Generating new leads for your business isn’t always as easy as it may appear. In order to attract quality customers, it’s important to have an effective marketing strategy in place that includes multiple different components. Something you’ll certainly want to consider in your approach is using a call to action. This is a great way to engage your audience and sell your services or products. So, how does a call to action work?
What Does a Call to Action Do?
A call to action, typically referred to as a CTA, is any method which enables potential customers to interact with your business or make a purchase. In other words, it helps you to capture leads. Sometimes a call to action will be used to help you to build an email list. In others, it might offer your website visitor an incentive to buy now, be redirected to another page on your site or learn more about a product or service you are offering. It is basically the component on your site that grabs the reader’s attention and intrigues them to want to become your customer.
Sounds pretty important, right? Well, that’s because it is! Without a CTA, your potential customers are left to flounder, unsure of what the next best steps might be through your sales funnel. So, let’s look at some of the more common types of CTAs in a bit more depth.
Different Types of CTAs
A call to action in digital media will almost always appear as a button on your page. Different CTA messages will be used for varying purposes. Some of the more common ones that you may come across are:
- Form Submission: Designed to gather information from your site visitors to build your contact list, this type of CTA will often ask for data such as first and last name, email and phone number.
- Lead Generation: Created to generate initial interest in your product or service to drive more traffic to your site.
- Product/Service Introduction: Offers site visitors more information on your product or services. This CTA also keeps your audience up to date on changes and upgrades to products and services.
- “Read More” Button: As its names suggests, this CTA entices your site visitors with snippets of content and then redirects them to the full content. This helps blogs, articles, etc. to generate their own traffic and get full credit for it from search engines.
- Freebies: Attracts potential customers by offering them access to a free or deeply discounted product or service.
- Sale Closers: Very up front, sale closing CTAs encourage site visitors to “Buy Now,” “Contact Sales Department” or “Pay Here”.
- Event Promotions: CTAs designed specifically to promote registration to a particular event.
- Social Share: Buttons on your site that allow your visitors to promote your brand for you by letting them share valuable content to their own social media sites.
Where to Put Them
There is also a lot to be said for where you place your CTAs on your website. Different websites will benefit from different placements. It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your CTA and how your site is laid out. That being said, you will most commonly see CTAs in the following places:
- Above the Fold: This refers to the top portion of your website; the part that can be seen immediately by site visitors without having to scroll down. In some cases, having a CTA among the first things your visitors see can be effective. However, it can also appear pushy and be off-putting, depending on how it’s used. If you do choose to place a CTA above the fold, research suggests that placing it on the right side of the page will lead to greater conversions.
- Bottom of the Page: Most commonly, call to action buttons at the bottom of the page will be to gather information or to allow your readers to share your content through social media.
- Below the Fold: Anything that can’t be seen on the website until the visitor scrolls down is called “below the fold.” This is most effective for CTAs when your site has compelling content that is likely to keep your visitor reading and turns your marketing into a story. Offering directional cues for CTAs that begin above the fold and continue below the fold can also be helpful.
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Best & Worst Practices for CTAs
Just like any other type of marketing, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to utilize your call to action buttons.
- Best: Do incorporate multiple CTAs on pages that are longer, to help break up the content into readable sections.
- Worst: Don’t clutter your page with CTAs so that your visitor can’t distinguish between quality content and marketing.
- Best: Do take advantage of action words that will entice your reader.
- Worst: Don’t speak in the second person (“your”). Using words like “my” (first person) can make a huge difference in conversion rate.
- Best: Do create a button that stands out. Use funky shapes and bright colors that will attract your readers eye. Make sure the font is large and easy to read.
- Worst: Don’t forget to keep them simple. Even if you play with colors, shapes and texts, make sure that the action step is understandable.
- Best: Do make sure your buttons follow the natural flow of your web page. If a section on your page, for example, describes a particular product, it would make sense that your CTA near that section would encourage your readers to purchase that product rather than directing them to sign up for an upcoming event that you are hosting.
- Worst: Don’t overwhelm your site visitors with too many options. Make your CTAs clear and concise.
- Best: Do create a sense of immediacy to your offering. Use words like “now,” “limited time” or “today only” to encourage your readers to act quickly.
- Worst: Don’t forget to test the effectiveness of your buttons and track your conversions.
The Final Word on CTAs
When used strategically, call to action buttons can be a viable resource to help you sustainably grow your business. They offer your audience clear and compelling reasons to take the next steps and show them precisely how to do so. If your current marketing strategy is not making good use of CTAs, you are likely doing yourself and your business a huge disservice. Implementing these and many other simple practices will help you to quickly and effectively start capturing quality leads through your website.
Also, consider using CTAs in places other than your website. This same practice can be implemented in your email marketing, social media, PPC advertising and elsewhere.
If you need help adding call to actions to your website, or with anything else in digital marketing, let us know. You can connect with us through the contact form below.