Calls to Action (CTAs) play an important role in most forms of sales copy, from sales letters to ads to emails.
But how exactly can you use them?
Whether you want to attract leads, sales or shares, here are some of the different ways you can make use of a strong CTA.
1. Lead Generation
I’ve written about CTAs in landing pages before, where they are an essential element in generating leads.
Here, the aim of the CTA is to encourage people to leave their details – usually a name and an email address, but it could also include a telephone number, address and any other details you want to collect.
A few best practices for landing page CTAs include:
- Keep them simple
- Write in the first person (e.g. ‘Yes, I Want the Report’)
- Use copy that explains what will happen (‘Download Your Report’ rather than ‘Submit’)
- Include a sentence reaffirming your commitment to privacy
- Reduce friction around the CTA by addressing potential issues (e.g. ’30-Day Money-Back Guarantee’)
You can also generate leads from your blog posts, often at the end of the post but also in the middle, or in a content upgrade (see an amazing guide on these at Crazy Egg).
Again, highlight the value of what you are providing and ask for as little information as possible in the form to boost response rates.
And you can generate leads from your website. Again, use a sign-up form with a CTA button, and place it somewhere it will get seen like in the sidebar or in a popup. About pages are particularly good for lead generation because lots of visitors will check out your About page soon after they land on your site.
Ads can also be used for lead generation. In this case, the CTA is not a button but part of the ad, like on an AdWords text ad.
The action you want from your Call to Action will depend on the type of ad you are running. For example, it might be to click on the link to visit your website (ideally your landing page).
Facebook ads use CTAs as well. You may be after a Like rather than sending prospects to your website, and it’s all part of the lead-generation process.
2. Making Contact
Sometimes the aim of the CTA will be to encourage targets to contact you directly. This is commonly seen on websites (I have one on my own site).
This is not lead-building. I’m not getting people onto my list, and instead I just want to encourage people to reach out and make contact.
That could be to get a quote, but it could also be to find out whether I am right for their project or to just say hello.
How you want people to contact you depends. You may prefer an email, a telephone call, a contact form, etc. It doesn’t matter – just make it clear on your contact page.
However, it’s good practice to provide as many ways to contact you as possible so they can get in touch using their preferred method.
Use a CTA on other pages as well. Place one on the top of your website on in your sidebar stating something like ‘Get In Touch’.
You could even highlight a free offer you provide like ‘Contact Us for Your Free 30-Minute Consultation’ or ‘Get Your Free Website Review’.
3. Closing Sales
If you have a range of plans for your product, such as on your pricing page, the CTA is used to encourage people to make a purchase.
In this case, the CTA is an essential element that encourages your leads to close the sale.
You will need them in your e-store for products you are selling directly, where the CTA helps to turn visitors into paying customers.
A good sales-focused CTA will help to influence the lead’s decision right in the moment they are considering whether to buy it or not, so it can make a big difference to your bottom line.
4. To Share on Social Media
Many people will share your posts when they come across them without any prompting (if the content provides value, that is).
But it never hurts to offer a bit of encouragement, and this is where a CTA can help.
It could be anything from a social sharing symbol without any copy to a personal request to share your content. Whatever works in your situation.
These are effective. They are low-commitment, and they help people to engage with your brand in a simple way.
Use them in your blog posts and emails as well as your landing pages where you could ask for a social share instead of an email address in return for your free report.
5. To Nurture Leads
This is before you ask for the actual purchase. You already have the leads, but now you want to tempt them with another similar offer, one that leads to your main offer. This could be:
- A demo
- A free trial
- A free quote
- More info related to your product
This is for people who are leads but are not ready to buy, and it needs to be an offer that is more specific than the top-of-funnel offer, nurturing the lead further down the funnel.
6. Encourage Further Engagement
When you send an email to your list, you may want to just provide a quick snippet of information and then encourage more engagement with your content on your website.
You can use a CTA to do this.
You could simply add the first paragraph of a blog post, for example, and end with a ‘Read More’ link.
Or you might provide the whole blog post in your email and encourage comments. In this case, you might write something like ‘I’d love to hear your views’.
You could also do this on your blog like I do. I include the first few paragraphs of each post and then use a ‘Read More’ link to encourage the reader to click through and read the whole post.
This also has the additional benefit of saving space.
7. Event Registration
You can also use a CTA to encourage registration for an event, like a webinar or an in-person event that you want people to attend.
If you already have customers, put this CTA on the login page or right their dashboard so they can’t miss it.
If not, place it in your blog sidebar or right at the top of your blog posts – wherever it makes sense and will get noticed.
Use the Power of the CTA
CTAs are crucial. Never expect targets to know what to do, and always give them a nudge in the right direction, whatever your goal.