Creating an effective call to action


In today’s day and age, customers are bombarded with brand messages and options, making it difficult to get them to take action when they see our advertisements. Just telling customers to “order now” or “go online” doesn’t make the cut for a compelling and engaging call to action, so it is crucial to the success of your direct mail or print marketing pieces to have a great call to action.

Here are a few elements for creating an irresistible call to action:

First and foremost…

Do you even have a call to action? Naturally, this element is the most important aspect of compelling your readers to take action – make sure there is some kind of offer or step they can pursue. Introducing your company is not enough, as people will not take the initiative on their own to figure out what you’re not telling them. Without a well-developed strategy, it won’t matter what you print. It is important to understand exactly what you’re asking your readers to do and if that lines up with your goals for return of investment. Avoid creating too many calls to action that ask your readers to do different things. For example, if your goal is to push readers to check out your website, don’t confuse them by prominently featuring your phone number.

Do your research

Take the time to know and understand what will compel and move your customers to take action. One way to understand what they want is to find the “higher order of benefit” or the emotional reason they do business with you. Understanding what compels your customers to move takes time and research, but once you have discovered what motivates them, you will be able to craft your message to more effectively reach them.

Clear instruction, limited options

Tying in to the last point, if you give your readers too many options of products, services or steps of action, they will quickly lose interest. Marketing research has shown that potential customers will buy more when their options are limited, so only include one or two product offers to choose from and very simple instructions to order. Make what you are asking your customers to do is easy. Simplicity does not only apply to the message itself, but also the destination. If you are using a QR code, give them a quick reminder to click and scan with their smartphones to be taken to a mobile-friendly website or landing page.

For a limited time only!

How many times have you said you would do something later, only to put it off and forget about it? Even when customers have good intentions of buying your product or services, they might put it off and forget to follow through. Make your offer time sensitive by asking prospects to respond before a certain date or the offer will be void. If you add a sense of urgency to your call to action, you will see a better return on response. 

Make it work for you

It is important that you are testing and measuring the results of your direct mail and print marketing campaigns to ensure your are getting the returns you want. If you are not receiving a great return from customers from your call to action, then continue playing and crafting all the components until they are relevant to your readers. Take notes on what has proven successful and carrying those components through to your next project.

If you need help creating a powerful and compelling call to action for your next direct mail or print marketing campaign, we would love to help – give us a call!

Expressing Ourselves

Watch this space as we use our imagination, our experience and other people’s insights to entertain and inform.

Here's What We're Saying