If you’ve been following the copywriting dissected series so far, you should have people’s attention with your headline, and you’ve helped them get more info by creating scannable sub-headings. Now, comes the hard part. How do you get them to do something?

How to write powerful calls-to-action

Copywriters begin with a goal in mind (what do I want the reader to do?), and point everything toward that goal. I always begin each page by writing down three goals: 1. my goal (the action I want the reader to take), 2. my reader’s goal, 3. some other desirable action for them to take.

The sweet spot of a call-to-action is when your goal and the audience goal are the same (which, they should be, by the way).

So, how do I write a call-to-action? I make sure to:

  • Be specific
  • Use action
  • Make it hard to say ‘No’

Let’s look at each one in-depth:

Be specific

SEO copywriting focuses on keywords. Here, you want to focus on your ‘sell.’ Being specific means that your call-to-action should tell the reader exactly what the offer is, what action they need to take, and create some urgency. Here are some examples of specific and generic calls-to-action for you to compare:

Specific Generic
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Use action copywriting

Take another look at those examples above. Do you see how they use action words?

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Action words (aka verbs) tell your reader what they are going to do (or should do) to solve their problem. Or, to put it another way, the action word states what action they need to take next. Copywriting shouldn’t ignore design, however. I find these things work even harder for you if you put them on something that looks like action will happen when they click it – like a big button.

Make it hard to say ‘No’

This one’s a bit trickier than the other two, but no less important to get right. You need to make your offer hard to resist. Like taking the action is going to be so ridiculously easy, they’d be crazy not to take the action. Your set up in the page copy is going to go a long way to convincing the reader that you have what they want. But, it’s the call-to-action that gets them doing something.

Coming next in the series: home pages Part 4 – Email sign ups

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