Guide to Podcast Call-to-Actions

Guide to Podcast Call-to-Actions

Guide to Effective Podcast Call-to-Actions

Whenever I advise podcasters about their fan engagement goals, the first thing I ask is, “what’s your CTA (call-to-action) in every episode?”.

Just to be clear, a CTA is the tangible action you want every listener to take. Your primary CTA is usually tied to your most important business or personal goal you’re currently trying to achieve.

Some goals might be increasing your email list, building your social followers, getting more podcast reviews, engaging more clients, etc. Don’t worry, we’ll dive into a more complete list of ideas below.

In this guide, we’ll go over:

Why Are CTAs Important?

For podcasters, CTA’s are how you get to know your audience. The more you know your audience, the better you can collect more emails, get more clients, get more sales, increase fan donations, earn more sponsorship revenue, etc.

When fans don’t take some kind of action, you’ll never know who they are. Passive listeners are just part of your download count, and that’s not very useful.

Now, you’ll never know who all your listeners are. Studies show that anywhere from 1 to 10 percent of your podcast listeners will ever take an action. Our job, as good podcasters, is to achieve the upper end of that spectrum.

So, in this article, we’ll go over 10 CTA’s you can use to convert passive podcast listeners to active participants.

How to Make a Bad CTA...Better?

The most important thing we teach, in crafting the perfect CTA, is to make sure there is a publicly visible (or audible) payoff. What we mean by “payoff”, is that you should publicly share or feature past fans who’ve took action on your primary CTA.

For example, one of the most popular CTAs is asking your fans to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. This is a perfectly fine goal to have, but it’s a horrible CTA. There’s no tangible incentive for a fan to take that action.

To improve this CTA, try attaching it to a fan shoutout. This adds a subtle “payoff” to this CTA, like this…

For our featured review of the week. A fan of the show, Jane Smith, wrote us this review on Apple Podcasts…

‘I just found this podcast, and I already binged the entire season. Great podcast!’

Thanks Jane for the uplifting review! If you enjoy the show, please rate and review this podcast on Apple, and I’ll feature my favorite review on the next episode.

This CTA is much better, as it demonstrates an actual incentive for taking that action. You gotta remember, for better or worse, people are inherently a bit selfish. Before taking ANY action, they need to know “what’s in it for me?”

Getting an episode shoutout is one of those simple things podcasters take for granted, but something that fans get very excited about receiving. If you’re not sure what fan shoutouts are, please read our Guide to Doing Fan Shoutouts On Your Podcast

How Many CTA's Are Too Many

In our opinion, you should ideally just have 1 primary CTA. When people are confronted by multiple options, they often face what’s called “decision paralysis”. Let’s say you ask your listeners to sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social, and download your free ebook.

Most listeners who hear that CTA would probably do none of the above. First, since there are multiple things in there, they often can’t remember all the different options. Second, since there are multiple options, none of them really sound much more compelling than the other. The result is…your audience will choose to do nothing.

A better idea is to just spend that time really drilling down on 1 thing, and compel them to take that 1 action. After they take the 1 action, hopefully they’ll enter your funnel and you can upsell or encourage them to take other actions. But in your podcast episode, try to keep your CTA to 1 primary thing you want them to do.

Remember, you can always switch your primary CTA to another CTA later, if and when your goals change.

Your primary CTA can change from time-to-time, but we do recommend being fairly consistent, so that your fans get hit with that same call-to-action, episode after episode.

On average, people need months of reinforcement and reminders, before they take their first action.

How to Effectively Promote Your CTA

Here’s a short checklist of things you’ll want to do to promote your call-to-action.

  1. Promote your CTA in EVERY episode.
  2. Put that CTA link in your show notes, and remind listeners it’s there.
  3. Give shoutouts to fans who do that CTA, to encourage more of that behavior.

Remember, be consistent in promoting your CTA. This means, you need to treat your CTA as an ongoing segment in every episode. 

Your fans are mostly passive listeners. They’re plenty happy not doing anything, besides consuming your content. To get them to take action, they’ll often need to hear reminders of that across many episodes, before it even registers in their mind.  

Leveraging Dynamic Ad Insertions

Some podcasters even program their CTAs as an ad spot in their episodes, using dynamic ad insertion (DAI). This lets podcasters easily swap out their primary CTAs in EVERY episode, in case their CTA ever changes. 

For example, let’s say your primary CTA is to sign up for your course that occurs in March. If after March, that CTA is no longer valid, then you’ll probably want to change that CTA going forward AND perhaps in your backlog of episodes as well. Well, treating your CTA as a dynamic ad can help with that. 

10 Effective CTA Ideas You Can Use In Your Podcast

Hopefully, you’re already tinkering with the perfect call-to-action for your podcast. But just to get your creativity juices flowing, here are our top 10 call-to-actions that you can use for your podcast.

In each of these CTA examples, you’ll see we paired it with a shoutout to adhere to our best practices. Enjoy!

1. Rate & review on Apple Podcasts

Goal: Increase discoverability on podcast apps. 

Sample Script

This week’s featured review on Apple Podcast. A fan of the show, Jane Smith wrote,

‘I just found this podcast, and I already binged the entire season. Great podcast!’.

Thanks Jane for the uplifting review! If you enjoy the show, please rate and review this podcast on Apple, and I’ll feature my favorite review on the next episode.​

2. Follow Me On [Social Media Platform]

Goal: Increase followers on your primary social media platform.

Sample Script

Wanted to welcome our newest followers on Twitter. Janesmith, TheRealDakota, PamBrown. Thanks for the follow!

Follow me on Twitter @patcheung and comment on one of my recent posts, and I’ll give you a shoutout on the next episode

Extra Credit
Tag these fans on social media when the episode airs, so they can listen and easily share it.

3. Give Monetary Support

Goal: Earn money through tips, crowdfunding, donations, etc. 

Sample Script

Thanks to my most recent supporters, Jane Smith, John Dakota, Pam Brown. Really appreciate your contributions to the show.

If you want to show your support, head over to my PodInbox fan page, and leave me a tip! Your support helps keep this show running.

4. Download My Resource (ebook, guide, spreadsheet, notion template, etc)

Goal: Capture email addresses (free download) or sell product (paid download).

Sample Script

Download my free guide to [resource name]. Just go to this url [URL] get that free guide. I’ll include that link in the show notes.

And, quick shoutout to listeners Jane, John, Pam, and Blake, for the download. Hope you find value in the [resource]!”

5. Get My Course

Goal: Capture email addresses (free course) or sell course (paid course).

Sample Script

Right now, you can take my paid course, [course name]. To sign up, just go to this url [URL]…and I’ll include that link in the show notes.

And this week, I wanna welcome Jane, John, Pam, and Blake, as my newest students in the course. Thanks for signing up and look forward to journeying through this together!”

6. Join Our Chat Room & Community

Goal: Build members of your free or paid community.

Sample Script

“If you want to meet other listeners of the podcast, make sure to join our community on [community platform]. Just head over to [URL] to join, and I’ll include that link in our show notes.

This week, I wanna welcome some new community members, Jane, John, Pam, and Blake. Look forward to engaging with you more inside our community!”

7. Sign Up for My Newsletter

Goal: Increase subscribers to your newsletter.

Sample Script

Sign up for my weekly newsletter at [URL], where I’ll give you a weekly [value proposition]. I’ll include the link to my newsletter in my show notes.

And every week, I feature the best newsletter reply I’ve received. This week’s featured reply is from Jane Smith, who writes…

‘This is such a great newsletter! It’s already helped unblock me with something I’ve been struggling with for the past several weeks.’

Thanks Jane, glad you find the newsletter helpful…and remember to share it with a friend!

8. Take Our Survey or Poll

Goal: Get more respondents and data for your survey.

Sample Script

Take our current survey on [topic]. It only takes 5 minutes to complete. The goal of this survey is to find out [description]. Once we complete our study, we’ll share our results in a future episode.

We’re looking for 500 respondents to complete this survey and we’re 50% there! To take the survey, just go to [url] and that link is in the show notes.

9. Buy Merch

Goal: Sell more merch and physical products.

Sample Script

This week’s featured fan pic is from @janesmith on Instagram. Love the pic of you in our new t-shirt! As always, we post all our featured fan pics on Instagram account…so go check out Jane in our new t-shirt!

And if you want some show merch, and a chance to be a featured fan, just head to [URL]. And I’ll include that link in our show notes.

Extra Credit
Post your featured fan pics on your social media account and tag your featured fan. Make sure to feature fans who took a picture with your merch.

10. Subscribe to Our Premium Podcast

Goal: Sell more subscriptions to your paid podcast feed.

Sample Script

To get access to our premium bonus episodes, head over to [URL] and subscribe to our paid podcast feed. For just $5/month, you’ll get access to our ad-free bonus episodes.

Also, just want to give a shoutout to our newest subscribers, Jane Smith, John Dakota, Pam Brown, and Blake Rivers…thanks for subscribing!”

Some Final Thoughts & Takeaways…

We hope you find these 10 podcast call-to-action ideas helpful! And of course, there are many more creative ways you can get your fans to take action. It’s really up to your own creativity.

As you’re creating the perfect call-to-action for your podcast, here’s a short checklist of some important things to keep in mind…

  1. Have only 1 primary call-to-action at a time.
    • Multiple CTAs cause decision paralysis.
  2. Include your CTA links in your show notes.
    •  Make it easy for your fans to find your CTA.
  3. Attach a fan shoutout with you CTA.
    • This helps incentivize your audience.
  4. Be consistent with your 1 CTA.
    • Some people need constant reminders before taking action.
  5. The best CTAs capture email addresses.
    • With an email list, you can encourage fans to do other things later.

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  1. Pingback: Guide to Doing Fan Shoutouts On Your Podcast - PodInbox Blog

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