In this blog, we confirm exactly what a call-to-action is, and advise you on how to make a great one to improve your lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns, and to keep your sales team happy. There are some key steps, along with some different ideas which could work for your business. Read on!
So you've created some fantastic, engaging content, and you are about to promote it through your company's website, social media channels or email campaign.
While it is nice to see recipients enjoying your blog, video or guide; you will naturally be anxious to receive some business benefits for your efforts.
That's where a call-to-action, commonly referred to as a CTA, comes in.
What is a CTA?
A CTA, or call-to-action, is an invitation to website visitors to take an active step. CTAs are typically placed at the end of content such as a blog, but can theoretically be located anywhere on your site. They usually prompt a visitor to fill in a form, call, email or send a message. But in other cases, a CTA could offer a free download or other item without asking for any data. The key thing is that they are proactively interacting with you as a company; whether that is by providing information, or making an enquiry.
What makes a great CTA?
So what do the best CTAs have in common? Well quite simply, the proof is in the pudding. The best CTAs achieve the conversion. They successfully encourage the visitor to take that next step. So how do we go about designing the best CTA? Using the right words for your CTA is important, and we will come onto some wording suggestions a little later in this piece. But first, let's start with a few basics:
- Know your action
You must know what single action you wish visitors to take. This is your conversion goal. Which action will be dependent on how you operate as an organisation. For example, a phone call might be a lot more valuable to you than capturing an email address. But be careful; in other cases, depending on where the call-to-action is placed, and who it will be viewed by, such a direct action can sometimes be a little too soon on the ‘buyer’s journey'. For fresh leads, you might wish to offer ungated content which can encourage interaction and education, without the potentially prohibitive request for data. For warmer leads that are further along the buyer's journey, capturing data such as an email address can be the perfect route to more interaction.
- Identify the key benefit
What are you offering the visitor? They might have enjoyed or utilised the content you have provided them with, but there is nothing to stop them walking away without interacting further. That's why it makes sense to offer a key benefit in order to incentivise the visitor. It could be a free download or discount of some sort. It might be the promise of more expertise or advice from your team. Make your CTA a tempting offer.
- Time for action!
A CTA should be exactly that. You need to use action words in order to make the next step clear. So whether it is a “click here to download your free guide“, ”call today” or ”claim your free X", leave the visitor in no doubt as to what you are asking them to do.
Your CTA should be carefully worded. Be human - address visitors directly as “you”, or use the first person so they feel included. Keep it short, but long enough so people know what to do, and what they will get as a result. Remove the risk, so there’s no barrier to taking action; e.g. "get a free, no-obligation quote today". And consider using scarcity words to encourage an instant response, e.g. "limited downloads available" or "first 100 emails win a free X".
Testing makes perfect!
Lastly, don't underestimate the value of testing. Like many elements of business, often we won't hit on the winning formula first time around. So run some tests, and see which CTAs achieve the highest conversion ratios.