how to create a strong call-to-action


A strong call-to-action is the crowning glory of any marketing piece. It needs to sum up everything the piece promises. Calls-to-action are typically short; it’s usually just a sentence, possibly two that tells the reader what they should do to get all of those great things the piece promises. A strong call-to-action increases the likelihood that the reader will do the next step in the selling process. Creating a call-to-action, however, isn’t a step-by-step process; a call-to-action is more a series of things that embody an action.

Use The Right Language

Cater the language of the call-to-action to the target audience. If the writer of the call-to-action talks over the head of the audience, it sounds pretentious and may not even be understood by the audience. On the other hand, using words below the target audience’s education level can have adverse effect, too. Knowing the audience will help the writer create a strong call-to-action that works.

Make it Actionable

A strong call-to-action tells the reader exactly what he or she has to do to get the product, knowledge or whatever is being sold. Use words like creates, discover, learn, turn, blaze and other strong action verbs to direct the reader to do something. The call-to-action is ineffective without the action part of the call.

Memorable Matters

Snappy call-to-actions are more memorable and helpful in encouraging the reader to do the action. They make it easy to remember and increase the chance that the reader will do the call-to-action. Use alliterations, rhythm and intriguing words to make it memorable. Use words an average person hears in their everyday life. When in doubt, keep the call-to-action short. That will aid in making it more snappy and memorable.

Show Value

A great call-to-action shows the reader exactly what they get when they click the link or buy the product. The reader will not move forward in the process without knowing what they get out of it. A strong action verb assists in showing value.


Testing the call-to-action out on a colleague, friend or even a group of beta testers will help determine the effectiveness of the call-to-action. Then, the writer can adjust the call-to-action as necessary to increase the sales associated with the call-to-action.

Deliver on Promise

If the reader doesn’t get what the call-to-action promised, the person most likely will avoid the product and anything else sold by the company. The follow-through is one of the most important parts of the call-to-action; using the call-to-action to promise something you can’t deliver is not only morally wrong, but will hurt the business in the long run. It kills any brand loyalty that the person may have developed and they will tell others that the business doesn’t do what it promises. That is going to hurt your bottom line.

When it comes to writing a strong call-to-action, every word matters. The short sentence should clearly state what the reader will get out of it when he or she follows through on the action. A strong verb beats “was” or “is” in any call-to-action. And always deliver what the call-to-action promises. What is your favorite verb to use in a call-to-action?

randy bowden – t | f | g+



2 thoughts on “how to create a strong call-to-action

  1. Hi Randy

    Lovely write up I would say. Personally, I love to test CTA. Oh c’mon, split testing with different fonts, colours etc. So exciting!

    Now, back to topic. I feel the easiest way is to always make it clear and simple. Tell your readers why they need to do ‘that’ and make it memorable. The right CTA will boost your sign up REAL fast.

    Thanks for such an inspiring write.


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