Calls to Action: If You Don’t TELL Them – They Won’t!
by Julie Weishaar
January 13, 2024
Calls to Action If You Don't TELL Them – They Won't

In the digital marketing landscape, calls to action (CTA) is the critical turning point in your audience’s journey from passive observers to active participants.

It’s the climax of your content where you need to be clear, concise, and compelling as a marketer or business owner.

The CTA is your moment to shine, to be bold, and to instruct your audience on what they should do next.

But remember, if you don’t tell them, they won’t act. The essence of a call-to-action is a clear directive that prompts your audience to take a specific step.

What Are Calls to Action?

A call to action is the part of your content that encourages your audience to move from engagement to action, whether that’s subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a guide, or making a purchase.

It is your virtual salesperson guiding the customer through the buying process.

Without a CTA, your content is like a story without an ending – it leaves the audience hanging, unsure of what comes next.

Without direction, people are less likely to take the initiative.

Why CTAs Are Crucial

A well-crafted CTA removes ambiguity and provides a clear path forward, which is essential for increasing conversions and achieving your business goals.

Calls to action are when you tell your customers and prospective customers EXACTLY what you want them to do – period.

Without a call to action, your content is just that – content!

It might provide value, but the end result of all your marketing efforts is to MAKE A SALE, right?

Your sales process might be several steps that lead up to the ultimate “Buy Now,” or you might go right for the juggler and make your first call to action “Buy Now!”!.

Whatever you want the viewers of your content to do, TELL THEM! If you don’t – it is pretty much guaranteed that they WON’T!

Have you ever been searching on a website for something you wanted to buy but have trouble finding where to check out?

You might find a contact form but can’t figure out how to make your purchase.

This is beyond frustrating; your potential buyer will likely move on to another website where their purchase experience is clearer and easier.

You wouldn’t have had so much trouble purchasing if that website had a clear call-to-action.

Calls-to-action give visitors to your website a clear path to accomplish their objectives.

Making your website more efficient by making things easy and convenient for your potential customers will help your business grow.

How to Craft a Compelling CTA

The art of creating an effective CTA involves understanding your audience’s needs and desires and the context of your message.

Here are some steps to ensure your CTAs grab attention and encourage action:

  1. Be Specific: Vague CTAs leave room for interpretation, which can lead to inaction. Be precise about what you want your audience to do. Instead of saying, “Click here,” say, “Download our free e-book on content marketing now!”
  2. Use Action-Oriented Language: Start your CTA with a verb that inspires action. Words like “discover,” “learn,” “join,” and “start” are powerful motivators that can drive your audience to act.
  3. Create a Sense of Urgency: Encourage immediate action by using time-sensitive language. Phrases like “limited time offer” or “act now” create a sense of urgency that can spur your audience to act quickly.
  4. Make It Stand Out: Your CTA should be visually distinct from the rest of your content. Use contrasting colors, bold text, or buttons to ensure it catches the eye.
  5. Offer Value: Explain the benefits of acting. Your audience is more likely to respond to your CTA if they understand what’s in it for them.
  6. Keep It Simple: A complicated CTA can confuse your audience. Keep it straightforward and easy to follow. The simpler the action you’re asking for, the more likely people will comply.
  7. Test and Optimize: Not all CTAs will perform equally. Use A/B testing to try out different versions and see which one resonates best with your audience.

Your Calls-to-Action Should Be

  • Visually-appealing and compelling
  • Short, clear, and concise
  • Action-oriented: Begin with verbs like “Download” or “Register.”
  • Easy to locate
  • Valuable to your website visitor
  • Relevant to your business

You also want to make sure that what you say in your call-to-action is what is received.

Using calls-to-action correctly on your website provides focus to your site, a way to measure success and a clear direction for your users.

In Summary

Continuously refine your CTAs based on performance data. Incorporate CTAs into your content strategy.

CTAs should be an integral part of your marketing strategy across all platforms.

Whether it’s a blog post, social media update, email campaign, or landing page, your CTA is the element that ties the content to your business objectives.

It’s the bridge between your audience’s needs and your solutions.

Remember, the goal of your content is not just to inform or entertain but to drive action that aligns with your business goals.

A compelling CTA is the key to converting your audience into customers, subscribers, or loyal fans.

In Conclusion, the call to action is not just a button or a line of text; it’s the culmination of your content’s persuasive power.

It’s where you get to tell your audience exactly what you want them to do, and if crafted correctly, they will listen.

So, don’t leave your audience guessing – tell them what to do, and they’ll be much more likely to do it.


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Originally published June 28, 2019; Republished January 13, 2024, to update content and add video.
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  1. Rusties

    Your suggestions are really impressive. Your ideas are really straight to the point and will really attract your visitors to participate in your marketing plans.

  2. Julie Weishaar

    Thanks Gamin and Rusties. I am glad you found the information helpful! 🙂

  3. Simone

    Doesn’t the best call to action differ from site to site, audience to audience, and depending on the product? Or are there a few that are good for any industry?

  4. Julie Weishaar

    Hi Simone, definitely “yes”. Whatever one does always depends upon their niche, audience and offerings. The point is that you should always include a call-to-action – whichever one(s) works best for your circumstances. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! Happy Holidays!

  5. Kim

    Julie, you are right. I have personally experienced the value of adding call to action terms in my newsletters and ad banners this had increased my conversion from when i was ignoring them to add. Must add it.

  6. Julie Weishaar

    Hi Dora, I agree with you that if one over-uses calls-to-action that say “buy” now or uses them too early in the sales cycle, then it can have a negative effect. Is that the same thing you have seen?

  7. Ryan Biddulph

    Being specific is a key point Julie. Get clear on calling readers to do one thing and your readers will take that specific action consistently. Readers respond to our vibe, and, the clear words we use to convey our desires. Clarity genuinely wins in the CTA game. Excellent blog post.


  8. Julie Weishaar

    Thanks, Ryan,

    I have to practice more what I preach: It’s on my immediate list of to-do’s to be sure I am showing a clear CTA on every post. Have a great weekend 🙂


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