Calls to Actions Explained

In an ideal world marketers could give a customer all the information they need to make  a purchase and those customers would put their hand up and say, “Yes, I want to buy. How do I pay?” Great thought but in reality, it doesn’t happen that way.

Sure, some customers will do that, but many simply won’t.

Believe it or not, for a sale to occur, whether it’s as a result of reading some marketing material or in a face-to-face situation, people need to be asked to buy.

If your salespeople aren’t asking for the order, you’re missing out on a truckload of sales.

If your ads, your sales letters, your emails, your websites and your brochures aren’t asking people to buy or at least take the next step, you’re wasting advertising money.

If you were to monitor every sales presentation that occurs in your city you’d probably find that with more than half of them the sales person doesn’t ask the prospect to buy.

In many of those presentations the salespeople do an absolutely brilliant job. They get the customer excited about the product. They handle all the objections. They conduct “trial closes” along the way. Then – once the customer is at their peak excitement for the product the salesperson says something like …

“Okay, well if you don’t have any questions, just take some time to go through what we’ve talked about and call me when you’re ready.”


“Well, call us if you need anything”.


“You don’t want anything today, do you.”


Instead, if you had actually asked them to buy or asked them how they would like to pay for that OR when they would like it delivered, their sales would go through the roof.

Think of it in this way …


“If you don’t ask the answer is always “NO”.”

And – to coin a quote from Brian Tracy, “The world belongs to the askers.”

Many sales people assume that potential customers know a salesperson is there to encourage them to buy something. With that, they believe that if the customer wanted to buy, they would tell the salesperson.


If you don’t ask for the order you won’t get a sale – period.

It’s vitally important to spell out what action you want a person to take – be as specific as you can be.

When a potential customer is listening to your sales presentation or reading your marketing piece they’re in their own world day dreaming about what their lives will be like (or won’t be like) once they start using your product/service. In other words, they’re in a semi-hypnotic state.

It simply doesn’t occur to most people to snap out of that hypnotic state, pick up their credit card and act. They need to be told what to do.

To show you how this applies in the copywriting process, here’s an excerpt from our copywriting course…

… So – in a sales letter or ad or any other piece of marketing material include a “call to action”. A “call to action” asks the reader to take the next step – to call, email, write, register for a seminar, buy, make an appointment etc.

The act of asking for the sale or asking for the next step is something that can be applied very successfully to all areas of a person’s life.

Many people simply don’t ask for fear of offending someone … putting them out … interrupting them. And with that, they often don’t get what they want in life. Simply because they don’t ask.

So – start asking your people for commitment to the next step. Start asking people to complete tasks for you and gain their commitment to a completion time. Start delegating even more of your work to others. Approach leaders and mentors and ask them questions.

Call to Action Tip: Tell People Why

When you ask for the order (whether it’s in a face-to-face situation or in your sales copy) always summarise the reasons why they should order. In other words, summarise the major benefits of purchasing or taking the next step.

“Take your first step towards sacking your boss. Enroll in the course today and you’ll be working for yourself earning a fulltime income in no time at all.”

If the next step you want them to take is to request a consultation, summarise the benefits of the consultation.

So – before you build your next house, make sure you’re armed with all the facts so you can avoid the mistakes and save thousands of dollars in the process. Arrange your FREE copy of “16 Costly Mistakes People Make When Building Their Home And How To Avoid Them And Save $1000’s”. To do that just call 1800 xxx xxx or visit our website at

Call to Action Tip: Tell People HOW

Make it easy for people to purchase or act. When you make it easy and give people as many options as possible, you’ll experience an increase in sales.

In your marketing material give people a variety of response options – call, fax, email, mail or visit a website. The reason why this works is because some people find it easier to hop on the phone and respond to an ad. Others find it easier to send an email. And some like dropping by face-to-face.

When you make it easy for people to pay your sales increase as well. So – feature as many payment options as possible – all the credit cards, direct debit, financing, lay by.

Call to Action Tip: Tell People WHEN

Many buyers tend to shop around, compare different products and offers then think about things for awhile. When it comes to making a decision on what to buy then handing over money they tend to procrastinate.

To maximize your sales success, it’s vital then to stop that procrastination from occurring so they DO buy.

The way to do that is to create a sense of urgency. Create a sense of urgency by making them a limited offer that offers them savings or other kinds of benefits if they purchase right now. And/or you might also mention the pain that will occur if they don’t act now – if they DO wait too long.

That pain might be something associated with NOT experiencing the benefits of the product now … like enduring more arthritis pain by not using your product … like missing out on more fun activities with their kids because they’re too unhealthy/unfit/overweight to participate.

Or it could be the fact that you only have a small number of products available in stock at this price and if they don’t act now they’ll miss out.

In sales copy you can create a sense of urgency by using words like:

  • Call today
  • Hurry
  • Offer ends 30-3-08
  • Only 30 seats left so hurry!
  • Limited offer
  • Act now to avoid disappointment.

It isn’t enough to tell people to act now. You need to be very specific about how you want them to do that.

Call to Action Development Steps:

1. Review your marketing material and identify how strong the “call to action” is at the end of each marketing piece. See how you can reword it to make it stronger.

2. Review your sales process and make sure you always ask for the order and consider making a “limited” offer to help people make a decision immediately.

About Kristina Mills:
Kristina Mills is a highly regarded direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, entrepreneur and success strategist having worked with and produced great results for some of Australia's most inspirational entrepreneurs, speakers, event companies, professional services firms, property companies, and internet entrepreneurs. She is the author of Invisible Genius Vol1 and 2, Freelance Copywriting Fast Track Course, Direct Mail Mastery, Web Copy Mastery, Invisible Genius Vol.1 and 2, Mortgage Broker Letters that Sell, Real Estate Letters that Sell, How to Create a Sales Explosion With Every Ad and Letter Your Write. To find out more about how Kristina can help you live your potential, arrange a free 15 minute phone chat.

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