When it comes to any inbound marketing strategy, conversions are everything. The key to getting your visitor to convert? A well-executed call-to-action.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a visual element that entices a visitor to complete some form of action. In most cases, a CTA will lead a visitor to a landing page where they will submit their email, or other relevant information, in exchange for something in return like an e-book or a scheduled consultation.
There are different types of CTAs out there that you can implement at different points in your visitor’s journey as well as across your different marketing channels.
With that in mind, here are six types of CTAs to work into your marketing strategy.
1. Visual CTAs
When it comes to crafting a CTA, there are two main things to keep in mind: You need to attract a visitor to your CTA, and you need to encourage them to click it.
Visual CTAs are some of the most common types of CTAs. You’ve probably seen these at the bottom of a blog article to help guide the reader to the next relevant piece of content.
We use these on our blog to lead visitors to a specific e-book, workbook or checklist that we think will benefit them.
Outside of choosing a great image and design for your CTA, using engaging and transparent language like WineDirect does on this CTA is also a great way to get visitors to convert. Wine Direct is speaking directly to a concern the user has while also letting them know exactly what the will get from the e-book if they download.
Visual CTAs can also be grouped together in a carousel, allowing a company to suggest multiple pieces of content at once for the visitor.
We use this method to offer content for different stages of the buyer’s journey. This allows the visitor to choose the path that best suits them at that moment.
2. In-Line CTAs
In-line CTAs serve the same purpose as a visual CTA, but they are designed to fit seamlessly into the middle of an article or a page. Instead of using shapes, images and buttons, they are usually hyperlinked text that leads to a landing page or another piece of content.
We use in-line CTAs in all of our blog posts to link to other content that may be relevant to the reader.
Be mindful of where in your article you place the in-line CTA. You want to place it in a location that feels natural for the reader. If you aren’t sure, a good rule of thumb is to place them around halfway down the page.
3. Pop-Up CTAs
These are some of the most strategic CTAs because they “pop up” at a certain point during the visitors’ session which makes choosing the right time and placement crucial.
There are a few different styles of pop-up CTAs: They can slide in horizontally, pop up in the bottom corner or take up the entire page.
We use an entire page pop-up CTA to ask our visitors to subscribe to our blog. When the CTA shows up, the user is still able to scroll on the screen behind it, but they have to click the “Subscribe Now” button, the “x” or outside of the box to make it disappear.
In contrast, Hubspot uses a pop-up CTA on the side of their article about marketing templates to promote the actual download itself. The offer slides in from the bottom corner but doesn’t interrupt the function of the page itself.
4. Hero CTA
The homepage of your website is often your first opportunity to make an impression on your visitor. Sometimes you only have a few seconds before they decide to engage or leave your page. Using a CTA in the hero section of your site that clearly addresses your visitor’s top concerns or needs encourages immediate engagement.
Join Me uses the hero section on their website to serve a perfectly tailored CTA. They are aligning their offer with the two main reasons a visitor is on their site. This is an example of how a CTA can have more than one clickable option — as long as you are creating your CTA with your visitor’s needs in mind.
In this example, Netflix is addressing a common objective that a user may have when signing up for a free trial, getting charged. Netflix uses an image of a timeline to demonstrate how the user will get a reminder that the free trial is ending and they will be billed.
This type of transparent approach eliminates friction and builds trust between the user and the brand which will ultimately yield more conversions.
5. Form CTAs
There are some instances where the CTA requires you to submit information before you can click through.
An example of a form CTA can be found on Zoom’s homepage offering a fast and easy way to sign up for the meeting service. They tell the user everything they need to know right there on the homepage. The software is free, it's for meetings and chat and there is even a video link with more details.
The visitor can sign up on the homepage itself eliminating the need for a landing page and making the process fast and easy.
Another popular use of form CTAs is to allow users to subscribe to your blog. Kyros made their subscribe CTA a built-in feature of their blog page. The CTA doesn’t disrupt the user’s experience but is there and highlighted if they decide they are ready to subscribe at any point.
The form CTA on AirBNB’s homepage has multiple fields in order to collect all the information they need to provide value to site visitors. The interesting thing about AirBNB’s CTA though, is that you can actually submit the form without completing every field. This ensures all visitors can still use the CTA, even if they can’t supply all the information yet.
When using a form CTA, remember that the goal is to reduce friction — not introduce more of it. Make sure the amount of information you are requiring is both justified and needed.
6. Conversational CTAs
The entire purpose of a CTA is to get your visitor to click and convert so that you can capture their information. Since chatbots enable you to do that, they can be used as CTAs.
One of the biggest challenges with CTAs is making sure they are tailored as close as possible to the person who is going to be on that page. Placing a conversational marketing tool like Drift on your website allows you to have multiple conversation paths leading to different CTAs prepared. You can have a real-time conversation with the visitor about their needs and then serve them the right CTA for them.
This helps you build trust with your visitor during a two-way conversation instead of just asking them to click a button. Drift uses this strategy on their own site to help guide their visitors to helpful resources.
We use the first question on our chatbot to grab attention with a question that is tailored to the tools our visitor is using. This lets them know the chat is specific to them and hopefully sparks their interest enough to click the chat and engage.
From there, we can discuss their needs and pain points then suggest relevant blog articles or book meetings with our sales team straight from the chat.
CTA’s come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no definitive way to guarantee success. The most important thing to keep in mind when crafting your CTAs is your visitor. You want to create something that grabs their attention visually, gains their trust and ultimately, encourages them to click through.
Weslee Clyde is an inbound marketing strategist at New Breed. She is focused on generating results using inbound methods and is driven by the customer experience. When not at the office, you can find her binging a docu-series on true crime or perfecting her gluten-free baking skills.