Watch Your Commands: Ad Words That Bite
When you’re advertising to people, you need to be approachable. Think of how you’d talk to someone if you knocked on their door. You have a very short period of valuable time in which to win them over. And you’re in a position where they can slam the door in your face at any given moment — if they open the door at all.
With advertising and marketing communication, you need to tell them what to do without blatantly telling them what to do. And there are much better ways of saying CLICK HERE NOW! or SIGN UP TODAY! without being so invasive. Let’s make it clear that the above examples are NOT the way to do it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when crafting your call to action.
Watch out for exclamation marks.
As a general rule of writing, we try to limit the use of exclamation marks to comic books, text messages and maybe sometimes occasionally sprinkled into body copy. Never in headlines. Ever. Just think of those in-your-face infomercials where you’re being yelled at. It’s too much drama.
Your call to action usually comes at the end of your ad (although sometimes it’s the headline itself). So you want to leave the reader on a positive note. You can have the best headline in the world, and your BUY NOW! can make all your hard work disappear. Tell them nicely. There’s no need to scream in their face.
Present enticing options.
Learn more. Read more. View details. Discover. Here’s why.
All of these can be placed on a clickable button to take your reader to your website. They’ve read your offer; they’ve heard your pitch. The next move is theirs. If you skip their turn and go again, you’re talking at them instead of to them. SLAM! You want to show them you value their opinion and respect them enough to let them make the next move on their own. That’ll help win them over (if done correctly, of course). So politely guide them in the direction you want them to go instead of aggressively pushing them.
Things are as transparent as they’ve ever been these days. If you tell someone your product is the best in the world, they’re one quick Google search away from seeing that it’s not — along with all the reviews of it by satisfied and dissatisfied customers. So be careful what you say, because the truth comes out one way or another. Plus, modesty has always been one way to score points with people. Be humble. Be real. And most of all, be polite.