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Let’s face it: as an inbound marketer, your marketing campaigns lie in the hands of your leads. Rather than intruding their lives with traditional, outbound marketing methods, you have to sort of sit back and wait. What makes that wait a little shorter, though, is providing enticing opportunities for leads to obtain useful information through calls to action (CTAs). Take advantage of your 24-hour digital real-estate by asking your site visitors to take action.
I’m told the beginning is a good place to start, so I’m going to take you through the CTA creation process from the top:
How to create CTAs (that are great!)
Take stock: Make a list of all of the marketing materials and offers you have. Depending on your industry, these will usually be materials like eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, case studies, cheat sheets, quotes or consultations. If you have a lot of marketing materials, determine your best-performing offers to narrow down your list of CTAs. Use landing page analytics: your top-performing offers are those with the most landing page conversions and submissions as proxies.
Slice and dice: Segment your list of offers to maximize their effectiveness. An easy way to do this is by separating your offers according to where they fall in the sales funnel – bottom (ready to buy), middle or top (information-seeking). To do that, think about the information you are presenting. Is it introductory, intermediate or advanced? At what stage would this information be useful?
It makes the most sense to target middle and top-of-the-funnel leads – in other words, those who are not ready to buy. For example, a first-time visitor to your site probably just wants to skim through a few blog posts, whereas people who are considering making a purchase probably already have a grasp on your introductory information. That’s why the most effective CTAs are education-based. They are a non-committal way for your leads to consider making a purchase.
Location, location, location: Think about where an information-seeking site visitor would go. Make sure your top-of-the-funnel leads have access to top-of-the-funnel offers. Going along with our previous example, a first-time reading introductory blog post is just quelling their curiosity, not looking to get a free consultation just yet. So a good place for an introductory eBook would be at the bottom of an introductory blog post.
Get smart: I know, placement can be tricky, but it is extremely important. That’s why smart CTAs are about to become your new best friend – they are automatically tailored to the interests or past behavior of the viewer. Personalization is just as important as placement. In fact, according to the Aberdeen Group, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14 percent and conversion rates by 10 percent. Smart CTAs are extremely effective because they display the offer that visitors are most likely to be interested in and keep them from seeing the same offers over and over again.
How to make the most out of them
Social media: Include them not only on your website and blog, but on social media, too. You would be crazy not to take advantage of social media CTAs because they are much simpler to execute. It’s as easy as asking users to like or share your update. This will increase engagement and tell you whether or not they enjoyed the content.
- Emails: When someone responds to one of your CTAs, send them an email with links to related blog content to keep them engaged. As the conversation between the two of you continues, you can include more CTAs. In your lead nurturing emails, you can include CTAs related to the subject to give them an opportunity to learn more.
- Advice: Always offer calls to action when giving advice. If someone is listening to or reading your advice, then it’s pretty safe to say that they are seeking information about your industry or business. Don’t let your opportunity to kick start the sales cycle go to waste. On a blog post, you can offer them more introductory information that is related to what they just read. On social media, you can ask them what they took from your advice or if they have any tips to add to it.
At first, the process of creating calls to action can seem time-consuming or even trivial. But once you’ve established an arsenal of effective, actionable offers, you will only have to create new ones when you create new content. And now that you know how to create CTAs, check out our next blog: 3 Commonly-Made CTA Mistakes.