Scripting Frameworks

How to write a killer CTA in every YouTube video

May 26th, 2023



min read


Writing scripts is super frustrating.

In fact, writing anything usually a ballache.

I’m not sure why anyone would choose it as a career 😜

Especially when it comes to the hook or the CTA, every word seems critical.

And it is.

But if there is no “right” way to write anything, where do you even begin?

Well… it all starts with acceptance.

Specifically, acknowledging and celebrating the fact that your first draft should suck.

Because what matters is how you adapt the rubbish on your second, third and fourth drafts.

So this week I wanna show you the evolution of a CTA I re-wrote 4 times this week.

Primarily, I hope this helps you write a better CTA.

(But, secretly, I hope this gives you permission to suck on your first try.)

1/ The Setup

This scriptwriting breakdown draws on two threads I wrote earlier this year.

You’ll still understand the rest of this email without them, but feel free to dig in for additional context.

1/ Original thread on writing a compelling CTA that gets people to watch your next video:

2/ Original thread on the writing process I use that stops me feeling burned out but still delivers strong results:

2/ Purpose

I’m a huge advocate of highlighting the purpose of certain parts of your script (e.g. payoffs) because it makes it easier to see whether you need to adapt your script’s structure.

These are the essential components I use in every end-of-video CTA.

In this breakdown, I’ve highlighted things in the following way:

🔴 – LINK to current video topic.

🟡 – CURIOSITY GAP created.

🟢 – PROMISE/CTA delivered.

Let’s get into it…

3/ The Script

The main aim of this CTA is to get as many viewers as possible to watch the next video.

Draft 1 – The Bare Bones.

We’ve got the LINK back to the current topic. Cool.

But the rest isn’t great.

The CURIOSITY GAP is surface-level, with only passing reference to “you could make more money”. Ideally, we want to be speaking to the deeper wants and desires of our audience. Why do they want to make more money? What does that unlock for their lives?

As for the CTA/PROMISE… it seems I only got as far as the CTA and gave up.

All in all, a classic first draft!

Draft 2 – Precision.

The LINK was fine before, but is now even more specific.

The CURIOSITY GAP is too. It now specifically mentions the thing that’s holding you back from monetising your channel are other “huge myths”.

There’s now a specific PROMISE of transformation too, e.g. what they’ll get by watching the next video. In this case, they’ll learn what the myths are, thereby helping them make more money.

But, although the promise is more specific than before, it’s too surface level…

Draft 3 – Overcorrection.

The LINK is re-written for personal taste.

But the CURIOSITY GAP is now way too bloated.

Just look at how wordy the middle is. I’m taking three sentences to say what I could have said in 1-2.

Somehow, the PROMISE got less specific as I tried to expand it. From “unlock even more potential revenue streams” to “make more money”.

Overcorrecting is such an easy tendency when you’re feeling like you haven’t hit the nail on the head. It can actually be useful though.

It’s better to have too much than not enough, as long as you know how to tidy it up…

Draft 4 – Success.

I made the LINK more succinct to allow more room for the…

CURIOSITY GAP, which now uses more direct language and piques further interest by suggesting these other myths are super common.

The PROMISE is super specific too, speaking to a deeper need beyond “more money”. Now, we’re promising to help them make more money without sacrificing work-life balance, which is a common objection.

Fourth time’s the charm!

4/ Takeaway

Key features of a strong CTA:

  1. Succinct but clear LINK back to the topic of the current video.
  2. CURIOSITY GAP that directly addresses the viewer and instils a sense of fear/FOMO.
  3. Highly specific PROMISE that goes beyond surface level claims and taps into a deeper need your audience has.

But, remember:

You’re not trying to hit this on your first draft.

It can be bloated, inaccurate, wordy, unfunny, boring, stupid, or totally incomplete when you start out.

In fact, I’d encourage you to let it be all of these things.

It’s much easier to adapt a pile of crap than a blank page 😉

That’s all for now! Back to more retention reviews next week.

Let me know your thoughts on this, and how you approach the most important parts of your script!

Speak soon,

George 👋

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