Marketing Wednesdays: Don’t Forget to Ask for the Sale

You've seen ads like it before. There's an attention-grabbing headline, beautifully designed graphics, and well-written text that clearly communicates the benefits of the product or service offered. All that's missing is a suggestion as to what you should do next. They forgot to ask for the sale!

What is a "call to action"?

A call to action is a phrase or paragraph that asks for the sale or requests that the reader do something. It's the part of the marketing piece that tells the reader what to do next – call now to place an order, click here to get a free report, email for more information, enter a survey to win a prize, subscribe to an online newsletter, etc.

Never assume that your potential customers will know why they should act, what they should do, or when they should do it!

Tell them exactly what to do

Each of your marketing pieces should include a call to action (which may be mentioned multiple times, not just at the end) that ties in with the piece's overall goals. If your goal is to sell, don't ask readers to call for more information – ask them to purchase your product today. And always keep your instructions simple and clear to make it easy for the reader to respond. Should they call, fax, or email? Do they need to click through to something, fill out a short form, or take some other action? What exactly should the reader do?

Of course, it's not enough to tell the reader what they should do – you also need to tell them why they should do it, and why they should do it now. But the bottom line is, if you're not asking for the sale, don't expect to get it!