Effective Advertising – Part 5: Call to action

Posted on: July 12, 2022

So far in this series, we’ve covered visibility, getting attention and appealing to your target audience, and pitching your solution. In this article, we’re going to talk about the call to action.


The call to action is what you’re asking your potential customer to do next. With rare exception, every advertisement needs to have a call to action. The exceptions are some ads in strategic campaigns that begin with teaser ads. These are most often used to introduce new brands or new products from well known brands. The ads are released in a specific sequence to build curiosity until the big reveal. These types of campaigns are expensive and somewhat risky, but can be effective.

The type of action you want an ad viewer to take depends on a number of things, including the placement of the ad, the memorability of your phone number, location, and web address, as well as your business model or sales path.

Internet ads can be linked directly to your web site, which is ideal. Outdoor and print ads though rely on the viewer’s memory, so that’s when short URLs come in handy. If you have a physical location, say at a well-known mall, or if you sell your product through a chain retailer, your call to action can be more general; like, “Visit us at Metrotown” or “Buy now at Old Navy.”

Let’s get back to digital ads though, because you have an opportunity here for a strategic series of calls to action that can be very effective. So, the viewer clicks the ad and is directed to your site. Which page do you want them to land on? For sales, it’s best to have a unique landing page for each different ad, that is created to be an extension of the ad. For example, if you’re ad is pitching a specific product, you don’t want the potential buyer landing on your home page. You want to take them right to the product and give them the opportunity to buy. So, your landing page might look something like this:

  • A basic repeat of the ad with a Buy Now button.
  • More information about the product; all those benefits you haven’t yet mentioned, with a slightly different (more enticing call to action) like, Order Now and get free samples of the whole line of these amazing serums!
  • A few testimonials.
  • More detailed information, like the research that went in to development, before and after photos, and more testimonials.
  • Another call to make a purchase, as well as an option to engage without making a purchase, like subscribing to your newsletter.

Now, if they click that Buy button, you want to get them checked-out ASAP. Ask only for the information you need to make the sale, on as few screens as possible. Minimize the clicks, get the sale.

You can do more after the sale. We’ll talk about ways to follow-up next time.

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