Why your copy needs a call to action

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Words are wonderful – but they need to have a reason for being. Here Ellen Widdup looks at why your copy benefits from a call to action.

Good copywriters make people think.

But the best copywriters make people get up and take action.

What is a call to action?

A call to action asks the reader to do something specific.
It encourages them to act. To react. To buy. To change.
In short, it can seal the deal.
The call to action is sometimes referred to as a CTA.
It is a vital tool used in almost all sales copy but so often copywriters get it wrong and it fails to hit the spot. If your CTA is not good enough all your hard work is lost.

How to make your call to action do the job

A CTA is usually one sentence that aims to reach out and make the reader do something positive – buy, donate, contact.
So how do you nail it?

Here are a few simple rules:

• Outcome – You should pinpoint exactly what you want to achieve before you even start, and keep it at the forefront of your writing all the way through. Ask yourself, what is your desired audience response? What do you actually want the reader to do? Set this out very clearly from the start – it is the map to a good CTA.

• Build – A CTA is weakened significantly without the information build that precedes it. Get your data in the bank and persuade your audience gently. Lay out what you do or what your product is. Explain why what you do, or what you make, is of benefit. Then go in for the kill.

• Execute – The CTA itself has to be simple. A child must understand exactly what you want them to do. Call us today. Contact us here. Click to buy. These are all simple but effective CTAs..

Don’t be a CTA bully

Don’t fill your copy with CTAs. One is quite enough.
And give the reader something first. Don’t order your potential customer to buy your product before you’ve told them why.
If you want some advice on PR strategy, communications or copywriting, please get in touch.

PS: That was a CTA.

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