CTA: Guidelines for an Impactful Call to Action in SMS

Every marketer understands that the most enticing product packaging holds little value if it fails to prompt the customer to make a purchase. This prompting is encapsulated in a Call to Action (CTA), a crucial element, especially in SMS messaging, where brevity is key.

Let’s delve into what a CTA is, where to deploy it, and how to craft an effective one.

What is a CTA?

A Call to Action (CTA) is a concise phrase or image designed to motivate your potential customer to take a specific action. It serves as the bedrock of sales in marketing. In SMS messaging, the CTA holds particular significance. The recipient of an SMS is already predisposed towards your brand (if it’s sent to your base and they haven’t unsubscribed) and merely needs guidance on what action to take to fulfill their needs.

CTAs, also known as calls to action, can range from direct prompts like making a purchase to indirect actions like collecting leads. They instruct the recipient on what steps to take to achieve their desired outcome.

Why Use CTA?

According to the Delhi Internet Marketing School, a personalized call to action increases conversions by 42%. This underscores the pivotal role of CTA as the primary driver of business and sales.

Consider this example: You receive an SMS offering a special deal on a folding knife, but without a CTA. Now, add a CTA: “Oleg, buy a folding knife (company name), and we’ll give you 2 sheaths for free. Follow the link and place your order (link).” The CTA provides clarity and compels Oleg to take immediate action, showcasing the transformative power of a well-crafted CTA.

How to Write CTA Correctly?

Crafting an effective CTA is not complex; the key lies in choosing words wisely. Here are some rules to follow when writing impactful SMS:

  1. Define Your Offer: Clearly identify the product or service you are promoting in the SMS campaign. This clarity is essential for a successful CTA.

  2. Set Campaign Goals:Define the goal of your SMS campaign, whether it’s introducing a new product or encouraging quick sales of remaining stock. The goal shapes the action, or CTA, you want the customer to take.

  3. Write the CTA:Based on the product and campaign goal, determine the type of CTA needed. It could prompt a purchase, stimulate interest, encourage subscriptions, or promote event attendance.


  1. Product: Facial cream

   -Goal: Introduction to the new line

   – CTA:Visit the product page

   – Example: “Mary, we’ve prepared enhanced care for your face. Learn more about the new Mirage cream on the website (link).”

  1. Service: Back massage

   – Goal: Sale of a gift certificate

   – CTA:Purchase a certificate

   – Example:”Not sure what to give your soulmate on March 8th? Buy a gift certificate for 2 hours of professional back massage with an -8% discount.”

SMS messages with a CTA should be concise and communicate tangible benefits. Personalize campaigns to show customers that you remember them, enhancing their willingness to take action.

Remember, a CTA doesn’t always have to be a direct “buy!” Experiment with verbs, alter SMS structures, and try diverse campaigns to discover the most effective approach for your target audience, making SMS a potent sales channel.


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