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Write a Call to Action in 3 Words or Less

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

When it’s time to write a call to action, you may hit a writing roadblock.

Write a call to action in 3 words or less with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

Because it's awkward.

Your call to action (CTA) tells your reader what to do as a result of reading your post, letter, or email. You ask her for money or time or permission to invade her personal space and you may be stumped about what to say.

Because for many of us, it’s hard to ask for something. 

Here’s a helpful writing tip to get you over that hump: use fewer words.

Three or less should do it.

Write a Call to Action in 3 Words or Less

Why 3 words or less? Readers like clear, simple language. That and the fact that multiple platforms require a short CTA (think Twitter and email.) 

You can expound on your CTA after you blurt out the actual words on paper or screen, if your project requires it. But first, tell her what to do.

Know What Are You Asking Your Reader to Do

Your call to action moves the reader to do one of three things: learn, interact, or get involved

The point is to get your reader to take action. She may take more than one action, of course. But your words focus on getting her to take one specific step. Choose that step as the goal when you write your call to action. Do that by completing this sentence:

I want my reader to …

1. Learn

Your goal is to get the reader to take an action that increases her awareness about your cause: she clicks through to a webpage or downloads a free report.

2. Interact

Your goal is to get the reader to take an action to interact with other readers or with you about your cause: click “Like,” comment on a blog, or send an email.

3. Get Involved

Your goal is to get the reader to take an action that engages her more deeply with your cause: give a gift, make a purchase, or volunteer.

Take Action in 3 Words 

Once you know what action you want your reader to take, use a quick phrase to get the point.

Bonus tip: be sure to hyperlink your CTA to a page where your reader can complete the action. 

Just a few words – three or less – can prime the pump, giving you courage to keep writing.

”Learn” in 3 Words or Less
”Interact” in 3 Words or Less ”Get Involved” in 3 Words or Less
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