by Paige Burton-Argo on August 27, 2014

On my commute to and from work, I usually have my phone plugged in to my audio system, playing music I’ve purchased from iTunes or my carefully selected Pandora stations. Once in awhile, though, I unplug and listen to the radio. And like most everyone else, I tune in when the songs are playing, and tune out the rest of the time.

But occasionally, a radio ad will catch my ear. Just the other day, I found myself paying attention, and it didn’t take me long to realize why. While there was nothing fancy about this ad, it was just what a radio spot should be. The voice was clear and appealing, the amount of detail was just right, the message was concise and easy to understand, and the business made a connection between what they offer and why it matters to me. I thought, “This is a great ad!” (Which is rare, because so many radio ads are overdone, overcomplicated, or just plain cheesy.)

And here’s how the ad ended: “To learn more or to schedule a demonstration, call us!”

The. End. What?! I think I actually groaned out loud. Here’s why (if it isn’t already obvious): They never provided a phone number! This business took the time to write a radio spot, put thought into the message, produce it, and pay significant money to try to reach their audience. But they forgot the most fundamentally important piece of the whole thing — including a way for people to take action.

No matter what you’re putting out there for your audience — a radio ad, blog post, e-newsletter, print ad, etc. — be sure to give them the next step and a way to complete it. In the marketing world, these are called “calls-to-action” because you are telling your audience what action to take. The fact of the matter is if you don’t guide your audience to the next step, they probably won’t get there.

Whatever method or material you’re using to market your organization, you need to include a call-to-action. Every. Single. Time.

If you ask someone to call you, provide your phone number. If you want someone to visit a page on your website, provide the exact URL. If you want someone to subscribe to your monthly e-newsletter, provide an easy way to sign up. It’s so simple, yet so crucial. And often overlooked.

These are the kinds of nitty-gritty details we obsess over to make sure our clients get the most bang for their buck. If you’re looking to freshen up your marketing strategy with some new ideas and tactics, we’d love to help! Give us a call or shoot us an email to get started.

You can also check out our other blog posts for more tips and ideas about digital marketing, web design and content, social media strategies, and the like.

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