🔎RR#16 – How to write a killer CTA (3-step formula)


Happy Friday! Before we get into it, check out this week’s…

Spicy take

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George Blackman

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March 20th 2023

We even had the folks from The Editing Podcast getting involved in the discussion under this one.

But what about you? Do you feel like you NEED to make your videos faster to keep people interested?

Reply and let me know 💌

Video #1

Title: Lodges of the Rogue River | World Class Resorts
Creator: Travis Moddison
Average % viewed: 37.7%

What worked

(1/1) System

I’ve spoken before about how finite lists are much easier for our brains to compute…

…than the vague idea that we’re going to talk about something for “a while”.

Better yet, present your information in a system or framework.

Travis’s system is simple – the 14 lodges he talks about are organised by their geography in relation to the Rogue River (starting at the headwater, ending at the sea).

Love it 👌

What to improve

(1/3) Hook

Lack of music at the outset gives the intro a slow feeling.

Travis also trips over the phrase “Rogue River”, which in the hook of a video about the Rogue River, doesn’t fill us with confidence as viewers.

(2/3) SFX

I’ll say it now – “Record Scratch SFX” has had its time 😂

And I say that as a guy who has definitely used it in a script in the last 6 months 😅

But it’s definitely too generic in 2023, and there’s an overreliance on it in this video.

(3/3) Momentum

The power of music.

Momentum actually really picked up from around 10min with the music change.

But, by this point, we’ve lost over half the audience.

I would have used more energetic music like this at the start to get people excited. Currently, the music choice at the start feels a little pedestrian.


It’s time to let “Record Scratch SFX” die.

Video #2

Title: Why Food Tastes Better at Restaurants (It’s Not “More Salt”)
Creator: Charlie Anderson
Average % viewed: 59.2%

What worked

(1/2) B-Roll

There’s some really characterful B-Roll in this video.

Especially the jaunty shots of salt falling in slow-mo. Charlie could have purely recorded himself while cooking, but by going the extra mile to film these additional moments, it elevates the video’s appeal.

(2/2) Audience Avatar

Charlie understands the level of cooking proficiency his audience has, and directly calls out the method of distributing salt that he knows the majority of them will use.

In a tutorial, if you can get your audience saying “oh yikes, I do that”, you’ve got them hooked.

What to improve

(1/1) CTA

I re-wrote this video’s Call-To-Action in a tweet thread yesterday.

If you want to write a killer CTA that gets people to watch your next video, check it out:

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George Blackman

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March 23rd 2023


To make people watch your next video, use this killer 3-step CTA formula: Link + Curiosity Gap + CTA/Promise

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Video #3

Title: I Played Internets Most Nostalgic Games
Creator: Fnuke
Average % viewed: 31.0%

Take this graph with a pinch of salt. Views were 5x this creator’s subscriber count within 7 days of uploading. Expect retention to drop when a video has been pushed to a cold audience.

What worked

(1/2) Concept

This video has potential cross-niche appeal.

Regardless of where we are now, plenty of us played these games when we were younger, so that nostalgia will exist across a broad cross-section of people on YouTube.

It’s always worth brainstorming how your video idea could be made more appealing to people outside your usual niche.

The easiest way to do this is to go back through the last few viral videos you’ve watched, and analyse what appeals to the psychology of multiple groups.

Then, see if you can incorporate elements of that broad-appeal into your next video’s concept, before you start scripting/filming it.

(2/2) Comedy

It’s funny. He’s funny. This is a funny video.

What to improve

(1/1) Payoff

The reason I’m clicking a video like this is to see Fnuke’s reaction to the terrible graphics/controls as he tries to make these games work – that’s the payoff.

Although we get some of that, I felt that we occasionally spent too much time just watching him play.

There’s a fairly consistent dropoff over S2, for example, because we’ve now seen what the game looks like, and we’re pretty much just seeing whether he wins the race or not.

In contrast, check out this example from Call Me Kevin.

In Kevin’s videos, we’re constantly hit with his observations about how bizarre the games are. His actual progress is completely irrelevant.

Similarly, I don’t care whether Fnuke wins the race or beats the game – I want to have a laugh at how weird it all is, so I would have leaned into that aspect more.


Be extremely clear in your own mind why your audience clicked this video, and make sure you deliver those payoffs effectively.

That’s all for this week!

Speak soon,

George 👋

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