Podcast Housekeeping: How to Craft the Perfect Podcast Outro Call to Action

Let’s kick off week two of our podcast housekeeping series. Last week we talked about your podcast introduction and today we’re talking about your podcast outro. I want you to think about these two episodes together. A lot of what we talked about last week is going to apply to this week, and a lot of what we’re going to talk about this week, you’ll actually be able to reverse and apply to that as well.

How often should you update your podcast outro?

I’m going to recommend at least annually digging into this but for a slightly different reason than we talked about with our podcast intro. Oftentimes, with our outro, we’re getting our best listeners, and we’re getting our most-interested leads paying attention to the outro. 

Everybody is listening to the intro, we’re using that intro to buy enough trust to keep you listening, but with our outro, if you’ve made it here, you care. The outro to this show is positioned the way it is because of this.

If you listen to the outro of the show, and hilariously this will be the one episode everybody listens to the outro of the show because it’s literally the episode, but the outro to this show, I talk about if you made it to this point, which is statistically unlikely, let’s just talk, let’s have a conversation. Because if you made it here, you clearly care. That is because it’s so true.

So few listeners last all the way to the end, much less through the outro. You want to make sure that that piece of real estate, which is highly valuable, is doing what you need it to do. 

Setting the goal for your podcast outro.

Let’s first talk about the goals of our outro. It’s going to depend, on how much you need to put on your outro, and on how you’re promoting in the rest of your episode.

This is where some format comes into play and this is something we don’t have in play in the intro as much. Because, again, in the podcast intro, we’re buying enough trust to keep you listening. With our outro, we really have a conversion point, we really have an “Okay, so this thing, I bought your trust, you listen to the whole thing, now what’s next? Now, what’s going to keep you from just continuing to listen to whatever show’s up next in your podcast player?”

We need to be thoughtful about this. There are a couple of variations that can happen here because of that. 

One, you could have a different promo depending on your promotional season. 

Two, you could have a standard outro that plays all the time that is a catch-all because your time-sensitive call-to-action exists before it. 

Three, your call-to-action is really focused on almost a downsell because, again, you have a purchase opportunity call-to-action in your content.

That first one, if you’re not giving them some next step in the content, you’ve got to make sure that that outro is doing it. I’m not just talking about subscribing and leaving five stars. I’m talking about getting them out of the podcast player. I’m talking about putting them in your world, inviting them to your house, your party. What does that look like? Text to subscribe to my email list, head over to a URL, and get on my email list.

In our case, we have one singular offer, podcast production. It’s the only thing open all the time. We’ve got Podcast Strategy Intensives that we open here and there, but the only thing available all the time is podcast production. It is the center offer of this company, this business, and this show. So in our outro, we’re just talking about that. If you made it to this point, let’s do this, let’s have a conversation about what this looks like for you, and then I wrap it up.

What I want you to be looking at is can I use this almost as a safety net for my call to action? 

If in no other place I told you what to do next, here’s where you’re doing it. Number two, maybe it’s a little softer, maybe you know pretty consistently, you have some time-sensitive call-to-action happening that you do live in the show. You’ll notice, I do a live call-to-action in this show. I always tell you in the format of the content what to do and then we start the outro with a reminder that’s like, “No, really, let’s do this. You made it to this point in the show.”

My outro is built to really support that live outro. But it doesn’t have to be a particularly aggressive pitch. I don’t have to be strong-armed in that outro because, again, it’s supporting a promo that I’ve already said live in the content. The other way I could do this, I don’t have it but I could structure it, again, almost like a downsell.

The promo was, “Hey, let’s talk about podcast production,” and then I could, in our outro, have The Podcast Newsroom, like “Maybe now is not the right time for podcast production. If you love this show and you want to take our relationship a step further, make sure you are on the inside with The Podcast Newsroom.” That was really bad copy but you know what I’m saying.

You can position that instead of a reinforcement of the offer, which is how ours is set up. You could set it up almost as an alternative. “This doesn’t work, how about this?” A great way to think about this is if you have a membership that’s open all the time but you also do one-on-one coaching. Your live in the content call-to-action could be that one-on-one coaching and then you could have a pre-recorded outro that plays at the end of your episodes that reminds them “Hey, if what we talked about today blah-blah-blah, join us in blah-blah-blah.” That’s the third way to be structuring this.

Notice in all three of these options, we sent them somewhere besides another episode. 

As delightful as it is to create binge-worthy content, and I am proud to be somebody who gets told regularly that people binge this show, this show is not structured to point you to another episode. This show is not Netflix. It’s not “The only thing I want you to do is to keep listening here,” because keep listening here doesn’t change a whole lot.

Keep listening here doesn’t reach our goals of you making more money from your podcast. You seeing more sales, seeing more leads from your podcast, that doesn’t happen if you just go listen to another episode of the show. Where that happens is if you go and do a thing. That’s why these episodes, this housekeeping series is structured the way it is because I want you to go and do a thing. I don’t want you to spend 45 minutes listening to me. I want you to spend 15 minutes listening to me and 30 minutes taking action. That’s your 45 minutes.

My call to action is not to subscribe and listen to six more episodes of the show. My call to action is to go someplace else and essentially raise your hand, opt-in, tell me you’re here, connect with me on social, and tell me you’re here. Buy a thing, tell me you’re here. That’s how I measure the metrics of the show. That’s how I measure the success of my show is how frequently is that happening. 

That’s the goal of your outro, is to move them outside of the content.

How long should my podcast outro be?

Let’s talk logistics now. What are some of the logistics we need to be aware of as we craft this perfect outro? Timing. Just like our intro, we’re keeping it short. This should be 60 to 90 seconds. This should not be 4, 5, 10, or 12 minutes. This should not be more than what the core part of your content was. This should be actionable, this should be the next step. 

Again, almost no one is going to listen to this, which means it needs to be really good because the people who are listening to it care, the people who are listening to it are invested and so it needs to be thoughtfully crafted for them to do the d*mn thing.

Let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts on our outro. 

Do continue to make this about them. Don’t make it only about them because we’ve made it about them the whole show. This whole show has been about the listener, and the outro is too. Your call-to-action is too, but it’s about what they need to do next and so it needs to come instead about them, about us. It needs to become about both of you.

I’m going to continue to use this show as an example because it’s the only thing I know you’ve listened to. This show, it shifts from being about just you to being about us. If you’ve listened to this point, it’s time for us to have a conversation. If you’ve made it here, it’s time for us to talk. I want us to connect so that we can partner and create this thing moving forward.

Don’t list off literally everything they could do. I see this mistake made not just in outros but also when you go to wrap up a podcast interview. Let’s say you’re on somebody’s show and they ask, “Okay, great, if the listener really resonated with this, where should they go next to find you?” Then you proceed to list off 47 things. Your outro cannot be structured like that, the wrap up of your interview cannot be structured like that. Where do you want them to go? What is the one thing they’re supposed to do next?

This is why when I talk about podcast interviews, I talk so much about having something like a resource page or a go-to opt-in. Have them go to one thing. In your outro, it should again be have them go to one thing, it should not be “You could call me, you could email me, you can send a carrier pigeon, you could buy this offer, this offer, or this offer, join this program, or attend this event.” No. It’s “Here’s what’s next.”

This is why having a couple versions of this outro might be beneficial to you. In different seasons, that outro might be different. You might be, and very likely will be, changing this more frequently than you are your introduction. Your intro is going to probably stay more consistent than your outro, especially if you’re somebody who has different sales offers in different seasons of the business.

If you’ve got a couple of ways to work with you, this might change depending on what you have open at that time, and that’s cool. But it can’t be all the things in every episode. It needs to be one thing in each episode. If you want to have different calls-to-action in your episode, that’s cool, that’s absolutely fine. But what we’re talking about now is your outro.

You’ll notice there are almost always at least two options, calls-to-action in this show.

In the beginning, we talk about The Podcast Newsroom, and at the end, we talk about podcast production (usually) but occasionally something else. In this series we’ve been talking about those Podcast Strategy Intensives because that’s what we’re talking about right now, that’s what we’re working towards right now and so I want you to be thinking about what’s the one thing I want them to go do after this bit of content. After this thing we talked about, what is the thing they do next? If you don’t know what that is, you need to rework the episode, not the outro.

Head over to uncommonlymore.com/intensive and grab your spot at one of those Podcast Strategy Intensives. We’ll talk about this together. I will see you next week for part three of our podcast housekeeping series.

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