- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On January 14, 2014
A call-to-action (CTA) is a graphic or line of text that motivates your visitors to take action.
CTA’s are one of key elements in turning your content marketing from “library” into “sales machine”.
A CTA takes your visitor from a content piece like a blog post and sends them to a landing page.On the landing page you offer your visitor the chance to exchange their contact information for an offer—often a piece of premium content like an ebook. Once your visitor’s contact information is logged in your (email, marketing or CRM) system you have the ability to perform email marketing to them, “nurturing” them to one day become a “real” sales lead.
Without a CTA in your initial blog post none of this process would happen. Your visitor would still be anonymous. You would have no chance of ever selling them anything. Your CTA kicks off this entire “conversion path”.
A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing – on your website, email or blog post. Hubspot recommends placing a CTA at the end of every blog post. They also recommend placing at least one CTA on the side of every page on your blog typically this is done by adding the CTA to your blog’s “sidebar”, which appears on every page.
When creating a call-to-action consider both design and message. (See below for a CTA we use in our blog posts.)
A CTA is pointless if your visitors don’t notice it. An effective CTA is big and bold so your visitors will see it. Make sure you use colors that contrast with your web page’s background. If the CTA blends into your design or text, it will be difficult for your visitors to notice.
When creating a CTA (whether it’s a line of text or text within a graphic “button”) use language that tells your visitors what you want them to do. Use concise wording that conveys action and avoids jargon.
If you want to increase CTA engagement, you should explicitly tell your readers the benefits of responding. What are they getting in exchange for their click?
If you’re wondering how you can actually produce an attractive CTA without a graphic designer, fret not. It’s possible to produce a good-looking CTA using just Microsoft Powerpoint. See this nifty guide for details on how to do this.
As with so many things in digital marketing, you need to measure. If you set up your tracking correctly you can measure what percentage of your visitors to a web page click on your CTA’s.
Being able to measure the “click through rate” on your CTA’s allows you to test different CTA’s and find out which perform better. Small differences in click through rates can make a big difference in the number of leads you generate so this optimization process is important.
If you’re going to create content to attract visitors to your blog or website, you’ll need to create CTA’s to kick off the “conversion path” of turning anonymous visitors into identified marketing targets. Time to call yourself to action!