Whether you’re seeking donations or actions, the formula for writing an effective CTA is pretty simple. To persuade your supporter to drop everything and respond to ask, you need to convince them of two things:
To answer ‘why this action’, you’ll need to do better than simply telling your supporter what you want them to do. You’ll need to articulate—you guessed it—why. This is the foundation of a supporter-focussed theory of change.
If you can point to a reason why your supporter needs to act now (and not tomorrow, next week, or next year), then you can dial up persuasiveness by introducing urgency. There’s a name for this approach: the ‘ Crisitunity’ (Crisis + Opportunity). Think of a Crisitunity as your supporter-focussed theory of change on steroids.
And finally, if it’s not clear how your supporter holds the key to creating change, then they’ll have every reason to sit back and expect someone else (probably you) to do the hard work. What makes your supporter uniquely positioned to effect change? Let them know.
Together, these techniques appeal to both the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’. They treat your supporter with respect, and allow them to recognize—and own—their power as a changemaker.
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