8 tactics you can try right now to make your calls-to-action work harder.

Way to go! People are visiting your site and viewing your content. You’ve got them engaged! Now what?

Your next challenge is getting them to connect with you. Every visit to your site is an opportunity to further engage a prospective buyer. This is where calls-to-action (or CTAs) play a vitally important role.

CTAs help you seize every opportunity. Done right, they persuade your visitors to take the next step along their buyer’s journey—eventually leading to a purchase.

What are calls-to-action? How do they work?

CTAs are anything that drives users to click and continue down a conversion funnel. CTAs may be a banner, button, a graphic or text. If you’re using a marketing automation tool like HubSpot, you can use CTAs to append visitor activity data and even customize CTAs dynamically to enhance the user experience on your site.

Ideally, your CTAs lead visitors to an action that drives them further down the funnel, or captures them as a new lead.

Why do calls-to-action matter?

New prospects and leads are the lifeblood of any organization. Nurturing leads using inbound marketing methodologies is one of the most effective and efficient ways to turn them into buyers. Your content is essential to this approach. And CTAs are often the way your content is found and how it can be transformed from a public service (“Oh, isn’t that nice to know.”) to a powerful marketing tool.

Effective CTAs drive visitors to connect with you, even if they aren’t necessarily ready to talk to you. Buyers are less inclined to engage with your sales team until the end of their buying journey. Getting them to connect with you early, through your content, becomes a critical sales advantage.

What makes a call-to-action work well?

An effective CTA depends on the job you need it to do. On Amazon, for example, “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” are bright, clear, unambiguous instructions, strategically placed to stimulate a specific purchase behavior.

When you’re trying to generate leads and nurture them through the buyer’s journey, you’ll need a little more sophistication. Consider the language and offers you use to engage audiences and motivate interaction with your organization.

Try these 8 tactics to make your call-to-action more effective right now:

  1. Use “real language” to persuade.
    Motivate discussion on your blog with “Talk to Us,” rather than “Reply Below.”
  2. Encourage, don’t command
    the reader to create an account with “Give Our Company a Try,” rather than “Sign Up Now.”
  3. Use expression to motivate.
    Direct the reader to more information with “Yes, Take Me There!” rather than “Click Here.”
  4. Appeal to people’s  natural curiosity.
    Consider using “I Want to Know More” vs. “Request a Demo.”
  5. Leverage negatives to boost positive responses.
    Present two distinct options to click in your CTA: “Save 10% right now” or “I’d rather pay full price.”
  6. Promote benefits.
    “Enhance Your Management Skills Now,” rather than using a directive like “Get a Membership.”
  7. Context matters.
    Include CTAs in the content you publish in blogs and on social media.
  8. Test, test, test!
    One of the many features of the HubSpot marketing platform is the ability to A/B test your CTAs and to generate dynamic CTAs that change based on the visitors previous activity. Test your messaging and different imagery to find the best combination that drives the biggest conversion.

Learn where CTA's fit into your marketing - FREE ebook download.

BONUS: always remember these three best practices:

Our partners at HubSpot offer these tips to optimize your CTA’s performance (the first two are really “musts”):

  1. Keep it simple.
    Use fewer words and make your offer clear.
  2. Make it obvious.
    We’re conditioned to look for calls-to-action, so place yours prominently and visibly.
  3. Make it valuable.
    If you have existing content assets like PDFs or white papers, consider offering (or bundling) them as valuable information resources available no place else.