Calls to Action are an integral part of lead generation, whether used in lead forms, landing pages, email campaigns or any other lead content. Despite their importance for conversion, CTAs are often treated as a minor detail within broader campaigns. Many businesses add these as an after-thought, using generic versions such as ‘Click Here’. Others add one or two, without considering placement.
In this guide, we take a deeper look at the small but powerful CTA’s to find out how you can encourage clicks and sign-ups across all areas of your lead generation strategies. This guide includes some of the most commonly made mistakes, strategies to use instead, and how to optimise your CTAs for even more effectiveness.
Getting the Most From Lead Generation CTAs
In the offline world, the make or break factor for leads to contact your business or get one step closer to closing could be a good salesperson. It could be a final pitch that makes potential customers want to progress further. In the online world, you could think of the CTA as that final pitch. After arriving on your landing page and going through your offer, your benefits, your USP, your approach, and your content, leads will make their decision on whether they want more information. Although there are many other things that prompt this decision, a powerful Call to Action can help leads make the transition.
With that in mind, there is a big difference between a powerful, engaging CTA that makes leads want to take action and one that repeats the same generic words over and over again. The first thing to consider to get the most out of your lead generation CTAs is the mistakes that can jeopardise your lead generation efforts.
Mistakes to avoid
From over-used phrases to passive voice and poor placement, there are many mistakes that may be preventing your CTAs from reaching your audience. Here are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid.
As we briefly mentioned at the start of this guide, a common mistake is using generic CTAs. If you assume that people will click simply because you tell them to click, don’t be surprised if you do not get anywhere. Every single day, people are bombarded with messages from multiple brands, across multiple channels. Just about all of these messages feature some type of Call to Action. Which ones do you think will be clicked – those that are genuinely engaging and relevant or those that say something like ‘Click For More Info’ or ‘Sign Up Now’ or ‘Submit’?
Another common mistake is using passive language. This includes using third-person or second-person language rather than first-person language (you vs me). For example, you might be using phrases such as ‘Download Your Free Guide Now’ or ‘Get Your Free Trial’. The problem with passive voice is that it does not allow leads to imagine your offer in their own thoughts. Using active words such as ‘me’ and ‘I’ make the action almost done already. This makes it easier for leads to imagine what you are offering far more easily.
Even worse than generic messaging is vague messaging. Vague CTAs seldom get conversion because they do not tell leads what they are getting or what to do to proceed. What exactly are you offering? What action do you want leads to take? Are you using overly long Calls to Action that waffle on without getting to the point? Are you using unclear language that does not really say anything at all?
On a similar note, confusing messages can be equally bad for conversion. These could include using too much jargon or technical speak, using words that have a double meaning, using CTAs that do not accurately describe what you are offering, and using too many words in general. As a general rule of thumb, if you cannot get to the point within a few words, your CTA is not going to have its desired effect.
Whether you mean to or not, it is also possible to trick leads into signing up for a lead magnet they do not get. This is why it is essential to keep your Calls to Action clear and focused. If your Call to Action tells leads that they will receive a free ebook or demo when they sign up, they need to get their free offer. Likewise, if your CTA talks about a specific topic, your landing pages, emails, and content need to go deeper into this topic.
What to do instead
How do you make sure that your lead generations are aligned with best practices, then? For starters, you can make sure that you follow these guidelines.
Keep them focused and clear
For best results, keep your CTAs focused on a single action. Rather than trying to offer as much as possible, include one single offer. If you are offering a free trial for your software service, use a CTA such as ‘I’m Ready for My Free Trial’. If you are offering a free ebook, use ‘Send Me My Free Ebook Now’. Use the same (or very similar versions of the same) CTA across your landing page or content rather than using completing different messages on the same page. It is also important to make them easy to read. Using Title Caps and clear fonts is essential to make them readable.
Use them carefully
Placement is another thing to keep in mind. Many assume that more is best when it comes to Calls to Action. Although you don’t want to use them too little, you don’t want to use them after every single paragraph of text, either. Ideally, you want to include at least one CTA above the fold. This one should be very clear so that it gets attention as soon as leads arrive on the page. You also want to include them in the middle of the fold and below the fold. As a general guideline, use them when you are making a point or summarising a list of benefits, below lead forms or anywhere else that it makes sense to add a call to take some sort of action.
Urgency is the name of the game where CTAs are concerned. In lead generation, you want to create a sense of urgency that prompts leads to enter your sales funnel. You want people to think that they will miss out if they do not act quickly. You want to inspire action without waiting too long. Limited time offers, exclusive benefits, once-off discounts or prices, and other strategies all help to create this sense of urgency. Calls to Action should follow the same approach. Using words such as now, get, exclusive, one-time, and limited will help inspire leads to take action quickly.
Test and test again
Finally, most importantly of all, make sure that you test your CTAs thoroughly and frequently. Testing plays an integral role in lead generation and CTAs are no different. This includes split testing as well as heat mapping to test wording, placement, and various other elements. Test design, test clicks, test views, test text size, and test everything else that will help you continually improve your Calls to Action. You can also test them across different segments.
Improve Your Lead Generation Efforts With CTAs
We hope that this guide offers some useful tips to get the most from your lead generation Calls to Action. As you begin to test and perfect your CTAs, you will be able to see what works and what doesn’t work. Once you have found the right balance, it will be easier to continually optimise your lead generation campaigns to get maximum conversion.