If you want blogging for business to really pay off, write effective calls to action for your blog posts. A call to action is the key copywriting element that would give your reader a nudge once they’ve realised that you have a solution for them, and it encourages them to take action.
Yet, it’s often the one element that’s missing in many blog posts I come across!
There’s no point spending hours writing a great blog post to promote your expertise if you don’t plan to ask the reader to do something – whether you want them to comment, follow you on social media, or request a free consultation.
Why create calls to action for your blog?
There are two main reasons why I recommend a call to action in your blog post:
Calls to action can boost relationships: Whenever you publish a post, it’s your opportunity to start new relationships with your ideal customers and further develop relationships with existing customers and readers.
So if you simply leave people hanging, they’ll read your post and then ‘X’ out of your blog once, and they’ll return to their normal routine. All you’ve done is served them information without asking them to do anything that could turn them into a follower or customer. Why not give them something else to do?
Show them the next step.
Calls to action can boost lead generation: If your blogging goal is to collect more leads and make more money, you need a call to action that gets them to do one of the following:
- hand over their contact details
- send you and email
- call you
However, it’s best to make each call to action unique. Also ensure they’re targeted and appropriate for the topic, and that they link well with the expertise, product or service you’re showing off.
So how do you improve your calls to action to make them more effective? Here are my top 7 ways to approach this:
1. Know what your audience wants
People will only follow your call to action if it’s going to solve their problem and if there’s something in it for them. What would they gain out of the next step?
Let’s say you’re asking them to comment. Make it clear that their feedback would help you solve a problem for either yourself or other readers.
What if you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Instead of simply asking them to hand over their email addresses, mention the benefits of signing up. What’s in it for them?
And what if you want them to call to book a free consultation? Explain, briefly, what that free consultation could help them achieve.
2. Focus on a primary call to action
The more options you give the reader, the more you’re making them think. Don’t make them think too much. Don’t force them to go away to think about whether they should return to pick a choice. This could affect your conversion rates.
Avoid over-complicate things. Tell them exactly what you want them to do next, and focus their attention on one main call to action.
However, if you must offer a secondary call to action, do it to give an alternative option for those who are not yet ready to respond to your primary call to action.
Primary call to action asks them to request a free consultation.
Secondary call to action is an opt-in form sitting below the blog post, asking them to join your mailing list and receive a checklist.
3. Make it irresistible
If you want your reader to take action, make it worth their time… and make it irresistible.
Do this by making your unique selling point clear for the particular expertise you’re promoting. Show them, in your call to action, that you’re the best option for them right now, and that they should consider your offer before it’s too late. That is, before their problem gets worse.
An accountant could offer their reader a free consultation to discover how they can get their books ready in time for the end of the financial year – at a very reasonable price.
A business coach could offer a free downloadable guide for turning their small businesses into six-figure businesses.
You get the idea.
4. Set expectations
When enticing your reader to take action, be honest, be upfront, and avoid any tricks that could break that trust you’ve already established. It could make them doubt anything you write about in the future.
And remember to honour the promise. Always, always deliver on your promise!
So let’s say your offer has ended or changed. I recommend that you go back and edit the call to action in your blog post.
If you’re promising a free consultation, don’t respond with an upsell!
And if you’re only able to take on a limited number of new customers, make it clear whether you’ll first need to interview them to check that you’re a good fit. Don’t give them the impression that it’s simply first come, first served.
5. Create a sense of urgency
Want people to take action now? Then ask them to take action “now”. Now while they’re still on your blog post, and while you’re on their mind.
To motivate them to take action “now”, add a sense of urgency so that they fear missing out.
For example, if you want your reader to download your checklist:
“Download your checklist today” is more effective than:
“We created a checklist you can download here”
If you want them to buy a product, consider a creative offer. Can you afford to give an early-bird rate to the first few customers?
In this case…
“Pre-order your copy now” is good, but…
“Pre-order your copy now. And, if you’re one of the first 10 to pre-order your copy today, you’ll get it for 50% off” is more attractive.
It would work like a charm – give it a try with your next offer.
6. Use action words
Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t fill your call to action with fluff. Give the reader direction (or order!) so they can take action. Tell them with action words, and use your active voice:
- “Download your copy now”
- “Sign up for our newsletter today”
- “Book your spot right now”
- “Like us on Facebook before 5pm today for a chance to win an iPad”
- “Email your questions today”
- “Leave a comment to go in the draw”
If you’re including links for them to follow, check that your links stand out. I often see blog posts with links that don’t appear like links unless your mouse hovers over them!
7. Use a colourful call to action
Don’t want to write a long call to action? Or maybe you feel that your reader can’t tell the difference between your call to action and the other text on your website?
Then either use a different font colour or insert a colourful call to action button that really stands out.
Another option is to add a background colour to the call to action section. Your website designer/developer can add the option for you to insert a button or a call to action box.
Choose a colour that pops and that instantly draws the reader to the call to action.