If you recognise the importance of well-crafted marketing copy and you’re keen to learn how to write effective call to action phrases, read on.

What is a call to action?

A call to action (also known as a CTA) is an instruction. It guides the reader to act; to take a specific next step (the hint’s in the name!).

In marketing copy, a call to action is used in order to inspire and motivate the reader to take further action. As a photographer, you might use a CTA to encourage visitors to your website to learn more about your business, to share your article, to make an enquiry or to purchase something from you.

Call to action phrases can and should be used in social media posts and adverts, in your photography blog posts, on your sales/landing pages, in your lead capture sign-up forms and anywhere else where you are promoting your photography business.

Are you using call to action phrases effectively?

If you don’t feel that your marketing content is working hard enough for you right now, I’d recommend that you review whether you’re using effective call to action phrases in your marketing copy.

It may sound easy but there’s certainly an art in crafting a compelling an effective call to action. Design and colour psychology also has a part to play too.

Related reading: Colour psychology in Call to Action design – by Absolute Digital Media

In this post, I’m sharing tips on how to write an effective call to action and I’m including several examples. You also have the opportunity to grab a more extensive list of examples as a downloadable swipe file.

This, along with other PR and marketing resources, are available from my free resource library for photographers. Click the image below or to sign up here and gain access.

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Why you should use a call-to-action in your marketing copy

I know that you’ll have worked hard to get the attention of prospective clients.  So, once you have them on your website, reading your blog or social media post, or scrolling through your sales page, you won’t want to lose them!

Without a call to action that inspires and motivates them to engage with you in some way, you’re potentially missing out on valuable leads. If you don’t direct them to do something specific, such as like, share or subscribe, they’ll be very likely to leave the page and move on with their lives, perhaps never to return again.

Effective call to action phrases make a big difference to your business! In fact, Wordstream found that emails with a single call-to-action increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%. Also, AdRoll found that adding CTAs to your Facebook page can increase click-through rates by 285%. (Source) Pretty impressive stats!

Effective call to action phrase

Use a call-to-action to engage and convert

An effective call to action will create opportunities for you to engage with your online audience in more depth, which is why I believe that they are an essential element of your marketing copy.

If you encourage them to take small steps now – such as ‘read more’, ‘join my Facebook group’, ‘sign up to our news’ etc. – you’ll have the chance to deepen the connection with them.

As a member of your inner circle, whether that’s your Facebook group or as a subscriber to your email marketing, they’ll receive more valuable content from you over time which will help you to build the know, like and trust factor that’s so important in the sales process today.

If you wish to convert your online audience into paying customers, an effective call to action will help you achieve your goals quicker.

What makes an effective call to action?

An effective call to action is one that is aligned with your marketing goals. The one you choose to use will vary depending on the purpose of the content.

So, before you get started, consider what your objective of this particular piece of content is and how that fits into your bigger-picture marketing goals.

Example 1:

MARKETING GOAL: Grow your email list by xx (number) in 30/90 days.

MARKETING STRATEGY: Develop and share a valuable free resource or ‘content upgrade’ that offers the reader of your blog something more; whether that’s a checklist, a workbook or video training for example.

CALL TO ACTION: “Sign up to receive my free PDF guide on xx (topic)”

Example 2:

MARKETING GOAL: Increase brand awareness and attract xx (number) more followers on social media in 30/90 days.

MARKETING STRATEGY: Develop and share useful blog articles and/or video tutorials and share these on social media, then ask for shares to get the content seen by more people.

CALL TO ACTION: “Liked this post? Please share it.” or “Can’t read now? Please pin to read later.”

Example 3:

MARKETING GOAL: Double the average amount of time a user spends on your website per visit within 30/90 days.

MARKETING STRATEGY: Encourage web visitors to stay on the site for longer by directing them to related content or resources located elsewhere on your blog or website.

CALL TO ACTION: “Keep reading” or “Find similar articles here” etc.

Free digital marketing tools

Related reading: Why and how to set strategic goals for your photography business

Examples of effective call to action phrases

Phrases like the ones below can work well:

  • Buy now / Download now / Watch now
  • Call today to book your session / Secure your place today / Get 50% off if you buy today
  • Limited sessions available / This limited availability offer is selling fast! / Just xx (number) of tickets left / This offer expires on xx (date)
  • Order now and receive a free gift / Try us for free

How to write an effective call to action

1. Create Urgency

Always use active, urgent language in a call to action. It should encourage the reader to follow your instruction and do what you suggest straight away. Notice the use of the words ‘now’ and ‘today’ in the examples above.

Some also inspire immediate action by playing on the fear of missing out (FOMO). They suggest that if the action being suggested is not taken immediately, then the reader will be missing out on some incredible, not-to-be repeated offer or opportunity.

Family portrait photographers often use this effectively when promoting limited availability photo sessions at Christmas, for example.

2. Minimise Risk

Inspire action by also highlighting that there is no or minimal risk involved in taking the suggested action. ‘Try us for free – no credit card required’ is a good example of this. What has someone got to lose if something is being offered for free and with no on-going commitment?

This is why some photographers offer free photo sessions in order to get clients through the door. They know that by doing so, they are reducing the barrier to entry. Rather than charge their clients a session fee, they incorporate their costs into the price of final images and photo products instead, and bank on the fact that clients will love the images enough to make a purchase.

Related reading: Creating calls to action for social media that actually convert – by Canva.com

3. Keep it clear and concise

It’s important to make your call to action as simple as possible. It should be short, sharp and easy to understand. Brevity is always the goal in copywriting – say what you need to say in as few words as possible.

Give your reader something straight forward to think about and to do, and you’ll get the best results.

Are you using effective calls to action?

If you’re already using calls to action in your marketing copy, which are working well for you? Do let me know in the comments.

My call to action for this post? Well, it’s to sign up to receive my free swipe file of more than 30 effective call to action phrases. I hope it’s helpful!