(By Traci DeForge) A good podcast close is like a hug that says see you soon. The close of your show should leave a lasting impression. It’s a way to make sure your listeners are going to tune in for the next episode.
When you’re thinking about your podcast close, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want my listeners to do next?
- How do I want to build my podcast close?
- How can my podcast close be unique?
Your podcast close is the invitation for listeners to engage with you after the episode ends. Do you want them to subscribe? Leave a review? Visit your website or sign up for your newsletter? All these requests encourage your listeners to act based on a call to action. A call to action can make anything possible to achieve but you have to ask for it to get the outcome you want.
There are several different types of calls to action:
The basic call to action is the most straightforward. At the end of your podcast, you’re asking your audience to do something. Subscribe, follow on social, or buy a product or offering on your website. A basic call to action is the same for every listener that hears it. You’re not asking anyone to do anything different depending on who is listening.
A multivariate call to action is when you use two or more closes so you can test which is more successful. It’s an excellent way to see which of your CTAs will convert better. For example, in one episode, you drive people to the homepage of your website to sign up for your newsletter. In another episode you use a completely different call to action by promoting an offer on your website using a different URL that includes the direct link to a specific offer. You can track the traffic from both offers to see which one is converting at a higher rate.
Direct CTAs are designed to resonate with an individual. You’re speaking directly to your listener, whether it’s to their specific location (IE: I’ll be hosting a book signing today in Atlanta…) This style CTA works well if you are communicating to a community or a patron supporter. (IE: …and if you’re a member of my podcast community, you get a free book.) You’re speaking to your membership while at the same time, you’re also encouraging other people to join your community or your support your podcast based on the offer.
Building The Podcast Close
A challenge every podcaster faces is getting a listener to listen all the way through the close. How are you going to make it engaging?
Your podcast close needs to be short and sweet. The quicker it is, the more people will listen to it. It will keep them wanting more – always keep your listeners wanting more. Be sure to ask your listeners to review and subscribe to your podcast. One of the best ways to grow an audience is by word of mouth. Ask your audience to share your podcast with their network.
It’s powerful to make your CTA with your own voice and then let the details of social media handles and websites come from the professional voice over part of your close. For example, at the end of your podcast, you transition into your close with a compelling personal invitation for people to subscribe to your podcast or support your Patreon or membership program. Sometimes using your voice to invite a call to action can be uncomfortable. One of the hardest things is to ask for money when it feels tied to you personally. If that is something that chokes you up or you stumble over it, go ahead and integrate it into your professional voice over script and then it’s embedded into your close.
At the end of your episode, I encourage you to do what’s called a gratitude mention. A gratitude mention can be thanking your guests for being there. You can give a gratitude mention for anyone who may have sponsored the episode and/or thank your listeners for listening to your show.
Once you define the specific details of how you want to close your podcast, practice it three or four times. If you’re new to doing a podcast or you’re elevating your podcast by trying something different, practice so it comes across as comfortable and confident.
What can you do to enhance the overall quality of your podcast close? Add in licensed music if you don’t already have it? Replace your voice with a professional voice over? Include a suggestion or tip listeners can put into action afterwards to help them make a positive change? Try experimenting to see what works best for you and your podcast. The most important thing your close can do is add value to the time your audience spends with you. Make it count!
Read Traci’s previous column: The Anatomy of a Podcast Open
Traci DeForge is the founder of Produce Your Podcast, a consultant, speaker, and creator of PODHIVE, an online community for podcasters. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-468-8758. Visit her websites: ProduceYourPodcast.com & PODHIVE.com