How to Create Award Winning Calls-to-Action
Looking for a way to get your candidates invested in your cause, but unsure where to start? Calls to action are a fantastic tool you can use to motivate supporters to make donations, sign petitions, or volunteer. That said, figuring out the perfect call to action can be intimidating. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered: continue reading for ways to craft an effective CTA that will pack a punch and increase those conversion rates!
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Let’s start with your action center/donation page before we jump right in to talking about what to include in political calls to action. It’s important to organize your action center so that it’s accessible and all-inclusive. Voters shouldn’t have to go searching around your website for your calls to action - put them on the same web page. The most important CTA should be prominently displayed at the top of the page or in the top left, making it easiest for voters to find.
Copy to Include in a Political CTA:
First, let’s talk about a classic copywriting formula that is known to produce results: Problem-Agitate-Solve. This formula works for all kinds of marketing, including - that’s right - calls to action for political campaigns. What you see below is a more detailed and elaborate version of PAS, but the crucial elements listed in the “Headline” section below are PAS in overdrive. It’s important to understand the problems your audience face and paint this problem as vividly as possible. If the reader can feel as if you’re reading their mind as they read about the problem, they will find it easier to trust you. The next step is to agitate the reader by increasing the emotion and making it more personable (photographs do this very well, along with details about how the problem is affecting people who are no different than your readers). Don’t leave them there, though - show the reader how they can help. Allow them to feel like a superhero who is able to make a marked difference and get on board to solve the problem. For a more in-depth idea of what a great call to action entails, read on:
Create a Compelling HeadlineBenefit/Consequence
- Benefit - “Extend unemployment benefits to 50,000 workers...”
- Consequence - “20,000 homeowners will lose their homes unless…”
- The number can talk about the consequence (“20,000 homeless homeowners”), the benefit (“50,000 families benefit”), the timeline (“In 12 days…”) or the objective (“We need 15,000 signatures”)
- These numbers create a sense of urgency and provide groundwork to give the voter proof that they can make a tangible difference
- Timeline, which can be linked to:
- Implementation time frame (“Help provide 100,000 backpacks for needy students over the next three months”)
- Legislative calendar (“Tell Congress to take action before they go to recess”)
- Legislative life cycle (“Stop the bill before it goes to the House floor”)
- External event (“This New Year, tell Governor…”)
(Legislative Details - Not always required but sometimes helpful)
- If you choose to include this, add the bill number or its equivalent
- This is especially helpful if the measure is controversial and has gotten lots of press
A Strong Image
- This should be a powerful image that backs up your message - avoid using stock images, since they are far less likely to be anchored to your issue
- This image can be a face (this personalizes the cause and gives supporters someone to relate to)
- This can be a video that makes an impact (this does not need to be a high-end production)
- This can be a screenshot of a conversation on social media
Background Information - Tell a Story and Prioritize the First 60 Words
- Open an information gap to keep them reading (“Read on,” “This is why:”)
- Write short, meaningful sentences. Propel the story forward with intent
- What has led up to this occurrence?
Further description of benefit/consequence
- Elaborate on what the consequences will be if action isn’t taken, and the benefits that will arise from taking action
Call to action with instructions
- Clear and concise call to action (“Sign the petition”)
- Consider letting your prospective supporters know how long the action takes to perform (“In just 20 seconds…”)
Use strong verbs that describe the action you want the reader to take (here is a handy list for those who are lost for words!) It should also create a sense of urgency, so use words like, “Today,” “Now,” and “Instant” to pack a bigger punch. Keep it short - if you can say it in three words, don’t say it in five. It should be simple and punchy.
- “Donate Now!”
- “Get Instant Access to Tips”
- These should stand out, so make them 20% bigger than the logo. This is the perfect size to garner attention without being over-the-top huge.
- Their overall shape should be rectangular or square, since this is the format most people are familiar with.
Laws are passed at the local, state, and federal level, so include:
- Degree of locality
- Name of the state or city in which the bill, etc is being considered
- The bill number (if this applies)
- The bill name
This should be all you need to create a fantastic, empathetic call to action that will compel voters and prospective supporters to respond positively to your cause. Keeping Problem-Agitate-Solve in the forefront of your mind across all details of your campaign CTAs will enable you to develop calls-to-action that consistently result in increased turnover for you, along with increased resources toward your campaign. We hope you’ve enjoyed these tips - happy campaigning!