I just re-read and threw away a wonderfully worded sales letter – the use of language was spectacular, grammar was perfect, and the format was great!  The letter has everything you’d want in a first contact with a new suspect — except one thing.  It closed with the following words:  If you’re interested in more information, please contact us at www.ourdomain.com.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot and killing what otherwise was a great and compelling presentation.

What’s missing is a compelling call to action.  This beautifully written letter didn’t ask or direct its reader to do anything.  It was informative, well written, and sure to perfrom below expectations.

Think about it.

In every marketing and sales campaign you sponsor, you want the recipient to do something.  I’ve never been part of a campaign where our desired result was no action whatsoever.  We always want the recipient of our message to do something – call, visit, vote, meet, request, etc.  Even if it’s an awareness campaign, you still want your suspect to do something.

If you want someone to react to your message in a particular way, you need to tell them what to do next.  Don’t imply an action or hope a person naturally reacts the way you desire.  Instead, direct the action.  Tell the person to call, vote, visit, request, etc.  Tell them where, when, and how to respond.  And what to expect after they act.  Once you do, you’ll see an increase in your response rate.

And this doesn’t just apply to sales letter.  Calls to action should be part of all of your sales and marketing materials — white papers, case studies, brochures, post cards, landing pages, etc.  For every message you give, tell the reader exactly what you want them to do next.

What do you think?

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