A Call-to-Action (CTA) should do just that- call people to act! The purpose of a CTA is to generate a response. Whether you want customers to call you back, send in a reply card, or bring in a coupon, you want them to respond. Here are a 4 ways to help make your next Direct Mail or Email Marketing program drive a response:

1. Use active words!
Using words like “Call”, “Reply”, “Subscribe” or “Register” involves the customers. Think about what the objective is for your marketing program. Do you want to increase traffic to your website, visitors to your store, or add people to your email database? Once you’ve got that down, you can figure out your “active” word.

2. Create Urgency
You can have the best offer or direct mail piece in the world- BUT if no one acts upon it, then what’s the point? You have to get customers to act right away. If you need customers for a specific time frame (i.e. a slow season), than consider using urgent language. Adding an expiration date, or limited-time offer helps create urgency. Sweeten the deal by offering a gift if they redeem the offer by a certain day.

3. Tell em’ what to do
People have to be told what to do, when, where and how. Don’t make things more complicated. Keep your message clear and concise and simply spell it out for them. For example, “Subscribe to our Tip of the Week by Tuesday, November 7 and receive a $5 off coupon to use on your next purchase”.

4. Make an offer they can’t refuse
When creating the offer, try not to go for the “usual”. If you’re competitor is offering a “Buy one, get one 50% off” offer, why do the same thing? Instead, try something like “Free $10 gift card with your purchase of $35.” Remember, most people don’t like to have to calculate things. Making it easier for them is always better.

If you remember to: 1. Use Active Words, 2. Create Urgency, 3. Tell them what to do, and 4. Make a great offer, than you’re all set! It also doesn’t hurt to test different campaigns, to see what works best for you.

Lois K. Geller is President of Lois Geller Marketing Group in Hollywood. Florida. Find her on twitter: @loisgeller. Her books on marketing are available on

Comments are closed.