Apart from giving your readers valuable information, one of the main purposes of content is to persuade them to take some kind of action. This could be to read more of your content, join your mailing list, follow you on social media, or buy your products and services.

For your content to work, it’s important that you’re aware of something called a ‘call to action’, or CTA. But what exactly is a CTA, and how can you use it in your content marketing? Read on to find out.

What is a call to action (CTA)?

A call to action is an invitation for your readers to take some sort of action. Usually, it appears at the end of your content, although it’s not uncommon to find them peppered throughout longer texts, like blogs and articles. 

If a reader is interested in what you offer (presumably that they are), then you need to let them know what action you need them to take next. Without a CTA, your content will be read and then forgotten about.

Your CTA could either be in the form of a link or an action button, depending on what you need them to do. For example, if you want them to go to another web page or to read more of your blog content, then a link could work really well. But if you’re driving them to make a bigger commitment, such as making a purchase or signing up for something, then perhaps placing a button might make your CTA more prominent and more tempting.

5 tips for writing a cracking call to action

  1. Use words that provoke

You only have minimal space to get your message across in your CTA, so use it wisely. Tell the reader exactly what they’ll be getting and how they can get it in as few words as possible. Phrases like ‘download now’ or ‘click here to learn more’ will inform your readers what you expect of them and what they need to do to get what you’re offering.

2. Meddle with people’s FOMO

No one likes to feel that they’re missing out on something special, so pushing that FOMO button can be a strong motivator in your CTA. Let them know what you’re offering has an expiry date – if that’s appropriate for your offer. Or allow them to be ‘the first’ to see or do something. The sense of urgency will serve to prevent them from clicking away. 

3. Give them a good reason

For your readers to take you up on your CTA, you need to be offering something that they want. Make it irresistible, and make sure you know them well enough to understand why they want it. Why should they click that link? How will it make their life better in some way? Will it save them time? Will it give them the knowledge that they need to do something? Make sure you tell them what’s in it for them!

4. Speak their language

As with all of your content, it’s vital to know who you’re writing for. You need to tailor your CTAs message to suit the type of person you’re appealing to. Are they young and hip, or would they respond to a more serious and professional kind of language? Think about how they speak and what they would be most likely to respond to.

5. Make it clear

It might sound obvious, but make sure that people can find your CTA! If it’s an itty bitty thing hidden in your text, people will skim over it without even realising it’s there. So highlight it in some way. If it’s a link, separate it from the main text, use a different font, or make it bold. Get a bit creative, and use clickable images or a bright, prominent button. 

CTA examples

Here are example CTAs you could use for:

Sales message

Buy Now or Shop Now

Ok, so it might not win the medal for originality, but if you’ve managed to paint a brilliant picture of your product, a simple push to buy can work wonders.

New Look CTA
Source: New Look newsletter

Limited discount/click now for 30% off

It gives a sense of urgency and exclusivity that is irresistible.

Source: www.pavers.co.uk

New product launch

Pre-launch offers

Why not tempt some early buyers by encouraging them to get in there first? You could even offer a small discount or an additional freebie to sweeten the deal.

Free trial

Depending on the offer, this can be a great way to gauge your audience, and you can use the feedback to improve things. It can also be a lead-in to encourage them to purchase future products.

Source: www.spotify.com

Newsletter sign up

Get our offers first

Getting people to sign up to your email list to ‘get there first’ with your products and offers gives them a sense of exclusivity and a reason to sign up.

Source: www.2.hm.com

Download our free eBook/Guide/Cheat sheet

This is a whole other subject, but offering lead magnets are a fabulous way of getting people to sign up to your list. You’re giving them something in exchange for their email – everyone’s a winner!

Blog promotion on social media

What’s your opinion on X?

The key to succeeding on social media is to be social! So starting conversations and encouraging engagement gets you noticed and increases your reach. Ask your social audience what they feel about CTA’s, and then include the link to your blog where they can read your opinion.

Over to you…

What about you? Have you got your CTA’s nailed, or are they a complete mystery to you? I hope that my ideas here are helpful. If you’d like to chat about creating better content for your brand or need assistance with any aspect of your copywriting, give me a shout. 

I can’t let you go without sharing my own CTA – you can download my copywriting guide, filled with helpful hints and tips on how you can make your content shine!

About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for writing and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical mindset.