“Call to Actions” Sell Your Product or Service for You

As a professional writer, I am often asked to create text for client’s websites, brochures, press releases and other communications. I can always tell when someone has prepared their own press release, brochure or web content, as they are often missing several elements, including a “call to action.”

What is a “call to action”? It is what it sounds like. It’s a prompt for the customer to do something, whether it’s a “submit” or “contact us now” button online, or a sentence or two urging the reader to take action at the end of a press release or in a brochure because it will make their lives easier, less stressful or free of the challenges they are currently facing.

Why do you need “a call to action” for your website, brochures, press releases, etc.? That’s a good question. Here’s the answer. Most people—not everyone, but most—will not contact you unless they are convinced there is something in it for them. If they don’t get that message, then you’ve left  money on the table that could have been in your pocket.

Here are some examples of “calls to action”:

  • Discover how working with ABC Co. can eliminate your [challenge] forever.
  • Contact ABC Co. today and learn what our [widget] can do for your business’s bottom line.
  • Need help with your [crisis]? ABC Co. is only a phone call away.

Simple, right? Next time you send out an eblast, newsletter, press release or other marketing collateral, make sure to include your “call to action”. If it’s targeted properly, it can make all the difference in how someone responds to your marketing.

For more information about writing your marketing visit my website: www.yourwritingresource.com.


​ Why Can’t I Use My Brochure Text for My Website?

I occasionally write a brochure for a client and then find that they’ve used it on their website. What’s the big deal, you ask? Text is text, why can’t they use the same wording and message in any of their marketing materials?

Good question. It is important to carry the design elements and the messaging throughout your marketing materials, however, expecting a brochure to serve the same purpose as a website is like purchasing a sedan and expecting it to maneuver and perform like it a four wheel off road vehicle. It just doesn’t work as well off road because it wasn’t designed for that purpose. The same principle works for marketing text.

As with the car, you have to know what you expect from your brochure before you create it.

  • Do you want your brochure to be informational?
  • Are you trying to drive traffic to another information source, like your website?
  • Is it meant to be a take-away that you give out to just about everybody, or are you mailing it to a specific audience?

In general, brochures are used to whet your customer’s appetite and get them interested enough in your product or service that they call you immediately or seek out further information on your website. They are written so they are easy-to-read, with photos or illustrations interspersed throughout.

If your purpose is to continually educate your potential and existing customers, then you absolutely, do not want to repeat the exact same information, or use the same wording. This will make anyone who visits your website after reading your brochure feel as if it was all a sales pitch. They will abandon your site in a hot second and you will lose any chance of earning their confidence and loyalty. Why? Because websites are meant to be comprehensive and informational; not a lot of sales talk. Studies have shown that people go to the web for up-to-date information that they can use to improve and educate themselves.

On the other hand, people hold onto brochures so that they have the company name, website and contact information available at their fingertips. They don’t expect it to tell them everything about the product or service, but just enough to strike a chord with them.

Brochures and websites have different purposes, and because of that should have text that is related, but not a carbon copy of one another. That way, you have customers or potential customers follow you throughout your marketing program whether it’s in print or online. When they see your company name or logo they will know that they will receive quality information that is directed to their specific needs. Once you have their trust, you likely have a customer for a lifetime.


Your Words = Your Reputation

It’s 2010 already and I am just starting up a blog. Okay, my social media learning
curve is on the low end, but here I am nonetheless. So where do I start…?

First welcome to my blog. I ask that you bear with me during my short-lived (keep your fingers crossed) initiation to the process. Since I am working without any feedback at this point, I thought I might begin with a discussion of one of my pet peeves: relying on word processing programs to spellcheck your business letters, memos, emails and dare I say it—promotional materials. The word processing programs’ dictionary will tell you if a recognizable word is spelled correctly. However, it often will not tell you if the word is being used correctly or if you have the appropriate spelling for that usage, which explains why you often see “wear” when the user meant to write “where”, and “there” being used instead of “they’re”.

Years ago, when I worked at a corporate job, I was amazed at how managers and directors indiscriminately sent external emails and letters without checking the grammar or the spelling. I suppose the reasoning was that a) no one would notice, b) it didn’t matter as long as they got their point across, or c) they just didn’t care what anyone thought about their ability to fill their highly-paid positions.

Whatever their reasoning it did not make a good impression. When asked about the substandard attention to detail and the English language, the most common response and my personal favorite reply was “I checked it with spell check. You may as well have asked little Johnny who just learned to read to proofread it, because that is the amount of discernability a spell check has.

I suppose most people rely on spell check because it is convenient. Just one click and zip everything is fixed (not). However, do yourself, your business and your reputation as an intelligent, thinking being a favor and use a dictionary. You don’t even have to own a conventional dictionary. You only need to visit one of many reference sites to find out if you’re spelling the word correctly and using it in the proper context. A few that come to mind are: http://www.merriam-webster.com; http://dictionary.reference.com; www.thefreedictionary.com; and http://dictionary.cambridge.org.

Your correspondence, yes, even your emails, say a lot about you. Make sure it’s something positive.