You know you sew fabric together to make a dress, but there are no rules around how you sew. You know you put paint on canvas to create a painting, but you could use a paintbrush, your fingers, a sponge, or throw it on… Likewise, writing a call to action is about being aware of the guidelines but ultimately going with your gut instinct. It’s only then that you can create something truly unique and memorable – and that’s what you want, an irresistible call to action.
The Common Tips for CTAs
Search the web and you’ll find various tips and guidelines for writing a successful CTA. Some common tips include:
- Use a strong command verb at the beginning
- Use emotive words or words that stir enthusiasm (!!!!!)
- Use numbers or statistics
These are fantastic tips, but there can’t be a one-size-fits-all guideline for writing a successful call to action. Sometimes you should go with a simple line like ‘Click Here!’ and other times you should be more specific and grounded, with something like ‘Book Your Free Consultation Today’. Unlike searching for a C.V template or a guide to fixing a shower head, call to actions are very specific to their brand, purpose and audience, so the process needs to be customized and well-thought out.
So what are some things to consider?
5 Things to Ask Yourself When Writing a CTA
- Who is my target audience?
- What is the purpose of my CTA?
- What colours and shapes do I want to incorporate?
- How big do I want it to be and where will I place it?
- Would I click on this CTA?
Knowing your audience is of course, marketing rule #1. You need to understand which devices they’ll be using when they view your call to action, and what kind of services or products will appeal to them. Everything else follows from knowing your target audience. Only by understanding their psychology and preferences will you be able to pick a design for your call to action.
The purpose of your call to action may seem obvious (to get people to click on it and give personal information about themselves in exchange for a service or product), but if you think deeper, there are many things a call to action can provide. Do you want to know your audience’s age and gender, or their field of work? Are you looking to find trends in locations or times?
Finally, you need to ask yourself if the completed call to action appeals to you. After all, you understand your business’ brand, values and vision more than anyone else, so you’ll know what works. Try out a few designs, get feedback from those around you, and then go with what feels right.
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