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How To Give Your Calls To Action a Fighting Chance at Generating Leads

By following some simple, yet tested and proven best practices for call to action development and placement, B2B marketers can dramatically increase their lead generation.

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A Call to Action (CTA) is a website button, image, text link that encourages a visitor to take an action by typically clicking on the button, visiting a landing page and filling out a form in return for some kind of content. Often, that content is a white paper, eBook, webinar or a newsletter.

Many B2B companies are getting better at all aspects of online lead generation, but for some reason, the CTAs are often the red-headed stepchildren.

More and more B2B marketers are doing the right things like buyer persona research, mapping the sales process and conversion path, and developing great content. But then they are giving less thought to the CTAs, which then become the weak link in the lead generation chain.

However, by following some CTA best practices that have been tested and proven, B2B marketers can dramatically improve their lead generation. It’s like a golfer who makes one minor change to his swing and improves his game dramatically.

  • Be Clear – Not clever. You want to describe exactly what the offer is in as few words as possible.
  • Use Action Verbs – With words like “register” or “download” your visitors will understand what they’ll be doing once they get to the landing page.
  • Stay Above The Fold – This term is a legacy from the newspaper industry which means the top part of a website before the visitor has to start scrolling down. Testing shows that CTAs placed above the fold perform better than those further down. However, that does not mean CTAs should only be at the top of the page.
  • Stand Out – The CTA needs to contrast with your website’s color scheme in order to be seen. This may irritate graphic designers, but if your CTA blends in with the rest of your website, you will get fewer leads. 
  • Match the CTA with the Landing Page Headline – When a visitor clicks on a CTA and is taken to a landing page with a different headline, a disconnect occurs which lowers the conversion rate. When the CTA and landing page headline match, the visitor knows they are in the right place.
  • Have CTAs Mirror The Buying Cycle - Different offers appeal to people who are in different stages of their buying cycle. Informational whitepapers will appeal more to buyers in the early stages of their purchase while they are doing research. Someone closer to making a purchase decision will be more interested in a free trial or consultation. On your home page, include a CTA for all stages of your prospect’s buying cycle.
  • Think About Context - Match CTAs with relevant website pages. If a website visitor is reading a blog post or website page about a specific product or service, include CTAs related to what the visitor is learning about on that page.
  • TEST! Follow the above steps, but don’t worry about perfection in order to get started. Once you have set up your CTAs test to see what works best with your visitors. Test colors, placement on the page, headlines, etc. Then, do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not working.
What do you think? Please join the conversation below. And if you found this helpful, please share it with your network.


photo credit: hunterseakerhk via photopin cc
Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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