BrandScript Element 5 - Call Them to Action


These are my notes from reading Donald Miller's book on Building a StoryBrand. Chapter 8 goes through the fifth stage of his BrandScript Framework which is about calling your customer to action the plan you've presented to them.

If you want to check out the other parts of this series, the links are below:

  1. Overview
  2. Identify the Character
  3. Create a Villain
  4. Introducing a Guide
  5. Give them a Plan
  6. Call them to Action
  7. Prevent Failure
  8. End with a Win
  9. Participate in Their Transformation
  10. Brandscript your Website
  11. The Narrative Void
  12. The Marketing Roadmap

The Principle:

Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action.
  • Customers are bombarded with commercial messages.
  • Unless you make a call, they won’t respond.
  • The call can’t be soft either, otherwise it won’t be noticed.
  • Passive sales communicates a lack of belief in the product.
  • Not being clear in our ask shows weakness and you are seen as a charity case (”can you please help me?”)
  • Customers are looking for solutions to their problems

Types of Calls to Action

Two kinds of CTAs:

  • Direct
    • Leads to a sale
    • E.g. Buy Now
  • Transitional
    • Less risky but gives something for free
    • E.g. Invite to a webinar or download PDF

Ask again

Direct CTAs

Things to keep in mind:

  • Make it obvious
  • Repeat the CTA all over the website
  • Make a purchase so we can help them solve their problem


  • Order Now
  • Call Today
  • Register Now
  • Make an Appointment

Transitional CTAs

  • Stake a claim to a territory
  • Create reciprocity
  • Position yourself as a guide

Example ideas:

  • Free information
  • Testimonials
  • Samples
  • Free Trial

Practice Time

Business Name What do they do? Direct CTA Transitional CTA
Kingsgrove Cats Boarding house for cats Book a Stay Download a travel checklist for your pet
Mane Painters Hair colouring Schedule an Appointment Free gallery of styles to choose from How to do it yourself at home guide?
Little Leaves Piano Piano teaching Book a Lesson Free intro lesson Starters piano course Piano skill rating test
Austral Bricks Styled bricks Book a Consult Download a guide to the types of bricks used for your house
Hot Tyres Sell Wheels and Tyres Wheel Services Get new wheels Download a guide to check your own tyres
Duo Duo Ice cream and Donuts Buy Online Sign up for a QR code for a free sample mini scoop or donut
Uturn Outlet Second hand fashion Come Visit Download a free fashion guide

Final Thoughts

This was the most fun because the transitional CTAs needed to be creative and think outside the box. It got a little repetitive thinking of lots of Download X guide or free trials/samples. I'm sure there's more interesting transition types out there.