Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

Just do it. Have it your way. Obey your thirst. Not only are these great advertising slogans because they reinforce their brands, but they direct the consumer to take action. Building your brand and your value is a critical part of every marketing strategy, especially for new companies trying to create awareness of their products and services. But when building an overall brand, there are other messages we can include to direct customers and help them take action.

Ultimately, your goal is to generate sales or modify behavior, so be sure to include a specific call to action in your marketing materials — tell your customers what you want them to do. Help them take that next step. Call now. Click-it or ticket. Go online and register today!

Don’t forget the free gift. You’ll increase your response rate by offering an incentive, such as a free gift, an upgrade or a chance to win. Keep in mind your audience so you’re offering something of real value for their response. Be sure to include a deadline as well, or advise of a price increase in the coming weeks as added incentive.

Take names, among other things. Whether they visit you online or in person, capture as much information as possible without alienating your visitors so you can continue the conversation. You can stay top of mind in far less expensive and more personalized ways once they have made the initial contact and shared some background information with you. This is also extrememly useful for tracking your best referral sources, a benefit for future ad planning.

Be obvious. If your call to action encourages shoppers to visit your webpage, be sure to include the URL (preferably a special landing page for easier tracking). It sounds obvious, but often the contact information is hidden and becomes a hurdle for your customers. Make it clear and easy to respond with a visible website, a toll-free number or a map that accompanies your address.

The best marketing draws on the strength of your brand, so be sure to remain consistent in all of your messages and stay true to the identity and expectations your brand creates. Nike wants you to just do it and feel like a winner….I imagine their direct marketing does as well.

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