Effective Calls to Action: Online and Offline

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Effective Calls to Action: Online and Offline

Posted by Ernest Corder on August 9th, 2011

BusinessDirectory.com defines a “Call to Action” as “words that urge the reader, listener or viewer of a sales promotion message to take an immediate action.” We are all trying to sell something, right? Don’t be afraid to ask for it. The number one reason why sales are not made in the first place is that salespeople don’t ask for the sale. You’re proud of what you offer and your service or product is worth buying, so ask for the sale, in-person, on your web site or in your advertising through a series of calls to action.

A call to action is your attempt to make a connection with a potential customer. It can be a request to “call for more information,” “schedule a free consultation,” “buy now,” or simply “contact us.” There should be at least one call to action in all of your advertising and on every page of your web site.


The following are a few suggestions for proper use of call to action statements:

Calls to Action on Your Web Site

• Include at least one call to action on each page of your site.

• Include them in places people will expect to find them; in the middle column toward the top or in the middle of your page, at the top right of your page header on each page, in your footer, at the bottom of an explanation.

• Include calls to action as buttons where people are looking for them (i.e. in the middle of a page or in the page header), and also include them within body copy.

• Have one call of action lead to another. For example, get a buy-in from the user to receive more information in the form of an email or download, and then ask for a “buy now” once that information is received.

• Use a different color in your call to action to help it stand out.

• Make the call to action BIG.

Small “Yeses” Lead to a Sale

Sales professionals know that you seldom receive a sale on your first closing attempt. So create a step of small “yeses” that lead to the big “yes” - the sale. This means you can’t always start with a hard close of “buy now.” You may need to advertise “Schedule your free consultation now to learn more” to get a prospect in the door. You can then ask them to “buy now” once they are in front of you. Ask for the prospect to call or email to receive more information or to receive a sample product, then ask for the sale.

Be Urgent

Use language that creates urgency. “Call now,” “limited time offer,” “While Supplies Last,” “Buy now before they’re gone” all encourage timely response.

Make Your Call to Action Easy

Make sure your prospect can easily benefit from your call to action. Make it something they can do now – download more information, call for a free consultation, visit a web site. Don’t make your prospect do more research before they can answer your call to action.

Include Calls to Action in all your Marketing Efforts

Web sites are perfect places to create calls to action, but do it everywhere if you want to receive response from your marketing efforts. Don’t just have a banner ad that clicks to your web site, have it click to learn more specific information, to see a photo gallery, to find more offers, etc. Include urgent calls to action in your TV ads, your radio ads, your print ads – everywhere you are soliciting business.



Do not hesitate to ask for the sale. Do it with well-thought out calls to action in all of your marketing efforts, and try different versions to look for the best results.