Call to Action Marketing

Let me preface this entry by saying this: In no way am I trying to insult the American consumer, telling you to actually slap people in the face, or encouraging mediocrity. The purpose of this entry is to keep yourself from falling into the trap of over-thinking simple marketing messages and calls to action.

With that being said, we are getting dumb. The average human’s attention span is eight seconds (Cornish, 2008); that doesn’t leave too much wiggle room for jargon, gobbledigook or hyperbole in your marketing. But don’t worry… it’s not our faults; Americans are typically bombarded by around 3,000 marketing and advertising messages a day.

So where does your marketing material fit in the grand scheme of things? If you want to capture your audience and make them do what you want (buy stuff, try things, give personal information, etc.), you typically have to give a tactful marketing “slap in the face”.

When engaging the public on your website, social media outlets, emails, print ads, or any other marketing materials, you need to first and foremost figure out your main message. What is it you want them to do? If you just speak at your audience without giving them instructions, they’re not going to do anything.

Say you’re selling soap. Using a call to action that will give them a solution to their problem is going to stimulate interest (i.e. “Itchy? Click here” or “Want to not smell like a hockey skate? Visit us at for a sample of our awesome soap“).

Here are three deep-fried cheeseburgers of advice to be sure your audience catches what you’re throwing:

  • K.I.S.S.As my associate, Tony Popowski, wrote in an earlier blog post, (K)eep (I)t (S)imple (S)tupid! It’s not that we’re dumb (I was only exaggerating), it’s just we’ve been so saturated with marketing & advertising that desensitization and indifference have set in. It doesn’t take much for us to get frustrated and throw our keyboards like cavemen. Simple messages will ensure that you reach soft spot in the sometimes-impervious brain of the consumer.
  • Find Your Way Through the “Fog
    The Gunning fog index is a tool which measures readability in the English language. To get the knack of how average humans read (if you don’t know by your own standards), try dumping your message(s) into a fog readability calculator. It may just save you words, syllables, unecessary phrasing and ineffective tones that can confuse your target audience.
  • Testing, Testing, 1-2-3 Before launching anything, test the material on three people you know. If you get recurring themes or suggestions in their collective feedback, chances are the general public may have a similar mindset. Considering different perspectives can save your content from being lost in the pile.

So if you want to leave a nice five-star on their brains, complicated isn’t the way to go. Keep it simple, keep it interesting and keep it dynamic. If you want to learn about the ultimate way to intrigue an audience with marketing, click here to discover the realm of inbound marketing.