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Call to Action: The Lead Generation Machine

Posted by Lauren Ruckheim on July 14, 2015

Calls to action are crucial in generating leads from online content. Today, information searchers make up 75% of blog traffic as most blog visitors are searching for content in hopes of fulfilling a need, solving a problem or gaining insight. Therefore, it is vital to give searchers a reason to continue interacting with your website, instead of simply moving on to another site for additional information. This is where a well-crafted call to action comes into play.

CTAs are designed to act like a trail of breadcrumbs leading your audience from one piece of content to the next logical action. Unfortunately, simply implementing a CTA within your online content does not guarantee a new lead. A CTA must entice the viewer’s interests by offering content that is relevant to the reader’s original search topic and educates the reader by providing additional information. Below are a few simple tips to help make your CTA a lead generation machine.

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Know where your reader is in the buying process

A CTA can drive many different types of engagement depending on the strength and relevancy of the offer. It can generate leads, turn leads into paying customers or even transform a customer into a brand advocate. With that said, determining what stage the reader is in within the buying process is essential when deciding what type of CTA to use. Are readers searching for information, evaluating alternative options, ready to make a purchase decision or doing post-buying research?

A CTA that is specific to generating leads will differ greatly from one designed to finalize a purchase. For example, a lead generation CTA generally offers the reader a useful piece of information such as a download, infographic or ebook. Such CTAs are designed to convert someone who is simply searching for information into a lead. In contrast, a CTA used to generate customers will highlight purchasing a product or service as opposed to just educating the reader on the topic.

Use a Targeted CTA

According to a recent survey conducted by HubSpot, CTAs that were targeted to a specific user had a 42% higher view-to-submission rate than CTAs that were designed for all possible visitors. Developing targeted CTAs is very similar to creating buyer personas for your company. First you must decide who your target audience is and what their unique buyer characteristics are. Once the target audience is determined, you simply design your CTA with the needs and interests of that audience in mind.

Most companies have multiple buyer personas; therefore, multiple CTAs should be created for each varying persona. At J&C, we utilize our different buyer personas to ensure that we are promoting the proper content to the right consumer. For example, a CTA that is specific to our B2B audience could be a download to the ebook B2B Lead Generation and Nurturing. However, for our consumers who are in the utility industry we would provide a CTA targeted at that industry such as the ebook 15 Examples of Effective Content for Utility Marketing. Evaluating the consumer base and targeting specific consumer characteristics help create CTAs that are specific to each buyer persona.

Incorporate a Secondary CTA

A common mistake many marketers make is thinking that they only need one CTA. Although you should not litter content with CTAs, it is in your best interest to offer at least a couple. This increases the likelihood of engaging different buyer types with multiple actions. A secondary CTA invites readers to perform an action within a website that is not the primary action you anticipated them to take.

For example, say your primary CTA offers your reader a download on lead generation techniques. Your secondary CTA could be simpler, like asking the reader to share the article on social media or maybe sign up for a newsletter. With the wide range of possible CTAs, incorporating at least a primary and secondary CTA can help reach a more diverse audience.


Test Different CTAs

Another great way to ensure that a CTA is targeting the right reader is to simply test different types of CTAs by creating multiple variations of one CTA and examining which one performs better. When testing CTAs, there are multiple aspects of the CTA to experiment with. Some examples include:

  • Design: Experimenting with the design such as the layout, color scheme or shape of the CTA button is a very simple way to find the most effective version of your CTA. In addition, experimenting with the contrast to the overall website design can be beneficial. A CTA that blends into the website is generally less effective than a CTA that pops slightly.
  • Messaging: When experimenting with the copy, using action-oriented phrasing can help increase the effectiveness of the messaging. Using action verbs like “discover,” “learn more” or “find” can help shorten your CTA as well as add a sense of empowerment to the reader. Additionally, adding a sense of urgency such as the word “now” or “today” can also improve a CTA.
  • Type of CTA: Experimenting with the type of CTA offered such as ebooks, downloads, newsletter signups, incentives and more can help determine what type of content the audience prefers to engage with.

Testing the design, copy and type of CTA offered helps examine what variation of a CTA resonates best with the targeted audience. Simply adding the word “today” or changing the color of the CTA button could significantly increase the effectiveness of a CTA.

Re-engage the Reader

According to HubSpot, 99% of first-time site visitors will not make a purchase. This makes re-engagement a vital part of attracting actual customers. Although the purpose of many CTAs is to increase lead or demand generation, CTAs are also helpful tools in re-engaging the audience. Retaining the reader involves staying up to date on industry trends and creating content that is continuously engaging the reader by offering them additional information.

The key to creating CTAs that re-engage the reader is to ask what information the reader needs. What problem are they looking to solve or what need are they trying to fill? Looking at the utility industry, the reader could be in need of small business advice, suggestions on sustainable products or assistance financing energy efficiency projects. A CTA could therefore provide the reader with money-saving tips, recommended sustainable products or even tips on finding the perfect contractor. The key to these CTAs is that they provide the reader with additional insight instead of an offer to place a purchase.

Actively engaging your audience with CTAs is only one content marketing strategy that can help increase leads and engagement. If you are looking to increase engagement and learn more about content marketing, contact J&C for a free content marketing assessment.

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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