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One of the most important aspects of the content in your direct marketing is the call to action. It's not a given that a lead will be naturally inclined to act upon marketing, or that they would do so even without the call to action. But leads always need some guidance, and the call to action is a powerful tool in any marketer's arsenal.

Write in an active voice. This means verbs, and lots of them: Save, act, enlist, download, upgrade, subscribe, click, buy. Other descriptive words are well and all, but verbs are what entice readers to act upon what they read.

Short, punchy, concise. Write a call to action that gets its message across in as little space as possible for the best results. Readers don't need a manifesto on which action to take, just a quick prod in the right direction. A compact call to action that conveys a sense of urgency – for instance, "join before it's too late" – is the best formula to success.

Location. The call to action should be placed in an area of high visibility. If it's telemarketing, include it high in the script. If it's direct mail or email, place it above the fold. You can even manipulate colors and other design capabilities to physically draw a consumer's eyes to the call to action.

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