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What Are Calls to Action (CTAs) and Are They Magnetic?

Angeline Rast
9 August 2019

The goal of any inbound marketing campaign is to attract and retain website visitors, to clearly define its business's audience, and use that information to compel profitable customer action. But how exactly is this done on a website? Simply by using Calls-to-Action, or short CTA.

What are CTAs?

Have you browsed through a website or blog before and found it irresistible to ignore that “DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE E-BOOK NOW" button? Or did you “SUBSCRIBE NOW” to a newsletter, special report, periodical offer, and so on, by filling basic personal information into a website form? It could have been to “START FREE TRIAL” for a software in which you were interested in. Maybe you enjoyed a remarkable piece of information and clicked on the "CLICK TO TWEET” button.

These are all forms of Calls-to-Action (CTAs).

A clickable CTA is a trigger used in inbound marketing to lead customers to subscribe to a certain further action in return for access to a more attractive proposition on the website. By clicking on a CTA button, prospects convert to a different level on the marketing funnel.

By conversion, it means the prospect takes further action to advance up the customer lifecycle – namely from a prospect or visitor to a lead, marketing-qualified lead, sales-qualified lead, sales-ready lead, and then to a customer.

The more advanced the information collected by the marketing team, the easier it becomes to personalize the customer experience on the website to suit the persona of that particular buyer.

How About an Example:

For instance, a person is researching online for a solution to a health issue such as back pain, and after reading basic material on back and joint pain, the person will find a “GET A FREE CONSULTATION” button. They are likely to click through in order to gain more personalized and presumably expert information concerning their back pain problem.

After clicking through, the link leads them to a web form on a landing page to fill out basic personal information as somewhat of a license to access the consultation free of charge. The “GET A FREE CONSULTATION” button is an excellent calls-to-action trigger.

From the above analogy, and also according to HubSpot, calls-to-action have unique characteristics they need to meet to be magnetic and effective:

  • Visually striking

CTAs command attention by attracting the prospect’s attention and curiosity in the hope that they can solve or fulfil their need. Most of the time they are located at an easy to find location on the site, complete with colours that contrast the background to help stand out, spot from a distance, yet fitting in the overall custom website and corporate design.

  • Precise

Most effective CTAs comprise of no more than five words long. They are easy to understand, brief and to the point. Also clearly state what the prospect stands to gain if they click through and take the action being promoted.

  • Call to Action

CTAs are action-inspiring, using activity-oriented verbs such as “GET...”, “DOWNLOAD...”, and so on. They ask visitors to take action of some kind, leading them to another step as pre-determined by the marketer.

How to Use Calls-to-Action to Increase Conversions

While there are many types of Calls-to-Action you could use on your next blog post; each CTA will optimize conversions differently. To understand which Call-to-Action message to use, determine at what stage a customer is in the customer lifecycle or marketing funnel.

For instance, if the website analytics tool identifies a particular B2B prospect to be at the buyer’s journey stage, using a lead generation CTA such as “DOWNLOAD THIS SEO REPORT NOW” could help convert mere visitors to leads – regular visitors.

Future follow-ups would include using lead nurturing Calls-to-Action such as “SIGN UP” or “CONTACT US” to gather more intelligence regarding the needs of the returning prospect.

At the lead stage of the customer lifecycle, using a leads nurturing CTA could help convert leads through to sales-ready leads, and eventually qualify them to customers with a customer-oriented CTA such as “CONTACT SALES”.

The sales team can integrate follow-up CTAs such as "SHARE WITH FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK” in a gratitude email. As a result this helps, after the purchase is made, to hearten the buyer to evangelize their good experience with the company and/or their product or service. These kinds of review are especially powerful in generating leads and ease the lead conversion process.

Conclusion

Calls-to-Action make things happen in inbound marketing. They help increase your conversion rate and lead buyers through the customer lifecycle framework. At each stage, there is a fitting CTA to use to attract and help retain customers' attention and desire.

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