Calling for calls to action

What do you want people to do? If your marketing communications materials fail to tell them, how are they supposed to know?

The standard term for those instructions … whatever they may be … is the “call to action.” A call to action tells the reader, viewer, or listener what action you want them to take. Do you want people to buy your product? Visit your website? Call a sales rep? If you don’t point them in the right direction, they’ll come up with a course of action on their own, and odds are good that it won’t be the one you intended.

It’s amazing how often marketing communications materials … even those with brilliant, memorable messages … lack that all-important call to action.

Many ads and other materials don’t even give the target audience a way to get in touch with the advertiser. There’s a tendency among many “creative” folks to think that such information is pushy and uninviting, so they either minimize it or just leave it out completely, so when someone is ready to buy or visit, they don’t know where to turn.

If you want people to take a particular course of action, tell them. And if you don’t want to do that, at least give them enough information so they can draw their own conclusions.