Here’s a stat to blow your hair back: There are over 700 million active websites in the world, give or take. Of those, 72% fail to “consistently engage users or drive conversions.” At the same time, there’s close to 2 million different apps right now; 200 of those 2 million account for 70% of all usage. In short: Most brands, despite their best intentions, have a terrible conversion strategy. If you’ve ever landed on a website looking for one specific thing and needed to click in 10-12 places to figure it all out, you know what we’re discussing.
There are a lot of reasons why websites have bad conversion strategies, from too many stakeholders to bad hiring, but here we’re just going to focus on one: the CTA, or call to action. A lot of people don’t do this well either. Let’s try to help.
Isn’t a CTA just having an email or phone number listed on the website?
That is a good start, but is it a CTA? No. Not at all. You actually need different CTA options for different buyer stages.
What would different CTAs look like?
Think of some use cases:
- Bringing a prospect from an outside source (LinkedIn, social platform) back to your site: “Read More” is a common, and good, CTA here. You can also take a surprise learning from later in an article and use that as the CTA, i.e. “Keep Reading For The Best Cold EMail Template Possible.”
- When you want them to go into your funnel officially with a content offer: The most obvious CTA here is “Download,” but again, you can do a little blurb next to the form fill / email capture email explaining the inherent value of the longer-form piece of content. By this point in lead generation history, everyone knows they are being added to a list when they sign up … but if it seems like what they’re getting is valuable, they will do it. Be carefull: what they DON’T expect at this stage is a call from a sales guy! They are not shopping when they download your whitepaper.
- When there’s a high-ticket offer that they would obviously need more info about // cannot buy online: Use something like “Drop Us A Message” or “Let’s Schedule Time To Talk” or “Learn More Of The Details With A Rep,” etc. Underscore that this isn’t like buying dog food on Amazon; to make this work, you’ll need to connect with a person.
- When you need to show them your expertise to get them more interested: Use something like “Schedule A Consultation.” There is an important language nuance here, too: People really respect the idea of “a consultant,” because they inherently think they are getting value. (Admittedly some consultants are terrible.) So always use words that sound “consultant-y,” because most business types respond well to that language. “Free Consultation” is a great one too. And don’t worry about giving away the time of your top people; we don’t think you should always do it, but expertise is really powerful in lead generation.
Think about this as a real human connection
We know that sometimes it’s easy to think of these lead generation interactions as boxes and form fills and email captures and cold calls and all that. But in reality, this is all still human-to-human connection.
Let’s say you join a soccer league. After the first game, which you lost horribly because you are getting older and the other team was all 23 year-olds, you start talking to a new teammate. At first it is very superficial and casual … the “CTA” of that would be “Hey, want another beer?” Then as you get to know him more, the relationship gets a little deeper, so the CTA might be “Want to come over for dinner with your kids?” Everything is a ladder. Lead generation works the same way as real life; don’t forget that.