Do you know this feeling?
You’ve written a good text.
You think it will touch readers’ nerves.
You hoping for response.
But now the text is out…and no response coming.
Wat went wrong?
Well, maybe it wasn’t much.
Maybe you just missed this one little thing…
Because the absence of active response is not a sure sign that you didn’t touch people’s nerves. Often, readers are ready to act but just don’t take the final step.
You have to help them take that step
A famous experiment back in the 1960s by social psychologist Howard Levanthal at Yale University:
He designed leaflets that informed students about the dangers of tetanus. The leaflets told them that they could get a free tetanus shot, on campus, at the university’s health centre. But hardly anyone went to get their shots. Levanthal changed the wording. Many times. But no matter what wording he used, response was bad: only three percent of students got their shot.
How on earth could one move more students to action?
Then, Levanthal made one last change. He included a map with opening hours and a reminder where the health centre was.
Suddenly, 28% of students got their shot.
What made the difference?
It wasn’t knowledge.
The students already knew where the health centre was. What they needed was a nudge: a reminder of location and opening hours. It was a call to action that said: “Do it. Go there at that time.”
It’s no different on the internet
Online marketers and retailers make the same experience: conversion rates plummet when they don’t include a call to action at the very end.
The call can be as simple as this: “Don’t forget to click this link”.
In fact, the more direct you are, the better.
A little experiment by Dustin Curtis, a web designer, shows this.
Inviting people to follow him on Twitter, he managed to increase conversions by 173% with slight changes in wording, from
I’m on Twitter
Follow me on Twitter
You should follow me on Twitter
You should follow me on Twitter here
Isn’t it amazing how small changes can have such effect?
So, when it comes to the call to action, don’t forget it and don’t be shy.
And that leads to my final call:
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