By Douglas Hsu on Feb 3, 2014 9:00:00 AM
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are essential parts of Inbound Marketing*. It is typically an image or text that prompts visitors to take action, such as: subscribing to a newsletter, viewing a webinar, or requesting a product demo.
Effective CTAs will result in more leads and a greater conversion rate for your landing pages. You can find CTAs on emails or social media as Inbound Marketing functions on multiple platforms. However, CTAs are generally found on landing pages where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. Hence, Inbound Marketing revolves around the landing pages.
WHAT: Hyperlinked text or button that promotes an offer in exchange for contact information, usually a form.
WHY: The goal of a call-to-action is to encourage visitor action and to obtain information about the visitor, converting them into leads.
Features your CTA must include are offers for content, e-mail newsletter signups, demos, interactive tools and the last but not the least, a form to collect contact information. There are several general guidelines for making good CTAs for your website.
- Making CTAs specific, tout benefits and use keywords: Don’t be vague! Using concise language and getting to the point will make them more likely to spend time reading what you have to say. For instance, to promote an Inbound Marketing eBook: your CTA can have the text “Get more leads to your website”, which lets the visitor know about the benefits of your using product. Keywords are also useful in getting the attention of the website visitor, as they may be looking out for specific terms. The use of keywords also helps to reinforce the impression the visitor has that you know your stuff.
- Buttons should stand out in the website: In order to stand out from the rest of the text on your landing page, the CTAs should be visibly bigger and of contrasting colours. The CTA should also be located in a distinct place on the webpage, such as with whitespace around it. If the visitor has to struggle to find the CTA, then it defeats the purpose of having one, which brings us to the next point.
- User-friendliness: Once the visitor clicks your CTA, you’ll want to be sure they can easily navigate everything from start to finish. By being user-friendly and easy to use, including the accommodation of mobile devices, it helps to ensure that website visitors follow through and become converted to leads.
- Positioning: You can insert a CTA at the end of an article, within the content, right sidebar and top banner. It is also important for you to have it on every page of your website, in emails, presentations, videos, social media messages, and in any other paid media that your company has bought. This is to ensure that the visitor stays in the closed loop of your various marketing platforms.
- Include CTAs for Different Stages of the Buyer Cycle: Be versatile. Adapt the CTA according to the different stages of the Buyer Cycle. Depending on the level of interest and behavior displayed by the visitor or lead, change the CTA to meet their various needs and expectations. You may use ‘lead scoring’ to determine the level of interest of customer.
- Follow up from the CTAs: Once you have received their contact information, you must stay in touch with your leads in order to maintain a healthy relationship, such as replying to messages or enquiries by them, or sending them email updates.
Use this checklist to make sure your CTAs have everything they need!
- Do your headlines and first few sentences grab the attention of your visitor to continue reading?
- Is your CTA visually appealing?
- Has your CTA been positioned in such a way that it is noticeable but not disruptive?
- Have you linked your CTAs with the contact information form?
- Are you tracking your CTAs?
Here are 6 A/B tests you can carry out to optimise your CTAs for conversion.
* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.