I get it, “Call to Action” might sound like a video game you heard about. But it’s not.
A call to action is an invitation on a web page or in a newsletter for the reader to do something.
And it doesn’t have to be clicking a link!
Here are three tips to creating calls to action in your newsletters.
1. Provide set up for your call to action
Like a story, it’s more awesome if events are foreshadowed. So, in The Half-Blood Prince, someone’s apparent betrayal is foreshadowed by Harry being betrayed by the up-to-now very helpful margin notes in his Potions book.
In a newsletter, you don’t have space for such finesse, but you can at least provide set up for a call to action.
For example, say you’re promoting your Facebook group. Why not chat about some of the awesome things that are currently happening in it? With so many Facebook groups these days, it’s good to demonstrate its value!
2. The “coffee invitation” rule
You want to invite someone out for coffee. You casually mention in passing, “I’m going to go grab a coffee this afternoon”.
Would you be disappointed when the other person doesn’t join you? You might be, but that’s a little unfair to the other person. You didn’t actually invite them to come.
So while you could just have: “in my Facebook group…” and link the text, but it’s not very compelling. It’s not much of an invitation.
It doesn’t have to be super urgent or anything fancy, something as simple as “Join the Facebook group” shows your readers that you’re inviting them to take action, not just dropping links.
3. Make it clear
Don’t make people dig for your point.
Very few people actually read everything you’ve written – they skim. So don’t make them go on an excavation. Most will give up quickly like I gave up on my dreams of being an archaeologist.
Avoid burying your calls to actions in the middle of paragraphs. Ideally, they are best positioned on their own. Using a button can make it even clearer.
If you have an aversion to single line paragraphs because your English teacher Ms Greene told you that it’s not a real paragraph, be bold.
Try sticking a call to action all on its own… Then…
Change the size of the font.
Change the colour
Change the alignment.
And see how much of a difference that makes!