Attract Web Visitors with Compelling Call-to-Actions
CPC, CMS, CRM, MRR, PPC, SEO.. is your head spinning yet? If you work in the Web and/or Marketing field, you’re more than likely inundated with these terms on a daily basis. But there’s one that stands out among the rest.
It’s responsible for creating new leads, driving conversion, and ultimately bringing new customers to your business. What is it? Well, it’s the big shiny button on the page you want people to click.. the CTA.
The Call To Action
In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is a compelling instruction to your reader that provokes an immediate response, typically through the use of an imperative verb such as “buy now”, “learn more” or “visit a store today”.
Simply put, the main purpose of a call-to-action is just as its name suggests – to get your users to do something. While that may be a bit vague, in web marketing, that “do something” can be getting your user to add a product to their cart, download an eBook, fill out a form, request a quote, start a live chat, or just about anything else you’d want your visitors to do on your site to help take them to the next step.
Each CTA is a tool that serves a purpose in your marketing and sales funnel. There are five general buckets your CTAs can fall into within the sales funnel:
Gateway CTA: These are often used in giving away informational resources as an incentive, and to gain trust and spark interest in a brand or product. Also, they’re used to drive a user further down the sales funnel to other content you’ve created. Examples include:
- Learn more
- Check it out
- How it works
- Download an eBook
- Download a white paper
Engagement CTA: These CTAs are used to get users to share and promote your content with others and to build brand advocacy and fan base. Examples include:
- Share this post
- Leave a comment
- Follow/like us on
- Join the conversation
Sign up CTA: These are used to gather basic or detailed lead information and to add the user to a lead list in your CRM or inbound marketing system. Examples include:
- Subscribe to our blog
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Join our mailing list
Lead nurturing CTA: Similar to gateway CTAs, these CTAs are generally found in the middle of your funnel and serve the purpose of driving your users further down the path by enticing them with more information, learning material, comparison charts, videos, etc. Examples include:
- View a case study
- Compare plans
- View features
- See in action
- Read more
- See plans and pricing
- Take the tour
- Continue reading
Sales CTA: These are usually found at the end of your funnel but can also be located alongside a gateway CTA for users who are ready to purchase. They are the actions a user takes when they are ready to close a deal. They’re often paired with a gateway or lead nurturing CTA link to provide an alternative informational route for those that are not that far into the funnel. Examples include:
- Add to basket
- Order now
- Subscribe now
- Buy now
- Shop now
- Sign up
CTAs come in many shapes and sizes. The most common patterns used in Web Design include buttons, banners, and callout links. Color, shape, size, and white space all come into play when designing an effective call to action. I won’t dive into a lot of detail on how to design the look and feel of a CTA, since they will be unique to your UI and branding. However, there are a few general guidelines to follow for the design:
- Use contrasting colors
- Generally the largest button on the page
- Provide plenty of negative space around it
- Use a large, bold font
- Prioritize by order and color
There are many great tools and pattern libraries out there to help aid in the design of a great looking CTA. Head on over to patterntap.com for some UI design inspiration or if you’re looking for a plug in play UI library, Bootstrap or Zurb Foundation are always a great option to start with.
Taking your CTAs one step further with Sitecore
Ok, we’ve talked about what verbiage to use and what makes a CTA look good. Now where do we put it?
In the old days, our CTAs were static links dropped onto a static web page. Times are changing, and marketers are no longer in control of the customer’s buying process. The customer is. So, how do we regain that control?
With Personalization – catering the customer experience around each unique user to help move them along to the next stage in our funnel. That’s where Sitecore comes in. With Sitecore, call-to-actions can be customized depending on what stage of the funnel they’re in, how they’ve previously interacted with the site, what their user persona is, and about a million other variables that Sitecore allows you to record and use to create the ultimate customer experience for your visitors. Welcome to the future of marketing, folks.
Test, test, TEST!
If your CTA isn’t delivering the results you expected, don’t simply change up the copy and hope for the best. Find out if your assumption is correct by setting up an A/B test to see what’s actually performing. There are free tools out there that allow you to set up A/B or multivariate testing, such as Google Website Optimizer.
A great looking UI design will make your CTA’s stand out and look the part on your site. But without proper planning and designing for the customer experience, you’ll fall short of accomplishing your business goals. Proper planning, a dynamic customer experience platform like Sitecore and A/B testing will help you achieve them.