Wondering about a call to action? We all remember when we were young and in school and our teachers would give us specific formulas for crafting different types of content. One such example is the hamburger paragraph—you have a topic sentence, three supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. It was formulaic and ultimately stifling, but a solid bridge for young writers learning how to express themselves.
Once you get older, you start to move away from the crutches of writing formulas and get more creative. This can make it easy to discount or reject the use of certain writing elements. But while the five-sentence paragraph is not something you need to stick to, using a call to action is.
A call to action is a statement that usually appears at the end of a piece of content to urge the person reading or listening to the piece to take instant action. In some cases, it is used throughout the content, repeatedly urging the audience on. It has two parts: the action that should be taken and a sense or urgency to help motivate the audience to take that action.
Many small business owners avoid using calls to action in their marketing efforts or sales pitches. This more or less comes down to one of two reasons. The first is that the business owner believes that their audience already understands what action to take and there is no need to explain it to them. The second is that they feel calls to action are obnoxious or insulting to the reader.
However, this tactic has long been used in marketing, and there is a good reason for that: it works.
To create a call to action, as stated above, you need two parts: the action to be taken and the sense of urgency. So, step one is determining what action you want your audience to take. Some examples are:
The next step is determining what word or phrase you are going to use to create that sense of urgency. You can also toss in limited-time offers to increase the sense of urgency. Working with the examples above, here is what it could look like:
Ultimately, calls to action matter because they are effective at getting the audience to take action. Will it work every time? No. But content with a call to action will be more effective than content without one.