Use a "Call to Action" to Motivate Customers

ImageEach time you write an update for your website, create an event for your Facebook page, or tweet about an upcoming program, think about what it is that you want the reader to do.

Do you want your customer to...

  • attend a program?
  • register for a library card?
  • write to their elected officials?

By making a slight tweak to your writing to use a clear call to action for a person to take, you have a better chance of motivating your customer to take the next step. For example, instead of a link to your library card sign-up form using "passive" descriptive text, rephrase the link to guide the reader directly on what to do next:
before: Library card sign-up form
after: Get a library card

A simple way to re-write any phrase is to use an action verb as the first word. For example, use what Paul Boag calls "active urgent language" like...

  • sign up
  • call
  • learn
  • click
  • read
  • register
  • donate
  • join

And to create a sense of urgency and a need to act now, use those words with phrases like "Sign up now to reserve your seat" and "Register by Friday to have the craft supplies you need for our workshop."

Read these resources for more ideas to make your writing more effective:

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