Don't forget your call to action

Have you made the final call?

Do you know this feeling?

You’ve written a good text.

You thought it will touch your readers’ nerves.

You were hoping for response.

But now the text is out…and no response coming.

You wonder what went wrong.

Well, maybe it wasn’t much.

Maybe you just missed this one little thing…

Because the absence of active response is not a sure sign that you didn’t touch people’s nerves. Often, readers are ready to act but just don’t take the final step.

You have to help them take that step

A famous experiment back in the 1960s by social psychologist Howard Levanthal, then at Yale University, shows how important this is.

He designed leaflets that informed students about the dangers of tetanus. The leaflets told them that they could get a free tetanus shot, on campus, at the university’s health centre. But no matter what wording he used, response was bad: only three percent of the students got their shot.

Then, Levanthal made a little change. He included a map with opening hours and a reminder where the health centre was.

Suddenly, 28% of students got their shot.

What made the difference?

It wasn’t knowledge. The students already knew where the health centre was. What they needed was a nudge.

It’s no different on the internet

Online marketers and retailers make the same experience: conversion rates plummet when they don’t include a call to action at the very end.

The call can be as simple as this: “Don’t forget to click this link”.

In fact, the more direct you are, the better.

A little experiment by Dustin Curtis, a web designer, shows this.

Inviting people to follow him on Twitter, he managed to increase conversions by 173% with slight changes in wording, from

I’m on Twitter
(4.7% response)


Follow me on Twitter
(7.3% response)


You should follow me on Twitter
(10.9% response)


You should follow me on Twitter here
(12.81% response) 

Isn’t it amazing how small changes can have such effect?

So, when it comes to the call to action, don’t forget it and don’t be shy.

And that leads to my final call:

If you like this article and are on Twitter, please recommend it by clicking here.

About Carsten

Hi, I am Carsten Wendt. I help people make their writing more exciting. I am also a passionate public speaking coach and Humorous Public Speaking Champion of Belgium.

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