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Megan Prangley
by Megan Prangley
on December 5, 2016


Are you frustrated with your lead generating efforts? Are you putting great content on landing pages and in emails only to see month after month of poor conversion rates? The problem could be your CTA or lack thereof. CTA stands for Call-to-Action, and it's an inescapable part of your Inbound Marketing strategy. Believe me, you see CTAs everywhere online, you just might not realize it. These buttons answer the questions, "Where should I click next and why?"

While you're researching a product online or scanning an email you've likely come across a CTA. They prompt you with text like, "Sign up for Free Now" and "Download Free Trial." Need more examples of CTAs? Get them right here. Great CTAs follow inbound best practices, and luckily, these tips are easy to apply to your own website. Continue reading to learn how you can give your CTAs a much-needed makeover, sky-rocketing conversion rates and your lead generation efforts. 


Be specific when you're writing the CTA copy. That may be surprising considering how many times we're told to skinny content up and make it scannable for online and mobile readers. While your copy needs to be to the point, it should still reassure a prospect what they're getting. A CTA that only says, "Submit" will not convert as well as one that says, "Get Your free eBook Now." Use the text to convey the value to the prospect to get the best conversion rates. Copy that focuses on what the potential buyer has to do is often a turn-off such as, "Fill out the form now." Present the value of your content, not the hoops the reader has to jump through first to get the offer. 

A newer approach to CTAs on many websites provides two buttons. This choice may seem contradictory, but this fork in the road can be an exciting option to try. Usually, the buttons evoke emotions from your leads. Take a look at the example below from social media expert, Amy Porterfield's website. 

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Notice the CTA she wants you to click is blue and stands out, and the other option fades into the background and produces a negative feeling. It makes the potential buyer think, "Yes, I want your notifications!" This copy clearly points the reader in the right direction using text, color, and little emotional push.


Color choice is crucial when designing a CTA, as it helps to capture attention. It may seem unnecessary to say, but your CTA needs to be a different color than the background. There is no, "perfect" color for a CTA, but with some simple A/B testing, you should have a better idea after time what colors appeal best to your unique buyer personas. In the meantime, stick with bright and positive colors like the example below. It's easy to quickly spot the CTA, due to the contrast in color. 


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You can also use and image behind your CTA, which is helpful for today's visually driven digital audience. You can see an example like this at the bottom of the blog, don't be surprised when you click on it, it's a real CTA. I thought you might like to know a little bit more about HubSpot and how you can design, test, and place better CTAs with HubSpot. Now, that's how you connect content with an applicable CTA, you can read more about that best practice in the next section. 


Placement and relevance are important factors with CTAs. If your prospect is reading a blog about CTAs and you end the blog with a Call-To-Action about creating a free podcast, the lead might be confused. If the CTA and content don't connect, you're not funneling leads to your CTA effectively. For a CTA to be the most applicable it needs to be relevant to the prospect and their stage in the buyer's journey. Consider that a reader might not be ready to contact your sales person after reading one blog, instead use a CTA to lead them to more resources that will help them navigate the Buyer's Journey.  

Inbound Marketing is more like art than a science. There's no sure-fire formula to make the "best CTA ever," so what can you do as a marketer to improve? Always be testing and analyzing your CTAs for effectiveness. Maybe you think a bright blue will yield higher conversion rates, but do an A/B test with other colors to be positive in your design and copy choices.

Remember, just because a CTA works well on another site, doesn't necessarily mean it will perform as well on your website. Create variations of your most successful CTAs to see which outperforms the rest. If you follow best practices with color, copy, and placement while continuously testing your CTAs, they will become a lead generating machine and a crucial part of your inbound marketing toolkit.  


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