Every marketing effort has a desired outcome. 

Maybe you’re after more email subscribers. Or more leads to follow up on. Or you’re trying to drive traffic to your small business website. 

Whatever you’re trying to do, if you don’t include a call-to-action (CTA) that tells your customers what to do next, it won’t succeed.

A CTA is the most important part of any campaign regardless of it being online, print-based or content marketing. Getting your CTA right is the difference between losing a potential customer and sealing the deal.

The psychology of persuasion

It’s easy to write a CTA that tells people what to do next: ‘Call now’, ‘Subscribe Here’, ‘Read More’.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with any of those examples. However, there’s nothing particularly right about them either. 

Instead of telling people what to do next, your CTA needs to motivate them to take the desired action. You do that by using the psychology of persuasion.   

Be concise. If it’s too long, people won’t read it and you’ve fallen at the first hurdle. Use a maximum of 5-6 words.  

Keep it simple. Don’t overcomplicate the message, otherwise people won’t understand it.

Make it enticing. Explain the benefits people will get through acting now. If people don’t see a reason to act, they won’t.

Make it easy. The easier the action, the more likely your audience will feel motivated enough to take it.

Make it urgent. Use a liberal dose of FOMO (fear of missing out) to convince people to act immediately. If people don’t take action now, they never will.

Be inspiring. Your CTA needs to connect with your customers’ aspirations. For example, if you are a real estate agent, use “Find your dream home today” instead of “Schedule a viewing”.

As with many aspects of small business marketing, there’s a bit of trial and error involved. Tweak your CTA as you learn what works for your customers and your business goals.

Need to improve your corporate communication? Dump the problem on expert copywriter Hunter & Scribe. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.