How to Write a Call to Action that Works

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A call to action is a crucial component of blog posts, social media posts, website copy, and newsletters. But before I dive into how to write a call to action for each type of content, let’s answer the big question…

What is a call to action?

In its simplest definition:

A call to action is a prompt that encourages your reader / site visitor / prospective client to take the next logical step with you.

That step, or “action,” is always intended to deepen the relationship with a potential client, whether it’s through booking a consultation with you or signing up for your mailing list.

The purpose is connection.

How to Write a Call to Action

To write a call to action (CTA), you need to know the goal of the content in question. Blog posts, website copy, and social media posts all have their own unique purposes, so it’s natural that each of these will require different CTAs as well.

To help you write the best CTAs for your business, we’re going to talk about all 4 content types, starting with blog posts.

Calls to Action in Blog Posts

The main goal of most blog posts, in addition to offering value to your ideal clients, is to encourage mailing list signups. Building a mailing list of prospective clients who are interested in what you do is one of the BEST ways to grow your business. (Assuming you actually send value-driven newsletters to your mailing list, of course.)

That said, there are a couple other calls to action that you could sprinkle in with good effect. Here are the my top 3 suggestions:

CTA 1. Mailing List signups (with or without a lead magnet)

Your best CTA is to encourage mailing list signups by promoting your lead magnet/freebie offering. It should play off of the content you shared in the blog post. Like this:

  • If the post shared a Before & After, inspire readers to start their own transformation by downloading your freebie or subscribing to your newsletter.
  • If the post shared design inspiration or trends, tell readers they’ll get more exclusive finds inside your monthly mailings.
  • If the post shared behind the scenes info about the design process, tempt readers with more real advice or a lead magnet that will help them launch their own project.

You get the gist. Whatever the content is, promise your reader more of the same — and deliver.

CTA 2. Invite readers to work with you

This is the second best CTA in my opinion, and I use it sparingly. This is a CTA I save only for the most informative posts, like ones that talk about the process and behind the scenes. Why? Because I know that only my ideal clients (or my clients’ target clients, if I’m ghost blogging) read posts that are so specific.

I also think that many of us have a tendency to share project photos, talk about design inspiration, and give design tips — but we forget to actually invite people to work with us AND show them how. (Guilty over here!)

To see if that’s you, take a look at your existing posts (also applies to newsletters and social media) to see if you ever invite people to work with you. If not, it’s time to mix in some invites. If you’re hesitant, remember that these types of posts are NOT shameless self-promotion. You are running a business that serves people, and they deserve to know you’re here for them!

Here’s what those CTAs could look like:

  • If the post shared a Before & After, invite readers to contact you to start their own transformation.

  • If the post shared design inspiration, invite readers to chat with you about how to incorporate these looks into their homes.

  • If the post shared behind the scenes info about the design process, invite readers to get started with you or set up a call to ask questions.

Just like CTA #1, the call to action plays off of the content you just shared. I also like to use the word “invite” because it doesn’t feel pushy. It’s friendly and welcoming.

CTA 3. Ask a Question

This is not my favorite CTA, but it does have a time and place. For new bloggers, it can be tough to ask your (small and growing) readership to leave comments and then feel dismay when no one responds. Just remember that comments do not convert to clients. At least not like mailing list subscribers do.

But if you have a large and chatty readership, asking a question is a great way to get engagement going. This does good things for SEO and makes readers feel connected to you when you respond, building that know-like-trust relationship.

Here’s what those CTAs could look like:

  • If the post shared a Before & After, invite readers to share their favorite part of the design with you or which aspect they would envision for themselves.

  • If the post shared design inspiration, invite readers to tell you which was their favorite or which they could most see in their homes.
  • If the post shared behind the scenes info about the design process, invite readers to ask any questions that may have come up.

Website Copy Calls to Action

The goal of website copy, 9 times out of 10, is to encourage your website visitor / prospective client to make contact with you. This could be in the form of:

  • Booking a discovery call

  • Scheduling a consultation

  • Purchasing a package, if you have that option

In these cases, the call to action is usually a single sentence followed by a button or link. Or it can be a button or link on its own. Most CTAs will be completely straightforward, such as “Book a Discovery Call” or “Schedule a Consultation,” and then they will link directly to your Contact or Scheduling page.

These CTAs should be on every page of your website. Yes, every page. If someone is loving your vibe and ready to take that next step, but they aren’t invited to do so, you may miss out on a new client. Make it easy for people to start working with you!

Social Media Calls to Action

Okay, I know I’m rocking the boat here, but the goal of social media is NOT to get followers and likes. (Hey, I’m just the messenger.) The main goal of social media — as a marketing tool — is to get ideal clients to click over to your website and engage with you THERE.

It is rare (though not impossible) that a potential client contacts you through a social media platform.

It is MORE likely that the person will click over to your website, poke around, decide they like you, subscribe to your newsletter to stay in touch, and then contact you when they’re really ready to take action on their project.

After all, home projects are not small investments. You need to build likability and deep trust with your prospective clients.

It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t “own” your followers on social media. Your website visitors and newsletter subscribers — those are your people and no algorithm can change that. Build your tribe with your website.

Main point… what CTAs are we looking at here? This is where the infamous “Link in bio” comes into play. Or, if you’re on Facebook, simply dropping in that awesome link to your website.

The CTA comes BEFORE this “link in bio.” For example…

  • If the post shared a photo of your project, invite readers to go check out the full project on your website

  • If the post shared design inspiration, invite readers to tell you which was their favorite or go see more in your latest blog post
  • If the post shared behind the scenes info, encourage readers to go get more or the full story on your blog

  • If the post promoted a recent blog post, write a little teaser and then encourage them to go get the rest!

Newsletter Calls to Action

Your newsletters are at the end of your sales cycle. This means that a potential client has engaged with you, been interested enough to join your mailing list, has gotten your monthly newsletters, and is a prime candidate for your services.

In newsletters, you want a call to action that inspires readers to reach out to work with you. This call to action usually comes after some insightful info or tips you give them, but it can also be the standalone purpose of the newsletter from time to time. Like the other mediums, the call to action CAN depend on what you shared but it doesn’t have to:

  • Call to action simply inviting readers to work with you at the end of the newsletter’s content

  • Email that says you are accepting new clients and extends your CTA as a friendly invitation
  • Call to action that plays off of the tips you offered in the newsletter, such as “If you need help implementing these tips into your most inspiring home, we’d be delighted to support you.”

I suggest linking directly to your booking application or contact page. Whichever method offers the lowest required actions on their part. They should be able to book in a couple clicks, max.

Note: I know that many designers also like to share blog posts within their newsletters (please don’t copy-paste!!). If this is you, you can find my suggestions for adding blog posts to newsletters here. That said, even if you do promote a blog post in newsletters on occasion, you STILL want a call to action to work with you somewhere in the newsletter.

There you have it — all sorts of calls to action, ideas for each scenario, and hopefully plenty of inspiration to go write your next CTA with confidence and strategy! And of course, I can’t leave you without giving you a CTA of my own…

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