How to Create Great Calls to Action that Actually Generate Leads

How to Create Great Calls to Action that Actually Generate Leads

One of the key ingredients to generate leads from your marketing is to use calls to action in all your digital marketing campaigns (and your offline campaigns too).

You must use calls to action to entice, encourage, and nudge people to take the next desired step in doing business with you.

Why do you need to include calls to action in your marketing campaigns? Here are a few compelling statistics that should convince you...

These stats are MIND-BLOWING! If you are not using CTAs or haven't tried improving your current ones, then you are missing out on a lot of business opportunities.

What are Calls to Action and Why Are They Important?

Calls to action are prompts or statements meant to get an immediate response from people. They are typically written as a command such as ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Buy Now’ and in the form of a button, an image with text, or a hyperlink.

You can use calls to action everywhere...in your blogs, videos and any of your other marketing channels.

We've all seen CTAs like the ones below...

CTA sample 1

A call to action is mostly used at the end of an offer or a sales pitch to direct customers to your desired action or actions - salessubscriptionsdownloadsfreebies, etc.

If you aren't using #callstoaction in your marketing you're missing out on leads and new customers.

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Calls to action are very important to your marketing campaigns because they: 

  • Improve conversion rates
  • Increase lead generation
  • Increase revenue

The bottom line is that without an effective CTA most of your audience won't respond to your marketing.

How to Create Calls to Action that Generate Leads

A well-planned & well-designed CTA seamlessly directs users to take desirable and profitable actions for your business. This translates to higher conversion rates and sales.

Strong & relevant CTAs on websites, emails, social media posts, etc., should answer the question "What's in it for me?". This is the key to getting signups, views, subscriptions, or sales.

Here are some tips on how to create effective calls to action in your marketing...

1. Use Powerful Action Words.

CTA Sample - Actionable Word

When creating calls to action, make sure you use words that provoke your audience to take action immediately. The use of action-oriented or second-person verbs like "discover", "unearth", and "find" will likely make people take action as soon as they come across your CTA.

Here are examples of proven call to action words to maximize conversions:

  • Get Started
  • Sign Up Free
  • Create Account
  • View Demo/Book a Demo
  • Contact Sales

2. Keep Your Copy Consistent.

To avoid confusion, keeping your CTA copy consistent is a must.

For example, if you mention people can download a Pizza Crust Types Comparison Guide, then make sure you call it a guide in all your copy and not an eBook.

CTA Sample - Landing Page

3. Write a Clear Value Proposition.

People always want to see the value out of what they are being offered. Keep in mind, you need to establish the value of responding to your CTA from the get go or else people will move on.

Let people know how they'll benefit.

Here's an example...

CTA Sample - Proposition

The CTA above clearly states its value to people by offering a free digital diagnostic. There is a clear value proposition and if this happens to be a need or concern of yours you will probably take advantage of it.

4. Add a Sense of Urgency.

What does it take for your call to action to get people's attention and take action now? The answer is simple - inject a sense of URGENCY.

How can you create urgency? ​

Here are common words used to convey urgency:

  • LIMITED TIME
  • HURRY
  • RUSH
  • LAST CHANCE
  • DEADLINE

The example below is a great one. The information "expires at midnight". If I don't take action now this information will be gone...

Don't forget, fear of loss is a greater motivator than gain!

CTA Sample - Urgency

5. Size Matters.

The size of your call to action is something you should not overlook. Although there is no industry standard, I personally prefer making CTAs larger.

You don't want your CTAs to blend in...they need to stand out!

People will usually overlook a CTA that is smaller compared to the rest of the content. How big should you make your CTA? TEST, TEST, and TEST even more!



6. Make Your CTAs Standout.

After figuring out the messaging and the size for your call to action, it's time to think about the design.

My personal tip in designing a CTA is to make the design pop from the rest of the page. If your CTA doesn't stand out there is a high likelihood people will simply overlook it.

7. The CTA Button Must Look Clickable.

CTA Sample - Clickable

Typically, a CTA will include some type of button. If you use a button you want to ensure it looks clickable. Add some sort of shading or contouring to make it look like a button people can select.

In the example above, the sign up now button is very clear and stands out from the rest of the messaging.

8. Always Add Alt Text to Images.

CTA Sample - ALT Text

Alt text or alternate text is an important attribute you should always add to your images. They allow you to display text whenever your images don't appear properly in a website or email.

Alt text will help bridge gaps whenever images return with errors or when people intentionally block them.

Also, alt text is another signal to help search engines find your content and can improve your search engine ranking which is an added bonus.

9. Pick Your CTA Placement Wisely.

The first 8 tips in this list are the prelude to this one. After finishing all the copy and design, you need to decide where you are going to place your CTA.

Remember, the goal is for your CTAs is to draw attention and inspire people to take action. Where you place your CTA is really going to depend on the marketing campaign and the content on the page.

Here are a few different CTA placement examples from HubSpot:

CTA Sample 1 -Placing

Floating Banner CTA

CTA Sample 2 -Placing

Header CTA

CTA Sample 3 - Placing

Footer CTA

10. Test Your Calls to Action.

Testing the effectiveness of your CTAs is crucial. It gives you the opportunity to make minor tweaks to continually improve your conversion rates.

Tweak the copy, design, sizing, placement, etc. until you find a CTA that performs the best in terms of lead conversion and generation, sales, email subscriptions, etc. When you test, I would highly recommend you only tweak one thing at a time. This is the only way you'll know what made the difference in performance.

When you're done testing, TEST EVEN MORE!

Bonus Tip: You Must Know Your Ideal Client

Remember, I said up above your CTAs need to answer the question "what's in it for me?".

In order to create CTAs that resonate with potential customers you must know who your ideal clients are. When you know what's important to your ideal clients and what their challenges are, it's much easier to create CTAs geared towards meeting their wants and needs.

And that's a wrap! Use the tips we provided, check out these call to action examples, and you'll be well on your way to generating more leads with your awesome calls to action.

To generate leads, there's no denying that calls to action are incredibly important. When you use CTA's effectively, the performance of your marketing will definitely see improvements.

Do you have any great tips for creating more effective CTAs?

I want to hear your thoughts...feel free to comment and don't forget to SHARE.


Header image courtesy of StockSnap.

About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Mobile Marketing. At Rialto Mobile Marketing we create marketing systems to help small businesses achieve simple, sustainable growth. We help small businesses differentiate themselves from the competition, work with more ideal clients, command a premium for their products and services, and make marketing easier with consistent, repeatable results.

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