Let Your People Breathe: Why and How to Use CTA’s in your Copy

Oct 15, 2021

One of the things I dislike most in the world is pressure.

It’s most likely because I am a people pleaser; almost every day I think through what feels like a million things that I wish I could do, I wish I could help people, I wish I could say yes to another new obligation. And I just can’t do it all. And I wish I could.

I really don’t like telling people no, is what I’m trying to say.

But this blog post isn’t a reflection on why saying no is hard, or why copywriting is good for me because it forces me to say things clearly, although we could talk about those things. What I want to talk about is placing clear calls to action (CTA’s) in your copy: why they’re good, why they’re hard, and how to implement them easily.

What are calls to action, and why do you need them?

You probably know a call to action most quickly as the little website buttons that say “Learn More” and “Contact”. But here’s the reason you should have Call to Action buttons on your website and calls to action most other places you write copy: you need to tell people what to do next. Once someone’s interest has been piqued by your headline and they’ve read through the copy that explains your offer… you have to tell them what to do next. If they don’t know what to do next, they will probably click out of your website. And if you have something you want them to buy, clicking away from your website is not a great start. You want it to be easyyyy and natural for them to do the next thing on the journey to purchasing.

Why are they hard?

This is where my intro ties in: it’s often hard to want to tell people what to do. “Buy now!” and “Let’s do this!” can make you feel like you’re forcing them to buy from you, right?

Let’s reframe this a little bit though: it is actually kind to let them know how they can purchase from you, or where they can learn more. It is not kind to leave it vague and make them dig for the next steps. Most of us don’t have time to dig around on a website to figure out how to find out what all is included in a package or where to add an item to our online shopping cart.

Yes, I think we should be careful to not manipulate as we invite our clients or customers to take the next step. But we don’t be so careful that you don’t ever inform them what that next step is.

How should you implement them?

The rule of thumb is to always end a section of copy with a call to action. As you write your website, IG caption, or marketing email, make sure that you think through your process and add a corresponding action that your client or customer can take in order to stay in tune with the item or service they are interested in. Calls to action can be as easy as “Keep reading” or “I’m interested in more details.” They should be clear statements, but they shouldn’t always say “I WANT THIS IMMEDIATELY”, or even imply that. Just gently keep your customer in the loop and make it easy for them to take the steps that they are comfortable with.

We all have enough pressure in our lives, don’t we? Let’s not add pressure to our people when they visit our websites—let’s make it clear and simple for them to understand what we’re offering and what to do next if they are interested.

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