Let’s stop the Call to Action Madness!

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

“I can’t remember all the Calls to Action I’m supposed to follow. Everyone wants me to do something. So I tweeted instead.” – @ctrappe

Everyone wants us to do something:

  • Click here
  • Buy this now
  • Open my email, please
  • Follow me on 59 other social media networks

I get it. Our livelihoods might depend on it. Success – even in content marketing and storytelling – is measured in dollars. Sometimes it takes a while for those dollars to come in so it can be easy to declare it unsuccessful when they don’t on Day 2 or 3.

Apparently the quicker we ask for the sale, the quicker it will happen. Click here now to hire me. Did you click? Chances are you didn’t. Exactly. People buy from us when they know we are the best qualified organization or person to help with a particular problem. Sometimes it takes time for them to make a decision. Sometimes they don’t have the need for the product at all.

A lot of times, the call to action is too early. When every blog post has a call to action to buy the same product, people will just tune that out – probably after seeing it less than a handful times.

Some websites have so many calls to action it’s hard to even find the time to follow half of them:

  • Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (Did I mention that there are like half a dozen accounts on each?)

  • Sign up for our enewsletter
  • Download our free ebook (It will only cost you telling us where you live so we can send you stuff in the mail as wekk)
  • Please share this with your friends now
  • Please buy this product from us
  • Apply this coupon now to your next order
  • Sign up for this special deal

Calls to action on top of calls to action are just as bad as irrelevant calls to action.

So how do we decide when to include a call to action? Here’s my suggestion:

If it benefits the user, add one, If it doesn’t and it’s more self-serving don’t.


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