A Strong Call To Action

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Podcasting is an intimate medium. Your listener literally has your voice in her head when listening through ear buds. You are building a special relationship so it’s not surprising to hear listeners say that they feel as if they know you and many may even consider you a friend.

By providing value, you earn the privilege to ask for something. This call-to-action (CTA) needs to strategic. Don’t waste a valuable opportunity.

Here’s one that most of us have used.

Please subscribe, rate, and review!

If it looks like a podcast and walks like a podcast, it is a podcast. Late nights of editing and a collection of podcast conference t-shirts already make me feel like a podcaster so I don’t need to use a podcasting trope that most listeners have heard so frequently that it barely works. We can do better.

Make it one thing

I want listeners to:

Tell a friend

Subscribe

Email or call me

Message me on Instagram

Visit my private Facebook group

Subscribe to my blog

Sign up for my email list

Not everyone will agree with this one. In my experience, I’ve repeatedly sprinkled 3-4 of these throughout an episode. Asking for too many things, and none stand out as important.

I’ve recently decided to pick one CTA in hopes of maximizing listener engagement. You might even experiment by asking for the same thing in two different ways — once in the middle and then again at end of an episode. Repetition can be effective.

Make it stand out

When bloggers use CTAs, they can make them stand out on a page by using colors, fonts, and good design. Podcasters with audio-only shows need to be different, funny, or creative. Figure out ways to make your CTA stand out so listeners don’t hit the skip forward button.

I’m thinking about saying, “Do not subscribe to this podcast. I dare you! I bet you can’t find that subscribe button. Prove me wrong.”

good CTA Advice & Examples

Grumpy Old Geeks Podcast:

“If you want your question or comment read on the show, head over to gog.show/contact and send us your feedback or questions that we can read on the air. And if you’re so inclined, please head over to gog.show/itunes and toss us a five star and snarky review.”

Asking for snarky reviews has garnered 6,400+ reviews at Apple Podcasts. Wow!

Eric of Eric Hunley Unstructured:

“Thanks for listening and if you liked what you heard, please consider subscribing for free and I mean for free. It is always free. There’s no billing or anything else.”

A fun twist on asking for subscribers, the only things that moves the needle on the Apple charts.

Krystal of The Proffitt Podcast:

“Take a screen shot of this podcast and tag me on social media.”

A different way to get listeners to share your show and engage with them on different platforms.

Jim O’Kane of The Rocketeer Minute:

Offering a “double your money back guarantee when subscribing” catches people’s attention. The big trick is to do all the pleading in under 15 seconds.

An attention grabbing and humorous way to remind listeners to subscribe.

Callie Wright of Queersplaining:

I got a ton of new patrons on Patreon when I started making jokes about all the ridiculous and silly stuff I was going to do with the money… like adopting a unicorn, building a rocket to fire terrible famous people into the sun, a fund to replace the snacks my former co-host’s boyfriend ate.

Proof that storytelling and being funny can motivate action.

Dave Jackson of School of Podcasting:

Tell a friend

1. It’s free
2. Birds of a feather

Keep it simple. Word of mouth is the best way for listeners to discover new podcasts.

Be Uniquely You

In honoring the connection that you’re building with listeners, don’t forget to make your CTA sincere and authentic. Your ask should fit your show and personality. As you deliver it, say it like you would to a good friend. As with everything, this is about establishing and maintaining trust.

Do you have an extraordinary CTA that has worked especially well for you?

About the author

Andy

Andy is host of Inspired Money, named by Forbes as a Top 10 Personal Finance Podcast. He has conducted over 200 interviews as a host -- including booking, pre-interview research, and post-production. Andy has spoken at Inbound, Podfest, FinCon, Podcast Movement, and is co-founder of the Asian American Podcasters Association.

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By Andy

About

Andy

Andy is host of Inspired Money, named by Forbes as a Top 10 Personal Finance Podcast. He has conducted over 200 interviews as a host -- including booking, pre-interview research, and post-production. Andy has spoken at Inbound, Podfest, FinCon, Podcast Movement, and is co-founder of the Asian American Podcasters Association.

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