Creating an enticing and motivating call to action is a skill every marketer should work hard to tackle. It can be the difference between a new customer or just another impression. When done correctly, an effective marketing call to action demands attention and leaves something to be wanted, giving the consumer the feeling that if they don’t take action, they’ll be missing out in some way. But a poor call to action is easy to overlook and does little to elicit the desired reaction from the consumer. So how can you improve your call to action within your marketing campaigns?

This OPEN Forum article did a good job of explaining the call to action, why it works and where to use them within your marketing strategy. Quite simply, a call to action tells the consumer what action you’d like them to take. And since people often tend to follow instructions when given, many will take that action. It sounds simple, but true. That’s not all there is to a great call to action, though. To really be effective, a good call to action creates a sense of urgency, limited quantities or offers a solution to a common problem.

To put it simply, a good call to action:

Triggers an emotional reaction

Tells the consumer how to purchase

Creates a sense of urgency

Provides incentives or additional details that are hard to refuse

A call to action can be used anywhere you sell or promote your products or services, such as:

Display and Text Ads: Your ads are continually competing with similar brands and messaging for the attention of consumers. Make your ad stand out with strong messaging and a call to action that is hard to refuse.

Website: If your website is used primarily to attract and convert new business, your call to action should immediately stand out on your homepage, making it easy for visitors to follow the path you’ve laid out for them.

Newsletter: Newsletters are a great way to improve your call to action by adding incentives. For example, you could include a new incentive in every monthly newsletter, such as free shipping for the remainder of that month.

Blog: Your blog provides a great way to humanize your brand, connecting with consumers on a personal level. It’s also a great place to include a call to action within sidebars or throughout blog posts for higher visibility.

Social Networks: Using a clear call to action within Facebook or Twitter messages allows you to provide promotional updates to consumers in real time.

Something to keep in mind: as always, test, test, then test some more. Start with a few different calls to action and test them against each other in your advertising, website and social channels. Until you dissect and analyze the data, you don’t know which calls to action work best for your brand.