9 Best Practices for Effective Calls to Action

businesswoman jumping while holding megaphone

Visual Call to Action

© Wavebreak Media; used with permission

 Has this ever happened to you? Just last week I was looking up information about a particular author I wanted to know more about. Five clicks and 30 minutes later I was on a webpage describing the benefits of weight-training versus aerobic exercise. This is what Chris Brogan calls the “serendipity” of the internet.

But what if you could turn that serendipity into purposeful behavior?  This speaks to the power of CTAs or Calls to Action. When done effectively, they subtly lead you down an intentional path of inquiry, deeper into a website. It’s what keeps you on a website longer and what brings you back for more exploratory information-gathering, as you travel down the sales funnel.

Technically speaking, a Call to Action (CTA) is any hyperlinked text or button that advertises an offer and takes you to a landing page. The goal of the CTA is to drive traffic to a landing page that has more information about that special offer. CTAs are effective tools that create in-bound marketing and convert leads to sales.

Here’s my go-to list of 9 best practices for leveraging CTAs as an in-bound marketing tool in your marketing communications toolbox:

1. Determine what offers you could be making to your potential audiences or personas. Some examples might be: free downloads, webinars, videos, newsletter subscriptions, demos, contests, campaigns.

2. Develop a mix of CTAs that appeal to the multiple stages of your audience’s buying cycle(s). Multiple CTAs create more opportunities to convert visitors to leads, and leads to conversions. Multiple CTAs also provide you with valuable data about your audience’s behavior, wants and needs.

3. Review data to determine your best-performing offers. The lead-to-conversion data tells you two things: the appeal of your offer and the demand for it. Use these CTA’s as templates for building other effective CTA campaigns.

4. Be strategic as you put together your network of CTA’s. How can you anticipate and move your visitor down the sales funnel? Eg. White Paper Download >> Offer of Free Webinar >> Offer of Free Trial.

5. Use CTA’s to promote upcoming campaigns, such as events or contests.

6. Think through which calls-to-action belong where. This is called optimization. CTA placement is a critical component of your success.

7. You should have multiple calls to action across your website.

8. Your homepage should have at least 3 calls-to-action that target different personas.

9. DO NOT put CTA’s on a landing page; but DO include them in auto-responders, when appropriate.

What types of offers are you creating for your audiences? How does your website score when it comes to Calls to Action? How many do you have on your homepage? How are you tracking their activity? Would love to hear how it’s going.

FYI, for a limited time, we’re running a special offer for a Gold Level Communications Audit at the special rate of $3,000 [a $4,000 value] to the first 5 respondents.

The audit includes:

—A ninety-minute intake session to discuss your current communications, priorities and challenges
—A review of 2 key competitors
—An analysis of your key communications assets (including website, social media and other communications
—A Communications Matrix summarizing gaps, inconsistencies and opportunities to leverage
Five (5) short-term recommendations to elevate your lead nurturing content

Shoot me a quick email: kathi@slice-works.com, to schedule an introductory phone call. Now’s the time to start clarifying your goals and generate more qualified leads for your organization!

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