8 best practices to increase CTA conversion rates
Calls to Action (CTAs) have long been used in marketing campaigns to steer consumers in the direction the marketer wants them to go. From clicking on a lead generation hyperlink and downloading an ebook to accessing an ecomm site and buying a product, smart use of CTAs can make all the difference in the world to your online marketing success.
In 2023, though, just because your CTA conversion rates are impressive, it doesn’t mean you can sit back on your laurels and take a break.
It’s important to ensure you’re capturing the right type of leads. Lead quality is, of course, determined by your campaigns and how well you target potential buyers. But there are also CTA best practices you can apply that will help you improve how your campaigns perform.
How does a CTA impact the quality of your leads?
A CTA (call-to-action) can impact the quality of your leads by helping to ensure that the leads are qualified and interested in what you have to offer. A CTA describes the specific action you want your leads to take, such as signing up for a newsletter, downloading a white paper, or scheduling a consultation.
By providing clear, unambiguous direction, CTAs can help you attract qualified leads who are more likely to become customers.
How do you calculate your CTA conversion rate?
Most software these days, like Uberflip, will do this for you. To calculate your CTA conversion rate, divide the number of people who take the desired action after clicking the CTA button by the total number of visitors to the website and then multiply the result by 100.
When It Comes to CTA Conversion Rates, Quality is the New Quantity
High-quality leads are ideal prospects that have an increased chance of a conversion. According to Gartner, the better the lead quality, the more likely it is that a buyer is well-informed about your product or service and is ready to make a purchase. So, what’s the secret to creating CTAs that not only convert but deliver the leads you really want?
Here are some best practices for CTA conversion rate optimization:
1. Start with a solid ICP (ideal customer profile)
It’s challenging to create CTAs that bring you the right type of lead if you don’t know what the right type looks like. Since the secret to creating a successful CTA is writing copy tailored to the audience, it’s essential to know your audience’s pain points and how your solution addresses them. Designing your ideal customer profile (ICP) is the first step toward achieving this goal.
Make a list of your most profitable clients and identify what they have in common.
Capture data such as your ideal customers’ demographics, behavioral profiles, common questions and objections, and appetite for risk. Use this data to develop a vision of the perfect customer for your business and target your content marketing at that persona.
Once you know who you’re targeting, you can create an effective CTA. Focus on how your product or service solves the customer’s problem, emphasize the benefits of taking action, and provide some sort of incentive for joining.
Finally, test your CTA and track results.
Keep track of the metrics that matter most and use the data to optimize your CTA for better results. With the right combination of audience knowledge and testing, you can create an effective CTA that brings you the right type of leads.
2. "Keep it simple, stupid" (KISS) for better CTA conversion rates
Research shows the average human now has a shorter attention span than the common goldfish (yup, a goldfish). That's a whopping 8 seconds versus Flounder's 9, so keeping things as simple and concise as possible is a must.
The KISS principle is an easy way to remember this maxim. If you want to get eyes on a CTA, don’t have too many of them on your landing page. Avoid distractions and stick to a one-page-one-action approach. Your CTA must stand out and be easy to find, and it should tell the user exactly what you want them to do.
3. Personalize, personalize, personalize
It can be easy to fall into the trap of taking a one-size-fits-all approach to your CTA copy, especially if you're following best practices that tell you there's only one right way to create them, but personalization will also impact your CTA conversion rates.
Crafting personalized experiences for your audience should be the goal of every content marketer. Make your CTA about your audience, not you, by using language that makes it personal to them. One of the most basic ways you can do this is by using the words "me/my" rather than "you/your" in CTAs. (For instance, "Download my free ebook".)
But personalization done well should go beyond small tweaks to your copy. Automate the creation of custom CTAs for individual visitors based on their location, device, referral source, or preferred language. This personalizes the experience for site visitors, even if it’s their first-time viewing your content.
4. Create context and relevance to add urgency
It's become a cliche among content marketers, but it still rings true: if content is king, context is queen. The more you can tailor CTAs to the people viewing them, the more likely they are to be clicked.
Relevance is another excellent example of the importance of context. Making sure your CTAs appear among relevant and contextual content is a must. That raises the problem of placement, which is critical to increasing CTA conversions. If it’s a blog post, think about how you can encourage readers to take action at the end of it. If it’s a website, consider where on the page you should place the CTA and how it should look. Speaking of...
5. Pick your CTA placement (for your blog, web page, or email)
You can have the best CTA in the world, but no one will ever see it if it’s buried beneath five paragraphs of copy. Simple copy quickly catches a user’s eye as they scroll through, but placement is still important. A block of color can help a CTA stand out.
Knowing what combination of CTA and content would be most relevant and valuable when a visitor is viewing a section of your site is likely the biggest determinant of whether that CTA gets clicked on. 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.
6. Be strategic and avoid distractions with pop-ups
Pop-up windows seem to go through different stages of popularity. At one time pop-ups were endemic, but then they became taboo. Now, they’re back with a vengeance, often raising their heads as soon as a visitor lands on a page.
Consider delaying when a CTA pops up to maximize your CTA conversion rates. Allow your visitors to preview the content first before hitting them with a pop-up. If they like what they’ve seen, they’re more likely to complete the CTA to view the remainder. Delayed CTAs, in conjunction with amazing content, can be the "bait" you need to hook a prospect.
7. Add interesting or compelling imagery
Action verbs and personalized language go a long way, but you should also make your CTAs more interesting by adding an image whenever possible. A good picture or a novel tagline will be more enticing than a basic "Download this whitepaper.”
Statistics prove the accuracy of this statement. According to some great research from ConversionXL, adding images is one of the fastest ways to drive an increase in how your CTAs convert.
8. Evaluate your leads, not just CTA conversion rates
Implement comprehensive lead scoring to determine whether you’re getting the right type of leads. Depending on your analytics software and the level of sophistication you need to get the job done, you can score your leads based on multiple attributes, including the information submitted and the route they took to reach your landing page.
Turn more leads into prospects by qualifying them to determine their interest level and fit as a potential customer. The results will show whether you’re attracting the right type of leads and are on track to maximize your CTA conversion rates.
A Strong Call-to-Action Impacts Lead Quality Too
Quality CTAs should be tailored to the specific target audience and should include concise, clear messaging that speaks to the specific needs of that audience. Additionally, CTAs should be tested regularly to ensure they are delivering the desired results.
Finally, CTAs should be optimized for mobile devices, as more and more consumers are using their phones to make purchases. By focusing on quality, you can ensure that your CTAs will attract the most relevant leads and convert them at a higher rate.
It can be easy to focus only on CTA conversion rates but remember: lead quality is more important than lead quantity in getting bang for your buck. Drive conversions by addressing your visitors on a 1:1 basis. Improve your lead quality together with those CTA conversion rates by boosting context, creating CTAs tailored for your buyer personas, and ensuring these are consistent with the rest of your content experience.
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