Don’t Forget The Call To Action

Posted by in Internet Marketing

Call To ActionThere are many ways to market and advertise your e-commerce business. Whether you use email newsletters, a sales letter posted on your website, video content, informative articles, or a pay per click campaign, all of them need to include some Call To Action on the part of the reader or visitor.

In fact, without a call to action, all of your marketing and online advertising efforts may be worthless. People need to be reminded, and encouraged, to perform the action that your marketing pieces are intended to promote.

It is just human nature to do as little as possible, a Call To Action helps to urge a person to act instead of being passive.

Call To Action – Key Terms

The best way to get a potential customer to act is to offer them an incentive to do so. There are several key phrases and terms you might want to use to accomplish this:

Deadline – Order by a certain date (make it within the same month as the marketing piece is delivered, if applicable).

Price Increase – Order before a certain date to avoid the price increase.

Free Trial – Offer something for free, but only for a limited time period.

No Risk Trial – Delay charging a credit card for a specific term, such as two weeks, so that the customer can decide if he or she likes the item. Remember to offer an easy return policy with no questions asked.

Free Gift – Include a freebie with all orders placed by a certain date, or offered to the first 100 responders.

Free Upgrade – Let your customers receive a better model for the same price as the base model for a limited time period.

Exclusive – whether it is a particular product or offer, let customers know that you are the only company offering it.

Free Shipping – Again, add a time limit to place the order and not be charged the cost of mailing the item.

Don’t use passive or ambiguous phrases such as “give us a call”. These rarely prompt people to immediate action. Always clearly identify the date that applies to any special offers.

Make The Process Easy

Nothing is more frustrating than being compelled to act only to find the process is difficult or confusing. Make sure that all links direct the visitor to the proper landing page to buy, or fill out a form, or whatever type of action you wish them to take. If you make the link with a unique URL, you can easily track the conversion rate and determine if the marketing piece was effective.

Provide all your contact information. Include a phone number, an email address, and a mailing address. Some people are still sceptical of doing business over the internet and this gives them an alternate way to make a purchase.

The Call To Action is an important part of any advertising or marketing piece. Don’t leave it up to the consumer to do something on their own, incite them to act, and to do so right away, this is imperative for boosting your online sales.

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a full time Aussie internet marketer and blogger since 2005. When he's not blogging, he's playing with his kids.


  1. Hi Sean,

    Thanks for the great list of terms and phrases that will induce a customer to follow a call to action. I can definitely see how they would influence a customer to make a decision.

    I totally agree with making it as easy as possible for customers to take the next step. Once you have them started on the buying cycle, you really need to keep them there. This is where attention to detail will pay off in ensuring that there are no problems with the process.
    .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Learn and Earn Competition – This is It =-.

  2. Hi Sean

    It’s really good to get “inside information”and the list is very familiar with people who have offered me the same methods of online sales in the past.

    I would only use ‘call to action’ techniques if they are simple to understand (no hidden agenda’s), do not ask for your Visa or Bank card details at the same time a free offer is made (been caught once with this) and don’t keep advertising the ” this price only for the next 10 days” and find it is still making the same offer a year later.

    I think the offer has to be absolutely genuine at the time. Great ideas thanks Sean.
    .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

  3. This is a great list of techniques to implement a “Call To Action” by the visitor to your site. It’s one of those articles I’ll be printing off as a handy checklist to remind me of the various techniques that can be used to prompt action by the user.
    .-= Don White´s last blog ..The Ukulele – A Very Brief History =-.

  4. Hi Sean,
    A call to action can mean the difference between whether you get the sale or not. Selling on the internet has the same principles as a salesman has selling door to door.

    If at the end of his sales pitch he doesn’t ask for the sale chances are his customer will not purchase. The Call To Action is the most important part of selling.
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Couples Marry at Common Law =-.

    • Hi Jill,

      You’re so right and this is an area I really need to work on. I’m definitely going to take advantage of Sean’s key terms. Hopefully, they’ll help me to get on the right track.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.