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Call to Action, the Key to Lead Capture and Conversion

By John McTigueJun 30, 2010

Call to action buttons are graphics are essential elements in an effective business website. A call to action is the graphic or copy that persuades website visitors to take a desired action, whether it's leaving their email address, subscribing to a newsletter or RSS feed or purchasing a product. It doesn't matter how great your offer is or how well-designed your landing page is if you don't convince people to click through. An effective call to action is goal driven and should measurably increase conversion of site traffic to leads and customers.

call to action improves lead conversion rates

Steps to Create a Successful Call to Action

  1. Clearly define your goal. Is your primary purpose to generate leads or increase product sales or improve brand recognition? Each call to action should have a single goal.
  2. Determine what specific action website visitors must take to meet your goal. Your call-to-action should clearly indicate the precise action desired. Do you want visitors to click a link, download an ebook, input their email address? Design your landing page to further entice
  3. To measure its success, your call-to-action must be quantifiable. Specifically, you need to know how many click throughs you get from each call to action and how many of those converted (signed up) on the target landing page. From there, you want to quantify how many of those leads ultimately converted into customers.

There are tricks to creating an effective call-to-action that will catch site visitors' attention and compel them to take the desired action. Try these best practices to create powerful calls to action to maximize results:

  • Use easily understood graphics in combination with short, simple commands to tell the site visitor what to do. For example, a large button that says "download."
  • Use images to capture and direct attention. For example, a bold arrow pointing to what you want the site visitor to do. Photos of people can also be used to direct attention. Make certain the person in the photograph is looking at what you want site visitors to do. Photos in which a person is looking directly at the visitor are less likely to encourage site visitors to act. 
  • Use numbers; they're quickly understood and elicit specific actions. If there is a date for a specific event, make sure you include that. If an offer is free, make sure you highlight FREE. This is often the difference maker between a click and no-click.
  • Make your call to action clickable to a landing page that is consistent with the call to action offer. For more tips on landing pages, you can review this blog.
  • Reinforce your call to action by separating the call from the click. Tell site visitors what you want them to do, then provide a clickable button or link.
  • Use bold, contrasting colors to draw the site visitor's eye to the action you want him to take.
  • Position call to actions on the first viewable screen and above the fold for best performance. The sooner a visitor's eye encounters your call to action, the more likely they will click through.
  • Test a variety of offers, calls to action, page positions and landing pages. Use a scientific approach, like A/B testing, where you try one variation versus another. Measure lead conversions and optimize your calls to action on the based on the most successful combination.

How well do your call to actions perform? Can you measure leads captured by them? We can help with HubSpot software and our call to action design service.

Additional Topics: Content and Design
The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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