You want me to do what?  Something else besides read your blog or watch your commercial?  Call right now?  Give you the name of my friends & their email addresses?  As if businesses don’t already require so much from the average consumer already, right!  In the grocery stores, they want you to scan your own items & bag your own food.  Don’t bother going into the bank when you can just do that account transfer yourself at home.

If you let businesses tell it, it’s really for your benefit you see…all in the name of quicker & saving you $.  So when it comes to reading articles online, watching TV or surfing the web, Calls To Action (CTA’s) are peppered throughout just about every source of media to go beyond the current action of the user.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a CTA is a statement imbedded in the content of the media source that summons the consumer to act. The goal is to implore the consumer to act upon information for the purpose of obtaining something from the consumer and most often, for making a sale.  CTA’s often require an immediate response such as “call now, while supplies last,” write a Congressman to stop some agenda, or as simple as utilizing a coupon before a deadline.

So why are CTA’s so important in the first place and why are they a taking a leading role of so much media content?   Here’s why: I have seen & heard of various marketing campaigns falling flat on their faces by failing to compel reaction from its audience.  Although entertaining, a witty commercial can totally fail to sell the volume of product stocked in a warehouse because they lacked a clear call to action.

Terminology – Create, View, Buy Now, Subscribe…all are examples of businesses telling users/consumers what they want them to do. The words are usually short & concise because too many options & too many “too good to be true” statements turn users off.  Word choice and terminology should always be relevant to the industry of the business.  But in order for a business to see any ROI based on these efforts, they have to create a sense of urgency and/or create a limitation that once again, compels the reader or viewer to do something that is advantageous to the business.

Download now buttons

Incentives & other “Bene’s” – Creative use of expiration dates and gifting incentives are very important in the world of CTA’s.  In most cases, there has to be some type of incentive for the reader/user/consumer to go beyond what they are already doing. Such incentives may include a small token of appreciation such as a gift or discount that is relevant to they company or promotion of another business.

Incentive call to action

Make it Standout! I just love to see the little blue & white Cox Cable Digeez’ spin & flip around solving my internet & high-speed cable dilemma. http://bit.ly/CoxEspn3   Use of BOLD text, flash media and the like, as well as hyperlinks in web content are all tricks of the trade to peek the curiosity of the user to move them along the conveyor of consume & purchase world. So the main goal of both advertising agencies and media companies is to know how to stand out, get your attention and how to hold it long enough to profit them.

Use natural sounding phrases that are friendly yet enticing
Use testimonials to encourage participation
Use words that accurately describe the result of your interaction

Don’t be overly verbose-create simple & strong CTA’s
The bigger and more pronounced your call to action, the more chance it will be noticed and acted upon.

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