What are the qualities of a winning call-to-action prompt?

OABPO Blog Team Published on July 11, 2014

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The call-to-action prompt is a crucial component of your marketing collateral. Open Access BPO, a leader in business process outsourcing in the Philippines, lists down qualities of an effective call-to-action prompt that you can use as guide whenever you need to write one.

A call-to-action (CTA) prompt is a must-have in every social media and e-mail marketing material you create and send to your target audience. After viewing your infographic or reading your newsletter, your recipients must understand clearly what you want them to do next. Only through a compelling CTA can you drive them to respond according to your intended goal.

Every marketing material is unique. Each e-mail that you send has to have its unique purpose — whether to sell more products or gain more customers — and a distinct style of writing corresponding to that goal. The CTA doesn’t exactly have a secret winning format, but effective ones do have some common qualities. Here’s a quick checklist you can use in writing one.

• It must be clear and concise.

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A CTA must be easy to read and direct to the point. Unnecessary words or phrases must be omitted if they don t contribute to the cohesion of the statement. The CTA is not an avenue for you to use flowery words or figures of speech. You need to be wise in choosing the right words in those two or three lines.

• It uses compelling language.

The CTA is basically an instruction on what your customers should do next. If it doesn’t sound compelling or motivating enough, your recipients will less likely to respond according to your expectations. There must be a sense of urgency integrated in the call to action. “Download it now” or “avail our promo today,” for instance, makes the CTA sound urgent and compelling.

• It can easily be spotted.

The placement of your CTA must be strategically done so that more people are guaranteed to read and click the link that accompanies it. Some digital marketing experts suggest that an effective call to action must be placed “above the fold” or in a place that does not require too much down scrolling. With your call to action positioned strategically, its visibility can lead to higher click-through rates.

• It stands out from the rest of the text.

Aside from positioning it strategically, your CTA must be formatted differently from the rest of the text in your campaign material. Whether you highlight keywords or use a different font color, the call to action must instantly draw the attention of your readers. CTA buttons must be designed distinctly when used in website landing pages.

• It doesn’t compete with other elements.

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Don’t confuse your readers by using multiple CTAs. By introducing an irrelevant topic to the general content of your e-mail, webpage, or social media post, you are indirectly encouraging people to find out more about less important topics that you mentioned somewhere in your content.

This reduces their chances of reading it fully and may prevent them from reaching your CTA at the end. The only exception to having just one CTA is when sending newsletters and product catalogs where multiple actions are expected from the readers.

Your CTA is your last shot at convincing your customers to respond to your marketing strategies. Even if you have the best content, your materials may still fail to drive engagement because of the absence of a compelling CTA. By using these qualities as your guide, you can have an effective CTA that is sufficiently compelling for your readers to respond to.

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