How to Create CTAs That Convert

Results-focused marketers know that their marketing efforts are only successful if they contribute to their organization’s bottom line. That requires them to go beyond focusing on brand awareness to develop marketing campaigns and collateral that attract, nurture, and, most importantly, convert leads into customers. In other words, our job, as marketers, is to motivate our target audience to keep wanting to learn more until they reach the finish line. 

Whether the marketing materials you are leveraging to attract, engage, and keep your customers moving along are part of an email, social media campaign, or landing page, one thing always rings true: clear and attractive calls to action (CTAs) are crucial for generating conversions. However, crafting a CTA that convinces your customer to fill out a form or schedule a demo can be way more difficult than it sounds. Everything from wording, placement, and relevance can influence whether your customer decides to take that action. And, unfortunately, finding a recipe that works often involves a lot of trial and error. 

While we definitely recommend you A/B test your CTAs and other elements of your marketing efforts, the process of refining and enhancing your marketing campaigns is easier when you already have a good foundation to work with. And while there are a variety of factors that can influence whether your target customer clicks on a CTA, there are definitely a few best practices you can follow to improve your chances of piquing your audience’s interest. To help you on your way toward marketing success, we’ve compiled the following tips to help you craft CTAs that are sure to convert more leads. 

How to Craft CTAs That Convert

Be Clear About What You Want Your Customers to Do

The worst mistake that you can make with your calls to action is to not be direct about what you want customers to do and what they will get if they do. If your call to action is not clear from the beginning, you risk having your email recipients or web visitors ignore your plea and navigate elsewhere. Or, even worse, if your prospect does decide to click through, they might be disappointed if they aren’t met with the offer or asset they were expecting to find. This is a surefire way to set the wrong tone and might lead to lack of engagement or unsubscribes and spam complaints down the line. 

Setting clear expectations about what you want your customers to do and what you will deliver when they complete that action allows you to prevent any confusion and improves your chance of success. So, if your goal is to get your prospects to fill out a form to download an eBook, place a button below the form that says “Download the eBook!” instead of “Submit.” This format indicates to your prospects that the eBook will be their reward for filling out the form.

Emphasize the Value Your Offer Provides Your Customers

Whether you’re asking your target audience to download an eBook or make an appointment to talk to an expert, you have to offer some sort of incentive to complete the action that you’re asking them to do. That doesn’t mean that you need to start handing out Amazon gift cards or sending personalized gifts. Instead, you need to ensure that whatever they get when they click a button or fill out a form provides some sort of value.

For example, if you’re offering your audience an eBook, you should use your blog or email copy to clearly explain the type of valuable information they’ll gain if they choose to download and read it. Chances are there’s plenty of easily accessible content on the same topic available online, so your users and recipients will be more inclined to check out what you have to offer if they know what makes it unique. Or, if you’re asking them to schedule a demo with one of your salespeople, make sure to highlight the value of your product or service so they’ll be enticed to clear some time on their calendar to learn more about what you do.

Make Sure Your CTAs Stand Out and Are Easy to Find

It should be common sense by now that a customer cannot complete an action if they can’t find your CTA to begin with. Yet, we’ve all received that confusing email or come across a landing page where we learn about an incredible offer but have no way of knowing where to click in order to access it. In these instances, both the marketer and the prospect end up losing out on a good opportunity.

To avoid this fiasco, design the layout of your email or page so that your CTAs stand out and are easy to find. Don’t hide them on other pages, tuck them beside small-text telephone numbers, or make them available only after multiple clicks or searching.

Where you place your CTAs on a page or email can also influence whether your audience decides to click. Placing your CTAs in the following locations will make them more visible and increase the chance of having your prospect follow through.

  • Above the fold: Putting a CTA “above the fold” on your site or email means placing it where it can be seen immediately without scrolling. Include a CTA above the fold on the first page of your site, landing page, email, or other digital property. For emails, we recommend using a responsive template to ensure all recipients can see your CTA regardless of their device.
  • In the navigation bars: A “Get Started” or “Learn More” button in the navigation bars at the top or bottom of your page can encourage visitors to take action.
  • To the side: You could include a signup button or offer along the side column of your content where readers will see it as they scroll. (This is an especially good tactic for blogs.)
  • At the end: The end-of-page CTA can be a good anchor for your page, providing a reason for site visitors to take an action while the information they’ve just read is still fresh in their minds. If they’ve read all the way to the end of your page or email, they are likely interested, so you should take advantage of this opportunity by providing them with a way to further engage with your brand.
Lead Nurturing Guide

Provide More Than One Opportunity for Prospects to Respond to Your CTA

If your CTA is located within the body copy of an email, for example, you can improve the chances of getting your recipient to convert by providing more than one way for them to respond. In this case, you can insert a link to your offer in the header of your email, the body copy, and in a button at the end of the body copy. The reason this works is because some recipients will be immediately ready to learn more while others might want to read your email through to get more context before making a decision. 

If the opportunity calls for it, you can also have more than one CTA. We recommend this tactic with middle-of-funnel customers who may either be at the stage where they want to talk to a sales rep or keep learning more before committing to a real discussion. Providing them options offers them the opportunity to keep engaging regardless of the path they choose. In these instances, however, prioritize your CTAs so that your audience doesn’t choose the option that would be least beneficial for you. 

Provide Personalized Recommendations

Even if your calls to action are clear and you do a great job of describing the value of what you’re offering, prospects will not complete an action if neither of these are relevant to them. Your CTAs should coincide with your customers’ stage in the sales funnel, their industry, and overall pain points or interests. 

For example, your prospects are more likely to schedule a time to talk to an expert as they’re entering the decision-making stage than they will be if they’re just starting to become acquainted with your brand. Similarly, you have a better chance of getting a professional who works in manufacturing to download an eBook about supply chain technology than someone who works in the insurance industry. 

Providing every single customer with a targeted experience might seem like a handful, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the proper tools. A marketing automation platform (such as Act-On) can help you segment your audience based on where they’re at in the buyer journey, their product interests, pain points, and more, so you can improve your ability to target them with relevant information via email. Better yet, tools such as adaptive forms and lead scoring can help you uncover the insights you need to provide a more targeted experience. 

Keep the Momentum Going With Adaptive Web

Speaking of personalized recommendations, you can improve your ability to drive conversions if you continuously provide your audience with multiple opportunities to engage as they browse (instead of relying on a single CTA). Act-On’s Adaptive Web allows you provide each prospect with a personalized web experience by delivering the right content at the right time. This not only allows you to keep your customers moving through the sales funnel and present them with multiple CTAs, but it also provides you an opportunity to keep collecting valuable insights so that both marketing and sales can nurture (and eventually convert) better leads into loyal customers.

Want to learn more about how you can leverage your website to generate demand and drive conversions? Download our eBook, Personalizing the Web Experience (also linked below).

Act-On Adaptive Web