How does the offer work?
Those are 4 simple questions that can help you improve your calls to action, without breaking a sweat. If you can answer all 4 of them and it makes sense, you’re on the right track.