Make It Snappy! How to Write Effective Hooks and Calls to Action
Have you ever wondered what could take your writing from good to great or from mediocre to sparkling? Sometimes, all that is missing is a sentence or two that catches the reader’s interest and sparks the imagination at the beginning of your content. Other times, you might struggle to wrap up your content effectively, leaving readers wondering what benefit they were supposed to glean from your article. If you are ready to step your writing up a notch, consider how you can best use hooks and calls to action to capture a reader’s interest from the beginning and to wrap up all the loose ends when you are finished.
What Is a Hook?
Much as a hook on the wall can snag your clothing or a fishing hook helps you catch fish, a hook in your web content will snag the reader’s interest immediately. The hook is usually a sentence or two that is especially interesting or that asks an intriguing question. In addition, it provides value for the rest of the article and supports the main point.
There are a variety of ways that you can hook your readers. The method you choose will depend on the topic you are discussing, the formality or informality of the article and your ultimate purpose in writing your content. However, the following are some good options for hooks that will work in a majority of circumstances.
- Asking a question to which most readers will want an answer
- Asking a rhetorical question
- Sharing a shocking fact or statistic that is backed up by a source
- Sharing a quote from a respected source
- Making a joke or sharing something funny
- Using vivid imagery to create a setting
- Telling a short story or sharing a news headline
- Setting a common misconception straight
Tips for Writing Effective Hooks
Now that you know what a hook is, you may be wondering how you can best use this feature in your writing. By giving away some of your best information or statistics at the beginning of your article, you can create superior web content that will lead to happy readers, a happy client and possibly more direct orders.
To create a great opening line or paragraph that immediately hooks a reader’s interest, ask yourself the following questions.
- Who is your audience?
Consider age, gender, socioeconomic background and interests.
- What value is your article providing?
The hook should reflect values, interests and trends that are important to your reader.
- What information is currently relevant?
In some cases, current human-interest stories or news headlines can create captivating hooks.
Here are some good examples of hooks.
- What is the difference between a good writer and a superb writer?
- Did you know that over 30 percent of Americans did not visit their dentists last year?
- Seeing your doctor every year may seem expensive now but can save you plenty of money in health care costs for chronic diseases over time.
- Benjamin Franklin once said, “No gains without pains.”
What Is a Call to Action?
Assuming that you caught your reader’s interest with your hook and convinced him to finish reading your content, you will want to wrap everything up neatly and lead him to the desired conclusion with an appropriate call to action. In the client briefing on Textbroker, you may see this referred to as a CTA.
A call to action is frequently used in marketing pieces that are specifically calling on a shopper or client to choose a particular business or buy a product. However, a call to action can still take on an important role in other pieces you write, including blogs. These phrases or sentences call on the reader to take a desired course of action.
In marketing pieces, a quality call to action can lead to improved conversion rates for your client, ideally drawing in new customers and creating more sales. It can get readers to sign up for a service, schedule an appointment or look into a subject further. Depending on the content, it could also compel them to make less visible changes, such as in their thoughts, actions or words.
Tips for Writing Effective Calls to Action
Clearly, all content should end with some type of call to action because every article you write is designed to provide a measure of value to the reader. A successful CTA uses compelling language without being too brash or using crass language. It speaks to your ideal audience and develops increased enthusiasm for your subject. The following tips can help you craft your first CTA or improve on the ones you already write.
- Start with action words, such as discover, schedule, reserve, join or read more.
- Make readers believe that the task must be accomplished immediately by adopting urgent language.
- Use personal language to make readers feel special.
- State the value the reader will gain.
- Engender curiosity in your readers.
Here are a few examples of quality calls to action.
- Discover your healthiest life today when you schedule an appointment with our nutritionist!
- Find out more about how a personal investment portfolio can lead to a worry-free retirement when you sign up for our easy-to-use online services.
- Schedule a consultation today to see how a personalized workout plan can boost your confidence, improve your mood and help you live your best life.
Even if your content structure, grammar and spelling are fantastic, you could still be missing out on repeat direct order clients and a higher Textbroker rating if you are not creating a compelling argument or premise in each of your articles. By capturing a reader’s interest immediately with an exciting hook and inspiring the reader to take action at the end of your article with a compelling call to action, you will find that the content you create takes on a new level of style and professionalism.
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