When you want your target audience to click a button, subscribe via email, or purchase an item, what do you do? You call them to action. In inbound marketing, what you use is a call to action (CTA) element. ‘Click Here’ is probably the most generic CTA.
CTAs are designed to drive traffic from one part of the web to another – usually a landing page. These elements are typically graphical: buttons, images, and other interactive links. The text within these graphical elements however are also part of the CTA. While CTAs lead to both mirco- and macro-conversions, the most effective CTAs are used for macro-conversions that impact the bottom-line, such as lead data capture or actual closed sales.
Ingredients of a High-Performance CTA
The web is chockfull of useful information on general CTA optimization and even detail-oriented guides on calling target audiences to do something very specific; let’s cover the absolutely essential: what makes a successful CTA.
First, let’s take a look at the most important elements that should be in each and every CTA: value and relevance.
Throughout all inbound marketing efforts, value and relevance are always important – but how exactly do you deliver these through one CTA. Let’s take our generic Click Here CTA and say it’s the text inside a button. Let’s say you wanted to lead traffic from your homepage to a landing page for buying eBooks of fantasy novels by placing the button after some introduction.
First, let’s add some value:
Click Here …could be turned into… Get Your Own Copy
Notice a few improvements that give value:
- It’s more specific with better verbiage than “click here”
- It doesn’t tell what users should do (click), it emphasizes what they will get (own copy)
- It immediately tells users the benefits of clicking
Now, how about adding some relevance?
Get Your Own Copy …could be transformed into…Find Your Own Adventure
The landing page was for eBooks of fantasy novels, which means interested target users would be avid readers of the genre. Hence, the bit of drama – it makes the CTA copy more relevant for the target audience.
Getting the Visuals Right
As mentioned earlier, CTAs in inbound marketing are typically graphical in nature. That means aside from getting the text right, you also need to get the visuals right. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the visual optimization of your CTAs, it’s fortunately easy to remember that your CTA simply needs to stand out.
BUT, watch out for some common pitfalls:
- Big CTAs are nice, but too big can backfire
- Visual effects could work, but these are specific to each CTA
- Placement matters – the best position for your CTAs? Everywhere, typically:
> one above the fold
> one below the fold
>one where it will always be visible to users regardless where they are in your website
But again, too much could backfire
Best practices for visual CTA optimization exist, but it always depends on the webpage, the CTA itself, and split-testing. Finally, a quick word on one last thing about CTAs: where they lead.
A compelling CTA is wasted on a landing page that doesn’t work. Landing pages are among the most powerful tools in inbound marketing. Use them well. Use them in conjunction with high-performance CTAs, and you’ll drive a lot of traffic to a webpage with high conversion.
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