When it’s time for action

Okay, so you’ve spent all this time putting together a classy production. The design looks enticing, the words sound engaging, and clients are stopping to read further.

What is it you want them to do now?

Phone you? Complete a form and post it to you? Click a button and submit their email to you?

Arguably, the most valuable part of your marketing copy is an effective call to action. Your CTA can be used to invite people to contact you, visit you, purchase online or sign up for your service. An efficient CTA can generate immediate and profitable results.

Now is not the time to be coy

Once you’ve made a compelling case for your product or service, it’s time to guide your reader through the course of action you’d like them to take. You’ve shown potential new clients the benefits of your product and dazzled them with testimonials from satisfied customers.

Now get to the point. The CTA is what you’ve been leading up to, so don’t smother the message in sales talk. And don’t hint. Besides sounding like a teenager nervously asking for a date, you run the risk of not being understood. The CTA is the time to be commanding. Say it outright.


  • Tell your reader what you want them to do in a series of brief commands.
  • Give clear instructions, but don’t over egg the pudding. Trying to cram in too many links or mention too many products will confuse the message.
  • Use the imperative mood. Active verbs give a sense of urgency to the job.
  • Offer customers an incentive to complete the task such as a discounted price for a limited period only.
  • Don’t include your CTA too early; show the value of your goods or service first.
  • Ease of use is everything. Every step should be clear and uncomplicated from large spacing on coupons to clean visual links on websites.
  • Your CTA should be unmistakable - central, bold and eye-catching.
  • Don’t confine your CTA to just one page – sprinkle liberally wherever appropriate.

On my contact page, I’ve added a How Does it Work section. If you feel the service you offer may be unfamiliar to some people, add a few lines or paragraphs to explain the process in further detail. I’ve also included a briefing form that invites clients to provide me with further information.

In short, do everything you can to help the reader take the action you desire.

Stick to your side of the deal

Your reader has done as they’re told. They’ve succumbed to your call. But it’s a two-way thing. If you’ve promised a brochure, then you must post it immediately. If you’ve said you will phone within 24 hours, make sure you do.

There’s nothing more annoying than making the decision to try a company only to be let down by poor service in the first instance.