NO SHOUTING REQUIRED! Crafting a call to action that won’t hurt customers’ ears

We’ve all heard those frantic television commercials where you end up turning the TV volume down before the shouting campaigner gives you a migraine. 

To put it simply, a call to action (CTA) involves asking consumers to do something that you’d like them to do, immediately and with positive results for your business. It is quite literally a ‘call’ for consumers to take ‘action’.

In the case of the shouting campaigner, it’s possible for many viewers that their response to this CTA is to take the action of changing the TV channel… so how can we ask customers to do what we want – politely?


Tell people what to do – strategically
Whether you’re asking people to view your website, comment on your blog, attend a seminar, download a podcast or give your business a call, your CTA should be crafted in a way that engages and provides concise instruction.

A call to action should tell people what to do next – whether it’s to get in touch with you, watch a video, sign up to your newsletter, or purchase your product. 
Your CTA should be clear, to-the-point and action-oriented. A focus on strategic, compelling words is essential in ensuring that your CTA makes an impact and is acted upon.

Highlighting benefits of your service or product provides an incentive to the customer in following your CTA. This means providing a reward to the customer for responding to your CTA. The incentive or reward should be perceived as matching or exceeding the amount of effort customers put in. For example, if a customer provides their personal details, then they want to be assured that their information is secure or that they won’t be spammed, and their free ebook, free trial or ‘reward’ should be easy to access with minimal effort on the part of the customer. 


A clever CTA might include providing options for customers to pick their favourite colour of a product, which engages customers to begin a ‘product journey’ that may lead to a shopping cart, and ultimately, purchase.

An easy, obvious CTA can come in the form of a brightly contrasted button reading an incentive such as ‘learn more,’ ‘save now,’ ‘talk to us,’ ‘get your free trial,’ ‘download your free ebook,’ and so on, with the potential for getting really creative, depending, of course, on your brand’s personality! 


Create urgency, without raising your voice
Create urgency – but not too much! You don’t want to sound desperate, do you? Customers want to feel confident with your services – but not because you’ve demanded that they shop with you. That’s where getting creative with your CTA not only wins you points in uniqueness, but can also draw in more customers. 

For example, replacing BUY NOW for a get-skinny-fast health kick program with ‘begin your life-changing journey now’ extracts an emotional response from your customer, making them more likely to click your CTA buttons or hand over their email addresses.


Remember, you can create urgency without stressing people out by shouting at them. Try some positive urgency, such as ‘like/share/comment on our Facebook post to win a product gift pack,’ ‘get your copy of our ebook, free for a limited time’ or, if you’re feeling super high-tech inclined, provide an interactive countdown timer for a limited-time sale.

Capturing customers’ attention can be done without raising your voice. A combination of clever wording and compelling graphics can draw attention to your CTA. One way is to show customers a photo of your product, such as a sneak peek inside a book or graphic novel, or give them a glimpse of your app’s functionality screen, alongside a prompt such as read a free sample or try a demo now.


Social proof (or social influence) harnesses the power of an individual’s desires for social acceptance of their buying habits. Many online retailers use this tool in generating interest around products, through showing the amount of ‘likes’ or reviews for a particular product, as well as offering options to share a product on social media. Businesses providing services can do the same by encouraging users to share content, blogs, news, videos, pictures and special offers.

The sky is the limit with your call to action. Ensuring that you provide customers with clear instructions and appropriate incentives, combined with engaging social media and marketing strategies, will have you growing your customer database and increasing sales in no time.