All successful inbound marketing starts with Lead Generation. Lead generation happens when consumers sign up via landing pages and forms. While that’s certainly true, they have to find those forms first. That’s where calls to action come into play, the often-overlooked but crucial screws without which the engine would fall apart.
What is a Call to Action?
A call to action is a message that prompts a consumer to act. It’s generally used in marketing at the end of a larger message, asking the audience to “find out more,” “get your trial,” “contact us,” and so on.
In inbound marketing, though, a call to action is often more narrowly defined: it’s a button that gets people to your landing page, where they sign up (and become leads) in order to download content or get another benefit.
How Can a Call to Action be Improved?
In other words, a call to action in inbound marketing is what makes your lead generation go. While in itself it can’t generate leads for your database, it guides consumers toward that last, crucial step needed to enter the sales funnel. So how can you make sure that your calls to action are effective? Allow us to help:
- Consider the Design. The color should be consistent with your brand colors, yet different enough from the background to stand out. Don’t be afraid to use white space – if you have a colorful website, a white call to action may stand out more than you think.
- Consider the Copy. Words that suggest a tangible benefit to the audience, like FREE or DOWNLOAD generally work the best. It’s your job to convince the audience in as few words as possible – 5 words or less are generally best – why they should click on the button. Don’t be afraid to use bolding, underlining or larger font to emphasize key words.
- Consider the Placement. Now that you have a great button, it’s time to figure out where it should go. Generally, not a single page on your website should be without some kind of call to action. You should definitely try to find the pages that match the benefits provided by clicking on the call to action, but where on that page you place the button is also crucial. Generally, a button placed above the fold (no scrolling required to see it) generates the most clicks, but buttons at the bottom of the page can also work in some situations. Which gets us to the last point.
- Test, Test and Test. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for the perfect call to action regardless of the situation. Instead, the perfect call to action depends on your brand colors, the copy and whether the actual content delivers on the promise, and your website itself. Which is why it’s absolutely crucial to test your calls to action. A/B testing comes in extremely handy here: showing part of your audience a red button above the fold and the other half a blue button at the bottom of the page can help you determine which drives the most clicks.
And before you know it, your calls to action are working harmoniously, driving people to click through and become leads.
Written by Peter Spann
Peter Spann – Film Maker | Director | Business Coach | Writer | Public Speaking Coach | Presenter | Investor.
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