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Why you should include a call-to-action at the bottom of every single piece of copy you write.

Many of us will remember to include a call-to-action on sales materials and homepages, but forget to include one on other copy such as their blogs. Most of us learned as children that if you don’t ask for what you want in life, you won’t get it. Yet we can be shy about using the same principle in business. So here are Oxygen’s top 5 reasons to include a call-to-action on every single piece of copy you write.

  1. You’ve got people’s attention – so you may as well ask them for what you want

This means at the end of articles and blogs, as well as on your homepage, eshots and brochures. And when you’ve sent them a free sample or given them some free advice by email. If you’ve given your customers something they consider to be of value, it’s a great time to ask them to sign up to your mailing list, or to consider buying your product or service. A call-to-action moves your reader from the passive ‘taking in information’ phase to a the active ‘doing’ phase. Fail to include one and they’ll remain passive.

  1. It’s easier to get people to commit to buying in small steps

Some of your customers will have an initial inbuilt resistance to buying. But people like to believe that they’re consistent. And so it’s often easier to get them to commit to buying if you lead them to it in small steps. This means that you need to exploit every opportunity you have to get your customers taking one of those small steps. So maybe they’ve just read an article and you can get them to sign up to a newsletter or to your mailing list. Or to receiving further information about your product. Or to receiving a sample. Each time you contact them, it’s an opportunity to lead them further along the chain to the point where they will purchase. So make it a logical chain of steps and make sure you include the next call-to-action every time to you speak to them.

  1. You can catch them when they’re in the swing of taking action

It’s easy to do this by including another call-to-action just after they’ve taken action. So if they’ve signed up to your mailing list, ask if they’d like to receive more information on your product or service. Or if they’ve purchased something, ask if they’d be interested in something else from your range such as an accessory, or upgrade. Or tell them about your special offers. Businesses do this face-to-face all the time. For instance when you make a deposit into your bank account, the cashier will often ask if you want to open a savings account, or at the very least if they can help with anything else. And when you order a fast food meal, they’ll ask if you want to ‘super-size’ or if you want chips with it. When your customer takes action, their defences are down and they develop a kind of momentum. So don’t let it go to waste. And it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one, so you should up-sell as much as you can

  1. You can take advantage of the moment when they start to trust you

Don’t forget to include another call-to-action below testimonials. These are your ‘rave reviews’ and carry great weight with your potential customers. One of the biggest things that stops customers committing to a purchase is fear of making a mistake and feeling stupid. Testimonials go a long way to assuaging that fear and giving them confidence in your brand. So don’t forget to take advantage of that moment by asking them to take action.

  1. You can frame a call-to-action as a helpful reminder

Did you ever wonder why there’s always a P.S. in a direct mail letter? There’s usually a call-to-action further up as well, and everyone knows direct mail letters aren’t simply thrown together. They’re highly crafted pieces of copy. So how come the copywriter always seems to ‘forget’ to include a crucial bit of information (such as a special offer or limited availability) until they come to write a P.S? In fact, copywriters treat the P.S. at the end of a direct mail letter a little bit like an encore. They want to make sure that the last thing you read is not a polite sign off and signature but a helpful and urgent reminder to buy.

 

If you’d like help crafting the right call-to-action in the right place on your webpages, mailshots and brochures, give Oxygen a call on 0845 2606 255. We can let your staff on the secrets of good copywriting.

 

Steve Lodge: Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.