From brochures to posters, the headings and calls to action you use in your print and direct mail marketing materials can make a huge different to the efficacy of a campaign.

A great heading can inspire interest in your product or service and pique people’s curiosity. A bland, generic heading, on the other hand, can fail to create interest in even the most impressive product.

Likewise, a powerful call to action can encourage your audience to claim your offer and purchase your product, while a mediocre call to action can result in a fantastic offer – one that offers unprecedented value – being ignored.

In this guide, we’ll share three simple but highly effective techniques that you can use in your posters, brochures, signs and other print marketing materials to make sure you get the highest possible response rate and the best results.

Include a benefit in your call to action

Every call to action you use in your marketing should include a benefit. From the sign outside your retail store to the call to action near the end of your brochure, each should clearly outline a reason prospects should complete the action.

Imagine you’re promoting a magazine and encouraging people to become loyal subscribers. Instead of just saying “Subscribe today,” you can add a benefit and incentive by saying “Subscribe today for more insightful, educational content.”

A call to action isn’t merely a call for prospects to do something – it’s a fantastic opportunity to remind them of the value you’re offering them and the benefit of responding to your offer.

Write down the three biggest benefits of your offer or product and try to include your top benefit in your call to action. From learning more to saving money, your biggest benefit will have a huge effect on the response rate of your call to action.

The key is to be unique, personal and targeted. Avoid the generic “Call Now” and “Contact Us Today” messages that people are familiar with and give them a great reason to respond to you – if it’s compelling enough, they’ll take it.

Never assume people know how to respond

To you, a marketer, it might seem obvious to call for your free sample. But to your audience – an audience made up primarily of non-marketers – the right thing to do in order to claim your offer isn’t always obvious.

Because of this, your call to action should always spell out exactly what prospects need to do in order to claim your offer. From sending in a coupon to calling your toll-free number, make it clear what steps are required to claim your offer.

It’s best to lead or end your call to action with the instructional aspect of claiming your offer. Start with a benefit and end with instructions or start with instructions and end with your product, service or offer’s key benefits.

Be direct, but avoid being too “high pressure” for your audience. An effective call to action is clear and unambiguous without making prospects feel as if they’re forced to complete the action you’re requesting.

Command attention with your heading

The goal of your heading is to get people to read your subheading. The goal of your subheading is to get people to read your copy. The goal of your copy is to get people to read your call to action and, eventually, to respond to your offer.

Can you see a pattern emerging? Each element of your print marketing leads into the next, making people more familiar with your offer and its benefits as part of the process. The first step in the process is getting their attention with a great heading.

Many marketers make the mistake of trying to explain their offer entirely in their heading. That’s not the goal. The goal of your heading is to command the reader’s attention – your subheading and copy will explain what your product’s all about.

Keep your heading simple and direct and focus on the element of your product or service that’s most likely to capture people’s attention. Then, once you’ve got your target audience engaged, use your copy to explain your offer in greater detail.