A Crash Course In Calls To Action

The strength of your call to action – what you want your prospect to do after being exposed to your message – can have a big impact on the results your advertising delivers. With any marketing materials, it’s vital that you get people to act when the persuasive sway of your sales pitch is at its peak.

Envision an eye-catching print ad that clearly outlines the benefits of the featured product or service. The consumer is drawn in by the striking visuals and engaging copy. He or she would like to know more, perhaps even make a purchase, but the ad message concludes without clearly stating what your potential customer should do next. In those cases, a valuable sales opportunity will most likely be lost.

Consider using the following techniques to create a clear and compelling call to action that will spark a sense of urgency.

GIVE A DEADLINE FOR ORDERING
We’ve all received promotional material that has a deadline for ordering. The message is specific about the offer ending on a certain date – “Order before November 30 to save 40 percent.” That’s strong motivation not to procrastinate.

ANNOUNCE A COMING PRICE INCREASE
People love getting in on a good deal. If you plan on raising your price on a specific date, let your customers know. They’ll relish slipping in under the wire and grabbing a soon-to-be-gone bargain.

ESTABLISH AN INTRODUCTORY OFFER
Introductory offers are a proven way to get new customers, promoting a special deal, extra service or a lower price. Example: “Get The First Month Free When You Reserve Your Storage Unit Now!”

FREE GIFT
From tote bags to coffee mugs to coolers – few things attract new customers like free gifts. As an added incentive for ordering promptly, offer your gift in conjunction with a deadline. For example, “Order by December 15th and receive a complimentary cookbook.”

NO RISK TRIAL
People like to be reassured that there’s no risk involved if they’re not satisfied with a product or service. Let new customers know they can cancel for any reason before the trial period expires.

NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES
Is your product exclusive to online or mail order? If it’s not available in stores, be sure to tell your customers. Instead of postponing a purchase to shop prices with local retailers, they’ll know they can only order from you.

While offers, discounts and statements of exclusivity are sound incentives, a call to action does not necessarily have to include these promotional tactics. Simple instructions such as “Call 1-800-555-5555 for more information” or “Click here to sign up” can be the perfect sign off.

Your ad or commercial may be a work of creative brilliance or a thing of breathtaking beauty, but if it fails to ask readers to take the next step, you’ve missed your opportunity to capitalize on your investment.

Give your customers convincing reasons to contact you, then tell them how and when via a prominent, easy-to-execute call to action. They’ll be moved to act promptly. You’ll see more movement in your sales numbers.

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