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5 Tips to Write an Effective Call to Action

September 23, 2014

How to Write a Call to Action

Whether your goal is to encourage readers to visit your website or to drive to one of your stores, a well-written call to action is the key to getting readers of your direct mail postcards to respond to your offer.

Writing calls to action for direct mail is slightly different to writing calls to action for the web, but the key principles remain the same. In this guide, we’ll share five tips to help you write a call to action that motivates your target audience to respond.

Be direct and to the point

Sometimes the best calls to action are the simplest. Classics like “Call Us Now” and “Subscribe Today” are classics for a good reason: they work! Using direct language that tells your readers exactly what to do is a great call to action principle.

Be specific and spell out exactly what you’d like your readers to do. The best calls to action don’t beat around the bush or try too hard to be clever; they spell out exactly what the prospect should do to claim your offer.

Make your call to action personal

Just like using personal language improves the efficacy of your copy, using personal and reader-focused language in your call to action is a fantastic way to make it feel more targeted to the reader and increase your response rate.

Instead of “Call Us Today to Claim a Free Sample,” write “Call Us Today to Claim Your Free Sample.” While the difference in wording between the two calls to action may look subtle, the increase in response rate it produces is significant.

Offer a variety of options for prospects

Not everyone will want to drive to your store to claim your offer. Likewise, some of your target market may prefer to claim their offer over the phone instead of visiting your website.

Improve your response rate by giving prospects a variety of options for responding to your call to action. Offer a physical address, an email address, a website, a phone number and anything else you think is relevant.

This is especially important if your campaign is targeted to baby boomers and older generations. Despite the huge success of digital commerce, many people will prefer to claim your offer over the phone or in person than via email or your website.

Reinforce your offer’s key benefit

A great way to inspire your target audience to take action and claim your offer is by reinforcing its biggest benefit in your call to action. Instead of using “Call Us Today” for your lawn care campaign, use “Call Us Today To Enjoy A Beautiful Lawn!”

Reinforcing your offer’s biggest benefits closely links your call to action with your copy and makes it more enticing for prospects. Sometimes, reinforcing the biggest benefit of your offer just one more time is all it takes to convince a reader to act.

Make your call to action stand out

Does your call to action use the same typeface, font size and color as the rest of your copy? If so, how can you expect readers to notice it? Your call to action should stand out from the rest of your postcard and never blend in to your design.

Make your call to action stand out by using a contrasting background color, a bold and eye-catching typeface and a larger font size. Remember that many people will skim over your copy; if you call to action doesn’t stand out, they might miss it too.

Is your call to action as good as it could be?

Even the most persuasive copy will fall flat without an effective call to action. Does your call to action truly inspire readers to take action? If not, use the five tips above to make your call to action engage your readers and inspire them to respond.

By the way, it’s always worth testing different variations of your call to action to see which is the most effective. Even a small tweak to your call to action could result in a significant increase in your campaign’s response rate.