*YAWN* Does Your Call-to-Action Put Readers to Sleep?

Is Your Call to Action Putting Readers to Sleep?“Buy now.” “Get my free ebook.” “Attend this event.” “Register for my teleclass today.”


“Why should I?” If that’s not a question you’re asking yourself when you’re crafting a call-to-action, it should be. WHY? Because it’s definitely a question your reader is asking.

Business bio-crafter extraordinaire, Nancy Juetten, posted a funny blog last month about her Y.A.W.N. system for selling, as in: “Y–ou A-bsolutely W–ill N-ot get the business when all you talk about is your generic program, delivery method, or book.”

And she’s absolutely right; you’ve got to give your reader “the why.”

Are your calls-to-action getting lost in the noise?

Think for a moment about how many “calls-to-action” (CTA) you are bombarded with each day: commercials on radio and TV, billboards, banner ads and popup ads online, telemarketers calling, spam email…

Your audience has gotten savvier. They have become more adept at looking for sincere, authentic content and are avoiding hard-core sales pitches or over-the-top hype.

The skill, then, for copywriters in this digital age, is not simply to remember to use calls-to-action (although, if you’re not using a call-to-action at all, you’re really missing the boat!), but to make them more compelling.

And a call-to-action becomes more compelling when we couple it with an important “why.” (TWEET THIS!)

How to make your call-to-action more compelling with one simple word.

Jonathan Goodman of Viralnomics talks about a psychological study that focused on the power of a single word: because.

In short, the study found that when someone used the word “because” when asking to cut in line for the Xerox machine, even if the reason given was “because I need to make copies,” people were 93% more likely to comply. Now that’s compelling!

Whether you’re writing blog posts, web pages, advertising, or any other copy, be sure you include a call-to-action along with a compelling reason why your readers should act, “…because you need to tip readers over the edge and give them a reason to take action,” as Jonathan Goodman says.

Whatever the reason may be, give them the BENEFITS of following your CTA, and encourage more of them to follow your directions

So now, it’s your turn to take action. Go to your website or another piece of copy you’ve written recently and check your CTA. Have you given your readers a reason to respond?

Share your thoughts in the comment section below, because knowledge without action isn’t working for you. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. Hi Debra

    This post has made me think a bit. I am definitely going to try it out in my next post and see if I can tweak some past posts and check the difference a because makes.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…The Oughta Gotta Wanta Way to Effective Time ManagementMy Profile

  2. Hi Debra,
    I hadn’t heard this one before, but it sounds sensible.
    I’m off to check my CTAs!
    Thanks for the tip!
    The Great Gordino recently posted…Goal Achievement – Hooray For Hedy!My Profile

    • You’re welcome Joanne & Gordon. It does seem that there is a tendency to assume your reader(s) knows what to do, but it’s always a good idea to give them direction. And, provide them with a benefit(s) for doing so.
      Here’s to your sweet success.

  3. This is fantastic. I remember reading this statistic before, but it reiterates it’s importance that so many of us forget to do.

  4. till now, i have never given a chance for my readers to respond. but i am going to try this method to encourage more participation from my blog readers.
    Amar Naik recently posted…Phoneography Challenge, the Phone as Your Lens: Macro (Spring Refresh)My Profile

    • Great Amar, it’s a good idea to tell your readers what action you like them to take. And now, you know to give them a compelling reason(s) to respond because it boosts results.
      Good luck!

  5. This is all new to me Debra. Thank you for presenting it. Next week when I post my blog link, i will remember this and give it a try! 🙂
    Belinda Rose recently posted…I’m Enjoying the Holidays Despite My Dysfunctional FamilyMy Profile

  6. We always talk about including compelling, relevant benefits because that’s what is so meaningful to the reader however, this one was such a simple ‘doh!’ reinforcement moment; excuse me while I go pour a V-8!

  7. You make some great points here, Debra. Because can be a powerful word. I have to say, though, I get turned off by bloggers (paid advertising is different, of course) who sell in every post. It seems to be a trend of the past year or two. Even effective CTAs can be overdone. There are several in particular I’ve stopped reading as every post has become a wind-up for the closing pitch pushing people to their products or services (or worse, an overt advertisement throughout). While I am certainly not a proponent of the everything must be free movement, I do think sometimes it’s right to just share your knowledge without asking for reciprocity. It builds trust, credibility, and yes, a client base. Sometimes people give more in appreciation when not asked than they do when you put your hand out.
    Nanette Levin recently posted…5 quick tips to boomerang small business successMy Profile

    • Thanks Nanette. I would agree that blogging is about offering your readers value. And, building the KLT Factor (know, like, trust) is important. However, a call-to-action doesn’t always have to be about selling something. I use a call-to-action in each blog post where what I’m asking for is a response from my readers. I want them to share their thoughts because I appreciate their feedback and the interaction.
      Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  8. What a great idea! I do get tired of reading people’s CTA. I don’t want to be sold to. But adding a because gives me a reason to buy. Very good tip! I’ll have to use it in my own business!
    Minling recently posted…How to heal yourself from rejectionMy Profile

  9. Ooh! I love this! And you’re so right… the CTA has become so formulaic, it’s sort of part of the background now! Adding ‘because’ makes total sense! It takes the reader one step further! YAY! So easy for us to implement, too! I *will* be doing this because I want compelling CTAs!! 🙂
    eyenie recently posted…Permanent Visual Aids, Planning with Flare & the Biz Benefits of Blue Hair: Women Living in NEON! Interview with Michelle Nicholaisen!My Profile

  10. Great idea, and I love the Xerox example you gave. I’m going to try this…using the word because in my next CTA. I find that I click on something if there’s a visceral feeling, but now I’m going to notice if/when people spell out a reason. Thank you!
    Tracey Ceurvels recently posted…Holding my breath above water {Chinese 5-spice pumpkin risotto with goat cheese}My Profile

  11. I am responding to this post because I love Debra’s tips! (hmmm… a bit different use of because…) Seriously though, great reminder to beef up our calls to action. That is an area of my writing that I’m continuously looking to become more savvy. Thanks for an easy to implement tip.
    Stephanie LH Calahan ( recently posted…Product/Program Promotion: Problems & Profits – Launching Lessons Learned Interview Dr. Venus Opal Reese Live Event LaunchMy Profile

  12. This is brilliant. Thanks Debra. Will certainly be taking a closer look at my CTA.
    Bonnie Giller recently posted…Reducing Sodium Intake Slows the Progression of Chronic Kidney DiseaseMy Profile

  13. Hi Debra,

    I was inspired by Jonathan Goodman to change my copy. People love to know “the why.” Telling your customers why they should sign up or buy this [in an honest and authentic way] creates a loyal following with no regrets.

    Thanks for the post Debra!! It is always good to be reminded of the “right way” to do business.
    Denise Marie Filmore recently posted…Create a “Positive Selling Ambiance” OnlineMy Profile

  14. Superb timing. I needed a reality check, Debra, and you just gave it to me. Taking a look at my last two “big” things I realized there is no specific CTA … not a single one. So thanks for the big nudge. I’m paying attention!
    Tanya Smith recently posted…My Top 10 Favorite Modern Productivity Blogs And Why I Love ThemMy Profile

    • Tanya, it’s so cool when the timing is right and the Universe delivers just what you were looking for.
      Happy to give you that “big nudge” as it can also make a big difference in your content.
      Go for it.
      Here’s to your sweet success,


  1. […] step of the way. Tell them what to do, how to do it, and what to expect next. Refer back to my recent post on calls-to-action for more advice on this, but in short, be explicit and give a reason why they should […]

  2. […] Does the copy ask you to take a specific action and tell you why it’s important for you to do so? Active language propels the copy forward […]

  3. […] 6. Tell me what to do. I hope it goes without saying that you don’t want to forget a call-to-action. Let your prospects know if you want them to call, email, click on a ‘buy now” or registration button. Give them a reason to take action because the word “because” increases response rates. […]

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