While there is no sure-fire formula for writing a compelling Digital Signage CTA, here are some tips and tricks that might help:
- Target common needs: Pulling a page directly out of Dr. Abraham Maslow’s playbook, focus your text on some of humanity’s great needs. Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you might pick from basic needs like food and shelter, or extend all the way through the self-actualization needs that compel people to make themselves better. For example, if your campaign for the Carrot Grower’s Association of America centers around the CTA “Buy Carrots“, you might try changing it to “Stay fit. Eat healthy. Buy carrots.” It’s a bit longer, but it calls on physical and esteem needs to make the sale.
- Use trigger words to grab attention: Your call to action needs to be short (usually no more than six words), so make sure they count. Use trigger words like Money, Discovery, Save, Easy, New, Love, Health, Proven, You, Results,Guaranteed and Safety to evoke a need or grab attention from your audience.
- Test the “reading level” of the text: We sometimes use big or complex words in the name of brevity, but this can put a limit on the number of people who can actually read our signs. For example, “Buy carrots for a delicious, high-fiber, vitamin-rich snack” scores an 11 on the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scale (i.e., you’d need an 11th grade education to read it). Change that sentence to “Buy carrots for a delicious, healthy snack,” and the grade level drops to 6. That opens your message up to a huge segment of the population that would have had trouble reading the first version.
- Use action words and be vivid: As copywriting guru Michael Fortin notes, “Don’t stick with mere verbs. Use action words that help paint vivid pictures in the mind. The more vivid the picture is, the more compelling [and memorable] the headline will be. For example, a headline like ‘zoom past the confusion‘ will be better than ‘discover how to do it right‘”.
- Use commands: We’ve talked about this one before. It’s so elementary, but so important. Tell your audience exactly what you want them to do, and provided it’s easy enough (or has a big enough potential upside for them), they might just do it.
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