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How to improve your call to action in 6 easy steps

Chances are that your nonprofit is not just marketing for the fun of it. Instead, you are probably marketing because you want people to do something to support your cause, but are you making that clear to your audience? It is imperative to your marketing campaign that you have a clear, concise and powerful call to action. Easier said than done, right? Well, we are here for you.

The following are six tips to help you improve your call to action.

1. Tell a story

Obviously, you can’t begin your campaign with a call to action; first, you need to give people a reason to care about your cause. The most effective way to do that is by telling a story. Avoid telling people how your cause functions; instead, show them why your good cause matters. Make them feel something about your cause (something positive, of course!).

For example: Create a video to make the story of your nonprofit’s cause come alive for your audience.

2. Make it obvious

Do not bury your call to action. People are only going to look at your campaign materials momentarily, so make sure the call to action is obvious at a quick glance. Ways to do this include:

  • Make it big
  • Make it skim-able (use headlines, bullet points, etc.)
  • Position it front and center
  • Use white space
  • Add color

For example: Add a “Donate now!” button in each of your email newsletters. It’s eye-catching and will give your readers a direct link to your donation page.

3. Clarity is key

Do not beat around the bush. Be respectful of people’s time and attention span and ask for what you want in a clear and concise manner. Keep the options for action to a minimum. While it may sound like a good idea to have options, people are more likely to act if you simply tell them what to do.

4. Use urgent language

Make sure your audience feels the need to act ASAP. If they think it can wait, they will set it aside and forget about it. Consider using phrases such as:

  • Donate now
  • Share today
  • Offer expires

For example, a donation button that says, “Donate today!” conveys a sense of urgency more than one that simply says “Donate here”.

5. Test, test, test

The beauty of asking people to complete an action is that you can measure the success. Use multiple types, formats, and placements of calls to action. Then monitor the results to see which variations best appeal to your audience.

6. Consider the placement

Web pages are most commonly read in what is called the F-Pattern: left to right at the beginning, then skimmed down the page along the left side. This means your call to action won’t be seen if it’s buried in text near the middle or bottom of the page.

As we suggested above, test different locations on your page for your call to action. Choose the one that works best for your site design.

Marketing without a call to action is pointless marketing. People want to help your good cause, but they don’t necessarily know how. You do; tell them.

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Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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