When you’re crafting a call to action for a project, you want people to take that action as soon as possible. But what do you write when your target audience doesn’t have to take that action immediately? Read on…
Today’s question comes from Elisa P. who asks, “What kind of a call to action can I write for a multi-day event? ‘Come In Today!’ seems like the wrong thing to write, since they don’t really have to—they have five days!”
No marketer (at least, no marketer with a soul) wants to be pushy, right? We’re not here to force our products down people’s throats, we’re here to help them find solutions to their problems.
So the idea of telling people to “buy now” or “come in today” for a multi-day event might feel less than truthful—like you’re trying to force them or trick them to do something.
But there are a couple of things to remember. First, even if they have a few days to take the action, you still want them to take the action as soon as possible. You still want them to come in “today” or “now” even if they don’t absolutely have to.
Second, bear in mind that they may not see your ad exactly when you expect them to. For example, if you’re writing a newspaper ad, they may not get to that ad the first day they get that newspaper. (Many people take several days to make it through the full Sunday newspaper, after all.)
And third, people aren’t going to necessarily take your copy literally. If you write, “Head In To Our Store Now!” people aren’t going to read it and drop everything whatever they’re doing at that moment because you invoked the word “now.”
The reason we use specific times like “now” or “today” is that they convey a sense of urgency—a sense that your reader might not even consciously register. Those words help to reinforce that the offer exists only for a limited time and, if they want to take advantage of that offer, they need to take action soon.
It’s definitely a good instinct to want to avoid anything disingenuous in your writing—you need to maintain trust between yourself (and your company/client) and your target audience. But a part of your job is to try to encourage people to take action, and that involves writing urgent copy. (Now.)
Your turn! What other techniques have you seen to add urgency to copy? Let us know in the comments below!