A ‘call-to-action’ is a phrase that, quite simply, prompts the reader to do something. Rather than just leave the reader hanging, tell them what you want them to do …. show them the way to go. For example, ‘Register for our newsletter’, ‘Book a space at this event’, ‘Quote code XYZ to receive this offer’, etc etc etc.
Calls-to-action apply to almost all marketing collateral, e.g. adverts, website, direct mail, flyers, you name it.
Give your target audience as may opportunities as possible to be drawn deeper into finding out what you will do for them and make it as easy as possible for them to be able to do this. It’s the equivalent of slapping them around the face with a wet fish – state the obvious.
Put yourself in the shoes of your customer … if you are reading a website about a great workshop that will solve one of your problems, a button to click on that takes you straight to the booking page is more likely to encourage you to book a place than if you have to hunt around to find what to do next. If you are looking at two adverts side-by-side for the same service, such as a plumber, lettings agent, or homeopath perhaps, would you be more inclined to contact the company that features a call-to-action such as ‘Call this number to receive this special offer’ or one that just gives a phone number?
Marketing is not rocket science – you just need to think like the client/customer you are trying to reach and work out what would encourage them to buy from you rather than a competitor.