The number one sales and marketing oversight made by MSPs and Cloud service providers is forgetting to include a call-to-action (CTA) in their campaigns. How can your visitors and leads convert if you don’t provide an opportunity to do so? All of your multiple inbound marketing channels: every website, every blog, every landing page, and almost every email all have to have conversion opportunities — and every conversion opportunity needs a CTA. To generate more leads for your business, you need to know how to craft compelling calls-to-action. This article will teach you four non-negotiable principles of effective CTAs and show you real-life examples of CTAs you can use in your own call-to-action marketing campaign.
Remember These 4 Rules for Your Call-To-Action Marketing Campaign
There are four principles you need to consider when crafting each and every one of your CTAs. If your goal is to increase conversions then be sure to keep these four rules in mind when creating your call-to-action marketing campaign.
Rule 1: Always Have a CTA
The CTA rule of utmost importance is: always have a CTA! If your goal is to increase conversions and generate more leads, you absolutely must include calls-to-action in your marketing campaigns. We are astounded by the number of websites, landing pages, and marketing emails we see without a call-to-action – especially in the Cloud and MSP space. In fact, a shocking 70% of small business, B2B websites lack a call-to-action. Use every opportunity to include a call-to-action to keep your prospects engaged:
- Download an eBook
- Book a demo or trial
- Subscribe to a weekly email
There is no hope for improving your conversions if you don’t provide your visitors with the means to convert!
Rule 2: Be Clear
Clarity in your CTA is key — when crafting your call-to-action, be sure that the action and value are obvious. Make it clear exactly are you asking your audience to do, and what will they get out of completing that request. Avoid using words like ‘submit’, ‘send’ or ‘download’ on your CTA buttons. These words are only describing the action your audience is taking — not the value your audience is getting.
For example, say you have a form on your website gating content to download a free PDF checklist on How to Evaluate Your Website Host. Your CTA to submit the form should clearly state:
- What action you want your visitor to take, and
- What they are going to get out of taking that action.
Appropriate CTA copy could be ‘Get My Free Checklist’ or ‘Help Me Evaluate My Web Host’. By clearly stating what your visitor will receive from filling out the form, you will reduce visitor anxiety and friction — and therefore improve conversions.
Rule 3: Consider Context
Context is everything. If you follow CTA rules 1 and 2, you might have created a nice looking CTA that communicates value and prompts action — however, that CTA needs to live in an appropriate setting in order to be effective. Just like the last line of a sales pitch won’t close a deal on its own, you need to make sure everything leading up to your CTA aligns with your buyer’s needs and interests. From the design to the content, every component in your call-to-action marketing campaign should be carefully constructed to ensure a seamless and logical experience for your audience.
Rule 4: Use Targeting
If you’re using content to generate leads, your CTAs need to be targeted. The best way to target your CTAs is to use buyer personas. Developing buyer personas allows you to segment your audience and tailor your call-to-action marketing campaign to each individual persona. An effective method for targeting is to create a separate landing page for each of your buyer personas that tailors the messaging to their specific pain points, and what you are offering to relieve each persona’s pains. By aligning your CTAs with the needs of your buyer personas, your conversion rates will go up.
5 Examples of CTAs You Should Be Using
We’ve put together a collection of real-life examples that we have created for our clients to show you what CTA best practices look like in action. We’ve broken each tactic down so you can try them out in your own call-to-action marketing campaign.
1. CTA Email Links
One of the most important elements of any email marketing campaign is your CTA. Without it, you aren’t providing your audience with an opportunity to take further action. But not all email CTAs are created equally. Your email CTA should be crafted with care, and placed where your reader can clearly, easily and quickly see it.
Here is an example of a nurture email we sent out to encourage a lead to move to the next stage in their buying cycle by downloading an eBook on cyber security and SMB security risks.
When crafting email link CTAs, follow these four best practice tips:
- Include a CTA above the fold — meaning your audience can see the CTA in your email without having to scroll down.
- Use multiple links that go to the same destination (no leaks).
- Do not use HTML; instead, make it look like a real one-to-one email for a more authentic marketing solution.
- Segment your audience and tailor email messaging (i.e., by industry, role or location).
2. Blog Sidebar CTA
Optimize your blog space! Add a CTA banner to your blog’s sidebar for further action. Where most in-blog CTAs should have a common tie with your blog post content, the nice thing about sidebar CTAs is they can promote offers they may not be directly related to the content in your blog. For example, if you had an upcoming event or webinar, the sidebar CTA is a great place to promote it.
Below is an example of a sidebar blog CTA Cloud Spectator used to guide their visitors from reading a blog post to downloading an eBook on selecting the right Cloud provider.
3. Mid-Blog Post CTA
Don’t wait until the end of a blog post to include a CTA — because your reader might not ever get there. Instead, insert a CTA midway through your blog post. These days, people rarely read full content online — they skim, which means you need to optimize your digital content to accommodate your audience’s reading habits. Include a mid-post CTA to catch your audience’s attention, and provide them the opportunity to convert before their wandering eyes take them off your site.
For even greater effect, try out using dynamic, personalized CTAs — CTAs that adapt based on visitor behavior, characteristics or previous downloads (to give them something new if they’ve downloaded a previous offer). Dynamic CTAs allow you to tailor your CTA to each visitor’s interests to boost conversions.
Here is an example of a mid-blog post CTA Data Resolution used to encourage their audience to download a SharePoint AWS white paper, for further reading about the benefits SharePoint Enterprise 2013 on AWS.
4. Multiple Types of CTAs Within a Blog Post
Test out a variety of different types of CTAs throughout your blog post. Consider breaking the content up in your blog post by placing a “Tweet this” CTA, an eBook download, and a consultation request CTA. Including multiple CTA types within your blog post is an excellent way to move your leads down the sales funnel. Provide them with:
- One piece of content for their current stage, and
- One or two others for the next stage in the buyer’s journey.
The subscription site lessons available through the Five Pilots Cloud sales accelerator marketing solution use five different CTAs throughout the post to improve conversion rates; offering useful content and providing customers with several opportunities to visit the MSP’s contact page.
5. CTA in the Footer on Each Page
Place a CTA in the footer theme of your entire website. This provides an opportunity to convert visitors on every page. We recommend using your footer CTA to promote your bottom of funnel conversion, whether that is to book a demo or request a consultation. If you’re able to offer specials or a free trial, the footer CTA is a great place to include those (along with promoting them in other places on your site). When your visitors scroll down the pages of your site, you should be working on convincing them to convert. The footer CTA is that nice reminder to take the next step when they get to the bottom of each page.
This is an example of a footer CTA, inviting readers to request a consultation.
Time to Take Action
Now that you understand the rules of CTAs and are armed with new approaches to incorporate them into your call-to-action marketing campaign, it is time to put them to use to generate leads! If you are looking for additional help with your Cloud and MSP marketing materials and strategy or just want to bounce a few ideas around, feel free to get in touch with us.