Writing an Effective Call-to-Action

Alluring Strategies and Top CTA Blunders
By: Vanessa, Editorial Manager

You did it! A reader has read your quality, informative article from title to conclusion. Now what?

Did you provide an effective call-to-action (CTA) in your Resource Box? If you didn’t, you may be missing out on an incredible opportunity to foster a relationship with your readers and drive traffic to your blog or website.

A CTA is a pitch to your readers to urge or motivate them to take immediate action. When effectively used, a CTA can generate incredible results and increase your return on time investment.

Use these tips to write an effective and alluring call-to-action!

  • Desire – Readers are motivated by an empathetic link. Consider what problem they want to solve or what desire they want to achieve. Lead your CTA with it.
     
  • Convenience – Clearly prescribe a product or a service that solves the reader’s problem or helps them achieve their goal.
     
  • Incentive – Encourage your reader to act by providing an enticement, e.g. a discount, a free gift, or a free download. To make it timely, use urgent language like “act now” to add a sense of immediacy.
     
  • Simplicity – Often, the simplest design produces the best results. Succinctly tell your reader what you want them to do in one direct action.
     
  • Link – A combination of 1 link in anchor text and 1 URL link often produces the best results. It also ensures your original URL will be preserved should your article be picked up by another publisher.

Next, watch out for these top 3 call-to-action blunders.

  • Premature Placement – Many experts will place their CTA too early, i.e. add the CTA to their summary or in their article body. Recall that your article should be non-self-serving and entirely information-based to benefit your reader. Your CTA belongs in your article’s Resource Box, because it’s very nature is promotional. “Give” in your article and “take” in your Resource Box.
     
  • Negative Blunders – Attitude is contagious. A negative CTA could result in a negative reaction. A positive CTA is more inclined to result in a positive reaction. Ensure your CTA conveys a positive message.
     
  • Pesky Keywords – Cluttering the CTA with a cloud of keywords, a list of websites, or advertising every product hoping to ensnare as many readers as possible will weaken your credibility. Save keywords for the Keywords field of your article submission form.

Finally, as obvious as it may seem, don’t forget to include a call-to-action! Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to drive traffic to your blog or website and increase your return on time investment. Give your readers a route to continue their journey with you by including a finely-tuned call-to-action in the Resource Box of all your articles.

47 Comments »


1
Andrej writes:

Excellent advice and blog post. I see I`ve got some works to do but according to this I am pretty close with my call to action boxes.

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 9:43 AM

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2

Good examples of call to action:

1. Use colors that contrast the rest of the site. Godaddy does this effective with their bright green registration button that draws a users eye. The button also has text that tells the user what to do “continue to registration”

2. Create a button that tells the user what they are getting, missing out on, What to do……….e.g. “Try it for Free”, “Plan that Trip”, “Find Flights to Track”, Find Office Space Now”, “Join the Fun”

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

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3
Eric Connelly writes:

Another mistake I see often is the resource box has nothing to do with the subject of the article. The resource box should be an extension of the article so it flows smoothly into luring the reader into learning more.

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 10:23 AM

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4
lisa writes:

Great article with some good reminders for all of us. Thanks for sharing!

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM

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5
Terry Chestnutt writes:

Thanks for this list of effective call to action ingredients. I never saw it fleshed out this specifically before.

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 12:08 PM

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6
VMM Milic writes:

I would say something, but I have a lot to learn.

Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

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7
Opal Marrs writes:

I would like to see an example of a good Resource Box. I don’t understand all I know about a stand out good Resource Box. I am too wise not to ask “stupid questions”. I am also not sure I know what the “landing” is and what I can do to make my articles “land” where they should land . I’m an A,BC woman and if some of you know your ability well, you should be able to spell it out for people like me and I am sure that there are many like me. Thanks..

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 6:31 PM

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

Hi Opal,
A landing page is the page your readers go to after they click the link you have put in your resource box for them to click on. You might want them to go to your web site or to a page where they enter their email address into a box and click the submit button so they can get some free digital item you are offering in exchange for their email address. Or maybe you want to them to go to a friends web site if he has paid you to send traffic to his site. A good resource box is one that gets a lot of clicks on the link put in it. Its purpose is to get those clicks. A crumby resource box doesn’t get many click throughs to the landing page.

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8

Hello,

I really do not understand the proper actions to do to stream out my article in order that this is being finally published.

You have been sending me just semi-automatic information telling on the first e-mail that my article was on moderator queue, then a second e-mail telling that everything was in order, but referring to some little improvement concerning “Writing an Effective Call-to-Action”, so I assume, the guidelines in this Article, but my post is stuck in a “General Problem” status.

I wonder on what I need to do next, to get my post published.
As far as I know there was nothing missed in the submitted stream of mine, although that might not match your guidelines perfectly.

I would suggest you just publish as it is and once done that I will surely work back on that to edit and fix the nuances eventually.

Thanks in advance for your kind help.
Regards
Vittorio Ognissanti

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 6:43 PM

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Hi Vittorio,

I will be contacting you privately regarding the article in your account. :)

~Vanessa

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9
Opal writes:

Terry C, thank you so much – you absolutely gave me the A,B,C’s in simple language. I have filled my resource boxes with my long experience in several fields and I add my website address. According to some blogs, several Resource Boxes are better than one. In that case, will I be including too much in my Resource Boxes since some of it will be duplicating.? I have been learning all my life, don’t plan to stop now.

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 6:54 PM

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

You might include a note on what benefit your readers will get when they click through to your web site. It might help get those clicks. I have to ask EzineArticles myself what they mean by five or 12 resource boxes. LOL! Thanks for the compliment.

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10
Cindy Siow writes:

Thanks for this tip. An example will be great for good CTA for EzineArticles.com

Comment provided July 20, 2012 at 10:52 PM

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11
Vijay Mishra writes:

Yes Vanessa,

Now day’s reader want to quality and informative article so the time of writing all these things should be kept in mind.

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 1:00 AM

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12
Mark Whittle writes:

Great advice, many thanks!

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 1:25 AM

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13

Great article. I would like to add that the call-to-action should not promise anything that is not delivered on the website’s landing page, or at least the website.

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 3:30 AM

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14

Thank you for the simple yet effective list of call to action points! It is very specific and much easier to understand then I have seen before.

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

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15
Margaret Heaps writes:

Please demonstrate an anchor link and a URL link.
Thanks.

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

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16
Trevor writes:

Your call to action in your article should sell the click but you must know how to ask readers to click your links. Knowing how to ask can literally mean the difference between the success and failure of your marketing.

Comment provided July 21, 2012 at 5:45 PM

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17
VMM Milic writes:

Margaret, maybe the Ezine gudie might help. :D It is pretty detailed.

http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2010/03/html-basics-for-the-expert-author.html

Comment provided July 22, 2012 at 5:52 AM

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18
VMM Milic writes:

“Guide” not gudie, of course. My fingers are faster than my mind. Typo, sorry.

Comment provided July 22, 2012 at 5:53 AM

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19
Randall Magwood writes:

Another great way to write an effective call to action is by following the “AIDA” principle:

Attention

Interest

Desire

Action

Comment provided July 22, 2012 at 5:53 PM

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20
Terry Chestnutt writes:

I really am getting some extra traffic to my web site from my published EzineArticles since I started on May 23. . Nineteen from one, 5 from another, 3 from one, and 2 and 1 from several others. The same articles posted at other directories got nothing, and this little bit of extra traffic is very targeted. Not bad for the zero dollars and cents price tag. Thanks.

Comment provided July 22, 2012 at 10:32 PM

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21
Sandy Rubias writes:

This really came in handy as I’m currently working on some opt-in pages. Thank you!

Comment provided July 23, 2012 at 5:51 AM

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22
Tony writes:

Another great article for a newbie like myself. Lots to think about and pull together, but it should be worth it in the end. Thanks.

Comment provided July 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

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23

Hello,

I wonder if I have been marked for spamming in this website, my revised article: “Cross Browser Programming – A Web Design Requirement” disappeared from the list of the unpublished articles, without any public or private notification.

Please advise.
Vittorio Ognissanti

Comment provided July 28, 2012 at 5:32 AM

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24
Opal writes:

Hi, Terry. Thanks for visiting my articles and for your comments. I am having some problem with my web site and I am trying to get someone who can set up a business page on my Face Book and to develop a one-point landing site for my articles. I just don’t have enough technical training to do it myself. My article perfrmances have been a couple of 10 hits, some 7’s and others 1, 2 or 3. I have to do more to market them.

Comment provided July 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

I like your web site. You did a lot of impressive stuff in life.

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25
Terry Chestnutt writes:

the above note is to Opal Marrs.

Comment provided July 29, 2012 at 12:25 AM

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26
Opal writes:

Yes, I like my web site too and I retired from several careers during my lifetime. have learned so many things ,some of which I use with wisdom. I am proud, not boastful, of how I have lived my life and I can’t be idle. That is what started the articles. I have sung with a chorus, sang solo, fielded a trio and entertained with my comedy. It sure has been fun. You have been kind and helpful and I appreciate that.

Comment provided July 29, 2012 at 12:46 AM

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

I am glad you had a good time. It is good to come to the end of life and feel satisfied.

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27
Opal writes:

Looks like a typo up there – it should read “sang” solo.

Comment provided July 29, 2012 at 12:47 AM

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28
Christina Crea writes:

This really clarifies what a CTA should be in the resource box. Looks like I have some editing to do.

Comment provided August 12, 2012 at 12:23 PM

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29
Opal writes:

Terry C, just wanted to let you know that I now have a business page on my face book – it’s called Opal’s Mosaic of Life. I have had 20, 17, 8 and other hits n my articles at Ezine. I have not finished the face book page, but I will be reporting new articles on it. Hope that helps get a little more traffic.

Comment provided August 13, 2012 at 3:18 PM

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

Hi Opal. I have been busy and lost track of the thread here but I am wondering if you know about writing articles for hire at sites where people who need content post jobs and writers submit the finished article matching the request and if the poster likes it buys it. At first you get just 2 dollars for 400 words but as you establish your self you can get more. Email me at terrychestnutt@live.com if you want the details. I don’t charge for those urls at all, of course.

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30
Vittorio Ognissanti writes:

Hello,
I am not native english speaking person and now really frustrated in attempting to publish my Cross Browser Web Design Article that has been rejected several times.
Besides some english syntax errors, limitations to submitting, are too many and my snippet is for promotion environment usage (Google AdSense), which gives extra limitations to the article formatting.

Could any member @ EzineArticles help me to accomplish that by free support?
Thanks
Vittorio

Comment provided August 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM

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Hi Vittorio,

We recommend using the ‘Contact Us’ button within your My.EzineArticles account to ask any questions that relate to your articles. A member of our Support team will be contacting you privately regarding your articles.

~Vanessa

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31
Derek writes:

Vanessa,

Thank you for the tips and reminders. I like your style of writing and I can see why you are the Editorial Manager. This article not only provided insight into creating an effective CTA but is also an example of providing your potential readers with quality content.

Thanks for two great gifts.

Best regards,
Derek

Comment provided August 17, 2012 at 2:01 AM

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32
Simeon Soname writes:

I was a little bit confused about what I should put in the resource box. This blog post is really an
eye opener.

Comment provided August 26, 2012 at 9:40 PM

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33
Vittorio Ognissanti writes:

Hello,

I got confused by login and being taken to settings for the Resource box.

Is that meant as an information that will be added in the future articles, or an information that will find its residence in the Members’ Profile Public View?

I thought that resource box information was to be customized each time by new article publishing.

Comment provided August 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

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Hi Vittorio,

First off to clarify, your Resource box is the appropriate place to include information about yourself, your business, as well as up to two (2) self-serving links. The Resource box is featured below each live article. It is up to you if you would like to create a customized Resource box, however please note you will only be able to save three (3). We recommend creating a Resource box relevant to each niche you write in, which can be used multiple times for the articles in these specific categories. If you have any further questions please use the ‘Contact Us’ feature within your My.EzineArticles account.

~Vanessa

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Terry Chestnutt writes:

I did not know 2 links can be placed in the resource box. Thanks.

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34

hi Vanessa,
Excellent advice and blog post.

Comment provided October 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

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35

Having a simple call to action is extremely important, you never want to confuse your readers and give them too many things to do, thanks for the helpful tips on creating an effective ‘call to action.’

Comment provided February 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM

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36
trevor writes:

Your article must get the reader interested enough to click the link to find out more!

Comment provided March 12, 2013 at 11:15 PM

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37
trevor writes:

You can also help motivate your reader to take the next step in your call to action by providing them with your product’s main benefit.

Comment provided March 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM

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38
trevor writes:

For your call to action to be really effective you must know how to ask your reader to click your link.

Comment provided March 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM

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