How to Write a Call to Action that Gets Results - Christine Kane

A Call to Action (CTA) is that exciting moment when you tell your prospects or clients what exactly you want them to do.

  • Sign up to get my free eBook
  • Schedule your free assessment now
  • Grab one of the last spaces at my retreat
  • Hit reply and I’ll send you the information

For some reason, many business owners forget to do this. Or they don’t want to because it’s uncomfortable to tell people what to do.

Often, when someone tells me “no one signed up” for their program, I’ll look at their copy and discover that their call to action goes more like this:

  • Let me know if you’re interested.
  • Give me a call if want to try this.
  • I’m around if you want to chat.

It’s like one big tie-dyed, lava-lamp hippie shrug. “Hey, call me, don’t call me, it’s up to you, I’m good with whatever, and who really cares?”

When you get all “go with the flow” in your CTA copy, guess what your reader does?

She thinks, “Okay – no rush. I’ll get to this later. I’m sure there’s time and space and whatever.”

After all, she’s got other things that are more pressing and urgent on her plate. You, on the other hand, are telling her that you’re always around. You’re always there. There’s nothing pressing here at all. You’re too busy going with the flow.

So, let’s get clear about how you can create compelling calls to action. Follow these six steps – and stop all of that shrugging, okay?

1 – Before you create your content, know the CTA

A Call to Action doesn’t always have to sell something. It can simply lead people to get on your list, or hit reply or leave a comment.

But every piece of content you put out there should have some kind of Call to Action. Some kind of to-do associated with it.

WHY are you putting this content out there? What is the point? If it’s simply to garner comments and start a conversation, great. Then make that clear.

Your CTA leads people to engage, stay connected, get on your list – and eventually become clients or customers. Don’t leave home without one.

 2 – Put some thought into your CTA

Consider this CTA: “Like this article? Leave me a comment below!”

And this CTA: “Have a favorite strawberry pie recipe you’d like to share with our community? Post the link in the comments below!” (Obviously, the content of said article would be about strawberry pie, and not writing Calls to Action.)

In other words, there are more creative ways to get people to engage, then just telling them to “leave a comment.”

3 – Keep it simple

On the other hand, you don’t want to confuse people either. One of my favorite calls to action for my clients who have small lists is simply, “Hit reply and I’ll send you the info.” It’s easy. It’s simple. And people do it.

In other words, make sure that what you want me to do is laid out in simple, easy-to-understand language.

4 – Avoid “Whatever dude” language

“I’m here waiting for your call” does not inspire people to take action. That’s because most of us are too busy to get to that action. If you’re always waiting, we’re always aware that you’re waiting. Which is very sweet of you. But we’ll never call.

So, make your CTA time sensitive or space sensitive. “Grab one of the last three spaces.” Or “Registration closes on Wednesday. Click here to sign up now.”

5 – Follow the Rule of One

This is the most important rule of all. Do NOT overwhelm people with the many choices you want to offer. That’s just your way of avoiding clarity. One call to action. That’s all.

6 – Make graphically obvious clickable text

Make sure it’s obvious to me where I should click. Give me an underline, a different color, a very clear button. Don’t hide your CTA. It will simply confuse your peeps and they will go away.

So, brace yourself.

Right now, I will personally model a Call to Action for you.


In the comments below, tell me the exact words you used in the last CTA you put out in the world! (And how’d it work???)

(Or, you can just share your favorite strawberry pie recipe.:) )

  • Cathy

    On the blog post I directed my newsletter readers to this week (about enjoying a meal with all 5 senses), I asked:

    When was the last time you enjoyed a meal with your whole being? I’d love to hear all about it. When you share in the comments, you open the possibility for others.

    That last bit is something I include in every comment request.

  • Jocelyne

    My last cta was:

    “Last reminder for Sundays workshop …Want to come?

    Just let me know and I will reserve a space for you.”

    Have done better and worse! Did get some replys although I know I rushed this off without too much thought. (Note to self !!)

    • Christine Kane

      Jocelyne – Well, at least you recognized that you fired it off. 🙂 I always take extra time with subject lines, titles and CTA’s. It’s really where all the value lies in terms of engagement! (and yes, there are times when I fire it off too!)

  • Cindy

    Those who register by Sun evening will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $50 Carnival gift card!

    This went out in an email AND we were promoting it at a booth all weekend. I only got 3 entries. 🙁 I did get some calls and questions, though….

    Maybe the email should have had a clear BUTTON to register? Not sure what would have helped with the booth set-up except maybe a bigger deadline on our poster?

    • Christine Kane

      Cindy, It really depends how you worded it. Saying “Those who register by Sun evening will automatically be entered in a drawing…” is different from “Register now to win a $50 Carnival gift card! 24 hours only!” (or whatever the time is). The second one tells them exactly what do do right now.

      It’s always a good idea to test as much as you can. A button helps with some audiences, but not all audiences are the same. Test using a button next time– those do usually have better conversions.

  • Cathy

    My last blog post (about enjoying a meal with all 5 senses) ended with

    “When was the last time you enjoyed a meal with your whole being? I’d love to hear all about it. When you share in the comments, you open the possibility for others.”

    I include that last sentence in every request for comments.

    • Christine Kane

      Great Cathy! Also – if they are learning from you, there’s always a chance they have NEVER enjoyed a meal with their whole being – and this is an entirely new concept to them. Is there a way to help people not have to write “Never!” as an answer to your CTA? 🙂

  • Sana

    My last CTA:

    We each get one body; how will you choose to love yours today? Let me know in the comments below!

    • Sana
    • Christine Kane

      Sana – Fabulous! One little tweak that might help that I’ve learned is to break it down to make it REALLY EASY to respond – meaning “how will you choose to love yours today” is a very BROAD question. I like to make things more “thinkable” for people. Like, “What is one small step you can take to love yours today?” HOW is a very big word and can overwhelm people who may otherwise answer but can’t think that big. make sense?

  • Amira Alvarez

    I went to check… here’s the most recent CTA I wrote…

    “What is your Elephant Step? Tell me in the comments below or on Facebook and I’ll cheer you on.”

    Yup. It was a blog post on using the concept of Elephant Steps to grow you biz.

    • Christine Kane

      Hey there beautiful Amira! (So happy to see you my friend!)

      So – i love this. Did it get a good response?