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Call to action

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What is a call to action?

In marketing terminology, a call to action is text that invites readers to do an action that the website owner, author, or advertiser wants readers to do. The action might lead to a sale, get readers to sign up for or download something, or perhaps help readers become more informed. Every link can work as a call to action. Calls to action can also be non-hyperlinked text directing people where to read or what to do.

"Click here" is a common call to action, but it doesn't tell readers what to expect if they click. The following examples of calls to action can help motivate readers to take the desired action:

  • "Order now."
  • "Learn more."
  • "See our plans."
  • "Free trial."
  • "Take advantage of our special offer."
  • "Call us now at 800-555-5555."
  • "Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote."

Where to use a call to action

You can use a call to action wherever you promote your services:

  • On each page of your website
  • In advertisements
  • In brochures or other promotional material
  • On business cards
  • In newsletters
  • In blogs or other articles
  • On social media pages, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • In email

How to make your call to action more effective

First, provide enough information and enticement so that readers are already interested by the time that they see the calls to action. A call to action to "order now" can be effective only if readers can make an informed choice about whether to place an order.

"Order now" tells readers what action you want them to take and when. "Order by [date] to receive X" is even more effective; it gives people a reason to take action now rather than postponing the action and possibly never doing it. "Order now to receive a free month of web hosting" is another example of a call to action that helps motivate readers to take the action — it answers the question, "What's in it for me?"

Pages with marketing as their purpose should end with a call to action. The call to action will stand out more if it's on a line by itself, surrounded by white space, and in a larger font and different color. Calls to action that blend in more can be used throughout the text to encourage readers to take action at any point, by hyperlinking product names, types of services, and offers such as "money-back guarantee." Images can also be links.

See also

Web Hosting Wiki article text shared under a Creative Commons License.

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