The art of creating effective calls to action in fan engagement

The art of creating effective calls to action in fan engagement

by Tom McDonnell, Co-founder & CEO,
Feb 2023

“Build it and they will come”.

Will they really? 

This might sound counterintuitive: it’s not enough to add fan engagement to your digital products and expect results. Especially if you want to attract new audiences, you must shout about it too. 

The good news is this: when you add interactive features to your product, they are usually highly marketable. People simply love to get involved, and participation is a great hook. 

For example, when Liverpool FC relaunched their Match Centre (powered by our Event Centre solution), the whole organisation got behind the product and created a range of exciting marketing assets. From Instagram stories to Tweets and perimeter boards, fans are driven to their platform every match day during the build-up and during the game. As a result, they multiplied unique users x10 and have captured millions of first-party data records via competitions and registration. 

For brand partners aiming to activate like EA SPORTS, sending fans to engage and participate is a way to drive regular awareness and – if it’s a goal – data capture. EA SPORTS FIFA Player of The Month is right the brand owns across European football and they generate millions of engagements per year by using Monterosa / Interaction Cloud to power mass fan voting and social sharing. 

However, while most fan experiences can help to increase engagement levels, the most successful of all of these have one thing in common: a compelling call-to-action (CTA).

By optimising your CTA, you give your fan engagement experiences the best chance to deliver on your key metrics for engagement and conversion. A well-crafted CTA motivates the user to act and ensures they don’t just move on. 

Ready to increase your levels of fan engagement with the optimal CTA? Read on…

4 Steps: Context, Action, Payoff, Urgency

Step 1: Context

e.g. “Vote for your favourite player of the season” 

First, set the scene. This is the ‘what’ of the statement. What are you trying to get your audience to do? This could be to play a game, recommend a friend or share their opinions. Whilst this may seem straightforward, what’s important here is to keep it concise, as more than one action could lead to confusion and inertia.  

Step 2: Action

e.g. “Pick your player and take the superfan challenge now. ”

This is where you tell the audience what it is you want them to do. Don’t forget to provide purpose – this is the underlying motivation behind the action..the “why”. For example, this could be to have the chance to win points or prizes. 

Step 3: Payoff 

e.g. “Compete with other fans to prove you’ve got what it takes” or “Win an exclusive training session with your hero”. 

The optimal CTA should explain what the user will get in return for interacting. It’s human nature to be motivated by rewards and this can be experienced on a public or a private level.

Contrary to many people’s assumptions, a big prize isn’t always the best motivator. The ‘winnability’ of a prize is key, but social currency or personal satisfaction can be equally effective. You can think of the payoff in terms of both public and private feedback:

  • Public feedback: such as Results, Leaderboards, Opinions. This relates to anything that is experienced collectively. It is particularly effective in building a sense of community - something that online users crave; the chance to weigh up their opinions against someone else’s, or see how their knowledge levels compare with other users, driving a sense of competition and achievement.

  • Private feedback: such as rewards, unlocking access to exclusive content, getting a discount off a product. This is all about personal gratification that isn’t shared with a group. Gaining something such as unlocking exclusive content is a perfect example of how to drive a response.

Step 4: Urgency

e.g. “You’ve got 05:03 remaining!”

Urgency can be the difference between a good response and an amazing one. A sense of urgency is what will encourage your fans to take action, for fear of missing out if they don’t engage, right now! A ticking clock, a deadline, or a timed reveal can all increase response rates dramatically. 

Putting it all together

“Who’s your favourite player of the season? Pick your player, take the superfan challenge and win an exclusive training session with your hero. Play Now! You’ve got 05:03 remaining.”

Aim for clear, concise terms. Less is usually more. 

If it’s destined for voice over, try reading the CTA out. If it’s going to be written, try experimenting with scale and typography to assess legibility. 

When you go live, try out variants and see which drive the best results. 

Other examples:

“Vote for your Man of The Match in the next five minutes and you could win a pair of season tickets! Go to or scan the QR to vote, right now!” 

“Sign up to our monthly newsletter by the end of the month and get a 20% discount off your first purchase”

“Recommend a friend today and receive 30 free spins. Click here to enter details”

Need help creating the perfect digital experience?

Now you’ve got your CTA sorted, why not check out for more information on how you can use Monterosa / Interaction Cloud to give your fans the best digital experiences.

Create your own

Want to learn more? Schedule a call with one of our team.

Create your own

Want to learn more? Schedule a call with one of our team.

Create your own

Want to learn more? Schedule a call with one of our team.