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What is the Best Call to Action for Your Podcast?

We’ve all experienced analysis paralysis. There are too many items on the menu at a restaurant and you’re not sure what to order. There are seemingly a million Apple Watch bands – which do you pick? What’s really the difference between the Honda Odyssey EX and EX-L?1

What’s the balance between offering choice and getting people to take action? That really depends on the medium. For example, you may notice podcasts have a ton of calls to action (CTAs). Maybe you do. My podcast does at times. Is that really the right route? And if not, what should your podcast’s CTA be? Let’s explore.

Too Many Requests Result in Zero Action

My daughter is 4 years old and I’m told there are a few things we need to do for her to make her feel like she’s in some sort of control. We need to tell her what’s happening next. This comes in the form of a daily schedule. She knows when she wakes up we get changed, brush teeth, and clean the sun room. Then she can have iPad time.

I need to make sure I don’t tell her to do too many things at once because she’ll get overwhelmed and do none of them. Then she’ll get upset because she doesn’t understand what’s going on. This is how toddlers act. They want to be in the know.

I also need to show her the positive results – the benefit – of her doing 3 things she’d rather not do. Experts call this a “preferred activity,” and for her it’s 30 minutes of iPad time before breakfast.

Now, I’m not saying our podcast listeners are toddlers2, but we may not have their full attention. Podcasting, for many, is a multitasking activity. So we need to make our intentions and the benefits crystal clear.

Many people multitask when listening to podcasts, so our CTA needs to be crystal clear. Click To Tweet

You Should Have One Clear CTA

Because of that, you should have one clear CTA that you repeat throughout the show. You should mention it at the beginning, somewhere in the middle (related to the content) and you should mention it a few times at the end. Remember: you have listeners who are half paying attention so repetition is important.

And again, you don’t want to overwhelm or confuse the listener as to what you want them to do most. So have one CTA. And you want to make the benefits of the CTA clear.

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    Make Your CTA to Join Your Mailing List

    You know a great place to promote multiple things? Your mailing list. Sure, you have to grab attention with a good subject line, but once someone is reading your email, they’re probably focusing on that task. There you can promote your membership, products, or even ask for a review in Apple Podcasts.

    Plus, while it might be easy to skip an episode, mailing list subscribers will at the very least see your name in their inbox weekly. They’re buying into more of your content!

    So in your CTA, ask people to join your mailing list. Give them an incentive. Tell them all the great things they’ll get outside the podcast. Highlight the benefits!

    Your Podcast CTA should be to join your mailing list. From there, you can promote other content, products, and services. Click To Tweet

    Matt Medieros of The Matt Report recommends having a dedicated subscribe page with the email opt-in as well as podcast subscribe buttons, which I think is a great idea.

    Alternate: Go to the Show Notes Page

    OK…it’s not lost on me that I’m telling you to have one clear CTA and I’m giving you two options. However, sometimes there’s a lot you want to mention. Show Notes, subscribe, join the club, rate us, etc.

    If you give your listeners a clear URL that has several actions they can take, that might serve you well. I’d recommend prioritizing the actions you want your listener to take by making the primary action obvious. So if you want them to join your membership, have a big button encouraging that. You want them to join your list, have the form clearly labeled and easy to get to.

    And again…highlight the benefits to the listener.

    Clarity and Repetition are Key

    No matter what you choose, clarity and repetition are key. You need to make sure your listener knows, beyond the shadow of a doubt, what you think their most important next step is.

    This take some practice and strategic placement. I still have multiple CTAs in my episodes, but each episode starts with a super clear CTA: “join my mailing list.”

    What’s your most important CTA? Let me know in the comments!

    1. I just want Apple CarPlay!
    2. Though on YouTube, some of the comments certainly feel like that’s the case.

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