How to Maximize CTA Conversion Rates: Tips From Real Uberflippers

December 17, 2014 Sam Brennand

CTA Conversions

Here at Uberflip, I have the opportunity day in and day out to work alongside some amazing content marketers who are doing some amazing things - particularly when it comes to creating highly converting calls-to-action (CTAs).

Some of our Uberflippers have even managed to drive conversion rate increases of up to 250% using their Hub CTAs. That's pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

So when I sat down this week to write a blog post on the secret to creating CTAs that convert, I decided to go straight to the source to get the recipe for success: our awesome Uberflippers. 

Here's what a few generous Uberflippers had to say.

What's the secret to creating CTAs that convert? 

I know, I know, a bit of a loaded question (and one that's certainly a challenge to answer in a sentence or two!), but we got some great responses that can help to shed light on how marketers need to be approaching CTA creation.

Make it simple! Don't have too many CTAs on your landing page. Your CTA should tell the reader exactly what they should do. It should also stand out and be easy to find.

- Aya Fawzy, Marketing Specialist at Captora 

According to research, the average human now has a shorter attention span than the common goldfish (yup, a goldfish). That's all of a whopping 8 seconds versus Flounder's 9, so keeping things as simple and concise as possible is a must.

Make it about your audience, not you, by using language that makes it more personal for them. For example, use the words me/my rather than you/your in CTAs.

- Cassandra Jowett, Content Marketing Manager at Influitive

Personalize, personalize, personalize! Crafting personalized experiences for your audience should be the goal of every content marketer.

The secret to a CTA that converts is writing copy that is contextual and tailored to the audience.

- Francois Mathieu, Inbound Marketing Manager at Uberflip

It's become a cliche among content marketers, but it's a cliche that still rings true: if content is king, context is queen. The more tailored you can make your CTAs to the people who are viewing them, the more likely they are to be clicked.

We’ve found success with delaying when a CTA pops up. This allows visitors to preview the content first. If they like what they’ve read, they’ll complete the CTA to view the rest.

- Beth WannerManager, Marketing & Public Relations at iQMetrix

A great tip! Using delayed CTAs in convert with amazing pieces of content can be the "bait" you need to really hook a prospect. 

Make it catchy. An interesting picture or fun tagline will be more enticing than a basic "Download this whitepaper".

- Kelly O'Hara, Content Marketing Associate at Dyn

And statistics prove that Kelly's right. According to some great research from ConversionXL, it's obvious that adding images is one of the easiest to way to drive an increase in conversions.  

What's the most important element of a CTA - color, copy, or placement? 

The Holy Trinity of CTAs (and the easiest elements for marketers to play with) - but which of the three reigns supreme in the world of conversion rates? 

There are no magic words or colors to use on a CTA that converts. We've actually found it comes down to understanding the behavior of our visitors through user and A/B testing.

- Allison Carpio, Marketing Manager at Taulia

Allison brings up a great point about the importance of behavioral understanding. If you understand how your personas search for, assess, and consume information, you'll be well-positioned not just to create CTAs that convert, but to create content that converts as well. 

 I'd give the edge to placement. You can have the best copy in the world, but if your CTA is buried under 5 paragraphs of copy, no one will ever see it. 

- Ashley Taylor Anderson, Marketing Magician at Booker

Another great example of the importance of context. Making sure your CTAs appear among relevant and contextual content is a must.

All are important – a block of colour helps CTAs stand out, simple copy makes it easy to catch your eye as your scrolling through a Hub but placement is likely the most important. Knowing the type of CTA/content that would be relevant and most useful when a visitor to your site is viewing a given section is likely the biggest determinant of whether that CTA gets clicked on.

- Beth Wanner, Manager, Marketing & Public Relations at iQMetrix

Does "fun" copy convert at a higher rate than its more serious counterpart? 

This question always intrigues me. The science of copywriting is a fascinating one to study. If you've got a few minutes, this post from Copyblogger is a great primer. When we appealed to our Uberflippers, the answers varied depending on the industry, the audience, and the marketer's goals (as expected). The consensus? There's no right answer. 

We're testing out formal vs. informal copy on our forms. While the rest of our website is written to be fun and conversational, we have a feeling being straightforward on the purpose of the form will result in higher conversion. 

- Allison Carpio, Marketing Manager at Taulia

An important reminder that your CTAs don't live in a vacuum. They're a part of your overall content experience and it's important to plan accordingly. 

I’ve seen “fun” copy convert at a higher rate, especially in some of the more dull industries. Language is a powerful tool and it can either make your visitors' eyes glaze over, or get them engaged and excited about learning more. Use it to your advantage, find creative ways to make your copy more enjoyable to read. One way to do this is to keep the copy professional but more conversational. Its much easier to read copy that feels like its being spoken TO you, not AT you. 

- Brandon Moore, Web & Digital Director at SalesHub

A great reminder that with a little bit of TLC, even content marketers in dull industries can create CTAs that convert. 

When it comes to a CTA, I don't think it needs fun copy. I want it short and sweet. I want to know what I need to do. What am I downloading? What am I clicking to get? It should be about 2-3 words. For example, "Watch Webinar", "Register Now" or "Download ebook". This tells me what I need to do to get the content I am interested in. I think the fun copy should be in the landing page itself to make me want to click that CTA.

- Aya Fawzy, Marketing Specialist at Captora

Another great point about the importance of context (a theme seems to be emerging...). While some content can convert beautifully with overlay CTAs, other pieces of content still need a good ol' fashioned landing page to be successful. To a degree, this can also be a factor of the nature of the piece of content itself.

Which leads us to our final question...

How do you decide what to 'gate' and what 'not to gate'? 

One of the great (and most hotly debated) questions in the world of content marketing. How do you decide?

I start by determining what my goals are. It may be best not to gate a piece of content that would perform better on social media and trade conversions for exposure. In other cases, it may be wiser to gate a piece of content and capitalize on search engine traffic from a query that may suggest the visitor is ready to buy. 

- Brandon Moore, Digital & Design Director at SalesHub

Tackling this question with a bit of self-reflection is always a good idea. Ensuring that your strategy is rooted in both your short-term and long-term goals is essential.  

I love the analogy of lead-gen being like a date. Asking someone to fill out a sales lead form on the first bit of content they view on your site is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. It’s too much, too soon.

- Beth WannerManager, Marketing & Public Relations at iQMetrix

Amen!

We consider the end user's perspective when gating content. Would a user be willing to "pay" with their name, email and phone number to watch a 2-minute video? Probably not. Would they be willing to ante up for a 5-page customer retention guide? Yep. It's all about how valuable the content piece is and how that translates into providing information.

Ashley Taylor Anderson, Marketing Magician at Booker

Bang-on! My favorite rule of thumb. When it comes down to it, the gating dilemma should always be a question of the value you're delivering. If your content has value, gate it. If it doesn't, don't gate it. 


A quick wrap-up: 

  • Context matters. Ensuring that your CTAs support relevant content and speak to your visitors on a 1:1 basis is the best way to drive conversions.
  • Write copy for your buyer personas and ensure it's consistent with the rest of your content experiences. Whether your content is fun or serious is ultimately a function of the expectations and preferences of your buyer personas.
  • Focus on the value you deliver to decide when to gate your content. 

Stayed tuned in a few weeks time as we release a data-driven study of what makes a truly effective CTA. We're taking a deep dive into our own platform to understand what the most effective Uberflippers are doing to get the amazing results they enjoy. It'll be an eye-opener you won't want to miss. 

Lights, camera, call-to-action! Learn more about effective CTA implementation in our webinar.

About the Author

Sam Brennand

As Uberflip's VP of Strategic Partnerships, Sam is focused on helping customers amplify their content marketing to tell better stories and generate more leads.

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