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7 Ways to Create Effective Calls-To-Action

7 Ways to Create Effective Calls-To-Action

How do you create an effective call-to-action that captures the attention (and the clicks) of potential customers? A Call-To-Action (CTA) is a link to a content offer for your reader - a clear way for them to receive something in return for clicking through from your email, blog post, advert or landing page. While content is the bait to attract new visitors, your CTAs are the hooks, so they need to be sharp, concise and effective.

Where do they fit into your inbound marketing strategy? They are essentially the next step on the customer journey. Each part of your plan should have a strong CTA as a transition to the next.

What makes for an effective Call-To-Action? Here’s how to write a good CTA that wins leads.

1) Keep it Simple: For two reasons. First, your content was designed to make the reader think about a topic - why risk muddying the waters now? Secondly, this is the next step of the customer journey - the prospect needs to be fully aware of what they are getting for their click. You only want relevant leads carried through to the next phase of your Inbound Marketing campaign, so be sure to give what you offer in your CTA.

2) Maintain Consistency: So you’ve peppered your content with well chosen long tailed keywords that are based on your Buyer Persona research, to win visitors from organic search. Make sure you include the same or related keywords when designing the CTA your visitor will see.

And if you edit an offer, ensure that any changes you make (be they on the landing page, any downloadable content, the trial offer, etc.) are replicated on the CTA that leads to them. If your reader clicks to download or subscribe then you need to to provide exactly what was offered on the button. Think of it like an advert.

3) Action Oriented: Keep your CTA action oriented. So, instead of "Free eBook", try, "Click here to download our free Inbound Marketing eBook" or ‘Click here and learn how to win leads with Inbound Marketing". You can experiment with different lengths and layouts, and A/B test the results. Conversion is King.

4) Limit Risk: Remember that you are asking someone to invest time and share information. To achieve a greater conversion rate with your CTA you should emphasise how low the risk is and how great the reward - let the reader know what they are getting and how little you want in return. If it’s free information make the outcome of that information clear (e.g. "Get started winning Inbound Leads"), if it’s a trial or demo then point out that there is no obligation to buy.

You will want this to be a very easy decision for anyone with a genuine interest in your offer, to make.

5) Visibility: You should have a very clear profile of your Buyer Personas. The CTA should appeal to them. Are they likely to respond to technical manuals? Are they drawn to or put off by bright colours or images?

There is no single right or wrong here, only what is right for your potential customer. This is likely to be an aspect that you alter after analysis and should feed back into your Buyer Persona profiles to ensure incremental improvements.

6) Placement: Your CTA should always be at the end of your content, after your signature on an email, or fed into by the closing sentence of your blog. The content above should be designed with a view to getting your visitor thinking about the topic in a way that is supported by your CTA message. So, a blog post called, "10 reasons that new software rollouts fail" would have a CTA like, "Free eBook, Click here and learn the 5 best ways to de-risk your software rollouts."

7) Analyse/Repeat: As with all Inbound Marketing, there is a degree of learning through doing. Pay close attention to those content items with proven, effective CTAs - what makes them work? Try out different colours or wordings, you can always re-publish. And always remember the golden rule of analysis and adaption - change one aspect, analyse the impact and repeat until successful.

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