We’ve all gotten lost before. And what’s the first thing most of us do when we can’t find our way? Retrace our steps. That’s exactly what site visitors will do if you don’t provide them with a clear path forward.
Yes, calls to action (CTAs) are for generating leads. But it’s about so much more than just lead gen. CTAs give website traffic a roadmap. They provide direction as your buyers navigate the buyer’s journey. If you don’t use them right, site traffic will get lost and bounce off your page.
The HubSpot CTA tool makes it easy for marketers to create clear and actionable CTAs that drive users forward. Understanding the tool’s features and HubSpot CTA best practices can help your business create more effective CTAs that not only convert leads but nurture prospects in the right direction.
Features of the HubSpot CTA Tool
Creating effective CTAs goes beyond content and design. It requires data analysis, testing, and strategy. HubSpot’s CTA tool collects valuable information on the CTAs you create, enabling you to efficiently test and optimize your efforts. Using the HubSpot CTA tool, you can easily do all of the following:
- Quickly create CTA buttons or pop-ups, no designer needed.
- A/B test CTAs to determine the most effective language, design, or button color.
- Use “smart” content to target specific offers to site visitors based on funnel stage, industry, or other contact properties.
- Measure and analyze CTA performance.
You can find HubSpot’s CTA tool under Marketing-> Lead Capture -> CTAs. From here, it’s as simple as clicking “Create CTA” and filling out your options.
HubSpot CTA Best Practices
This is where best practices come into play. It may be simple to create a CTA in HubSpot, but what are some tried and true strategies for effective and lead-generating HubSpot CTAs?
1. Use Clear Action Words
Keep it simple, stupid. When it comes to CTAs, this cliche has never rung more true. Tell your site visitors exactly what you want them to do next. We suggest:
- Short Copy - Keep your CTA’s between 1-3 words. Avoid using more than five words. The longer the CTA, the harder it is to read, especially on mobile sites.
- Use Actionable Language - Create a sense of urgency with action-packed verbs. Use copy like “get,” “reserve,” or “try.”
- Be Specific - Don’t forget to clearly iterate what it is your asking your visitor to do. If it’s trying a free trial, your CTA should say “Try Our Free Trial,” or if it’s downloading a guide, your text should say “Get the Guide.”
HubSpot dug a little deeper into the language that performs best for CTAs. More generic words like “download” and “register” tend to have lower conversions than the more actionable “click here” or “go.” Keep this in mind when choosing your button text.
Remember to be as direct and explicit as possible. A site visitor shouldn’t have to second-guess what you’re asking them to do. It should be a no-brainer.
2. Be Bold
The visual components of your CTA determine a lot. Color, size, font, and design are all main factors that draw an eye in to read the language on your button. So it’s critical that you make your CTA bold, distinct, and easy to find. Here are a few best practices when it comes to design:
- Use a STOP color - The color of your CTAs will depend on your brand. But typically, we recommend choosing high saturated colors that are brand aligned. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be colors in your logo though, so don’t be afraid to think big. We also recommend playing with contrasting color combinations.
- Find the perfect size - Obviously, you want your CTA to be big enough to be seen. But bigger isn’t always better. Make sure you’re not overselling your offer. Find a middle ground where your offer is prominent but not overpowering.
- Make Buttons Look Clickable - You want people to intuitively know to click your CTA. Design elements like a gradient or small shadow can add a 3D effect. If you prefer a flat design, you might want to consider emphasizing clickability by rounding the edges.
HubSpot’s CTA tool makes it easy to edit all of these different features. Inside the builder, you can quickly and easily change the size, color, and format of your HubSpot CTA. You can also test what works and what doesn’t, so you’re never guessing.
3. Stay Relevant
The CTA you decide to use must be relevant to the page it’s on. Remember, content is all about building trust and authority with your audience. If you throw up an offer on an unrelated page, you risk coming across as spammy. CTA’s should match the subject matter on the page itself, and be aligned with the person that the page is targeted towards.
By keeping your CTAs relevant and consistent to the copy on your page, you make it absolutely clear to your visitors what they should do next. When done right, the website copy on your landing page or blog has established a sense of trust with your reader. They know what they should do and why they should do it. Now all you have to do is ask them.
4. Choose Strategic Locations
Relevancy is just one part of the equation. Page location matters too. Think of your CTA placement strategy as a plan of attack. Each time you hit a visitor with an offer, it should be in a strategic place designed to get them to convert. It’s all about reaching customers with the right message, at the right place, and at the right time. Here are three strategic locations you’ll want to consider placing your CTAs:
- Above the Fold - Typically, we recommend placing one CTA above the fold in an obvious location. This CTA mustn’t block your supporting content, though. Remember, you have to establish your value proposition before asking anyone to trust what you’re offering.
- In-Line - Sprinkling CTAs throughout the body copy of your blogs and articles is an excellent way to build trust while capitalizing on lead generation efforts. These CTAs are less intrusive, a great way to break up content, and give site visitors multiple chances to convert.
- Pop up - We all have experienced the pesky website pop-up. Believe it or not, pop-ups are one of the highest converting CTA methods out there. Play with the timing of your pop-up CTAs. Be strategic about when it appears. If you have an idea of how long a site user stays on your page and at what point they’re most engaged, time your pop-up to appear at this time period.
It’s critical to test these locations and determine what combinations work best. Be careful about not using too many CTAs on one page - you don’t want to overwhelm your site visitors. But at the same time, you should make it easy for them to take action at any point, no matter where they are on your site.
5. Use Smart Content
With HubSpot’s CTA tool, you can create “smart” CTAs that allow you to take targeting to the next level. Smart CTAs utilize dynamic content that changes based on the site visitor. For example, if you have a customer who has made a purchase with you before, you might want to show them a different CTA than a first-time website visitor.
You can use any of the following criteria when creating your Smart CTAs:
- List membership
- Device type
- Referral source
- Lifecycle stage
- Preferred language
HubSpot can’t make it much simpler to use Smart CTAs. Simply add a “smart” rule when inserting your offer, and choose from the parameters listed above.
6. Have a Limit
Think about CTAs as road signs. If you’re driving down the highway and bombarded with different road instructions, it’s no longer clear what your next direction should be. CTAs are the same way. Though you should be strategic and take advantage of using multiple locations, you don’t want to overdo it.
We recommend a limit of 2-3 CTAs per page. Have a hierarchy. There should be one primary CTA, which points to your most compelling and relevant offer. Then consider including a secondary CTA in a different location further down the page. Be sure these don’t contradict each other and that they work together to make it clear to your site visitor what their next steps should be.
7. Always Be Testing
These CTA best practices are benchmarks to strive for. But what works for your business might not be the industry standard. So it’s important to experiment and test. Try different variations of copy, design, colors, and CTA locations. Run A/B tests to see if one element performs particularly better than another.
HubSpot’s CTA tool makes testing easy. Simply set up a multivariant test when creating your CTA. You’ll want to make sure you only change one variable at a time, so you can keep track of what element is causing more conversions.
Be careful when comparing your CTA performance to other industry benchmarks and averages. A “good click-through rate” can vary wildly between different industries. We’d recommend staying away from industry averages and determine your own internal benchmarks to strive for. Ask yourself the following questions to help determine a solid CTR goal:
- Who are you converting?
- What is the value of the conversion?
These two questions can help you determine what your business should strive for as far as CTR. With a solid goal in place, you’ll be better able to analyze the performance of your CTAs and optimize accordingly.
As you take a hard look at your own website’s CTAs, start slow. Begin with a comprehensive audit of what’s performing well and what’s not. This will give you a good starting point for optimization. Keep in mind that any conversion rate that’s higher than what you started with is a move in the right direction. Slow and steady steps forward will set you on the right path to converting more leads with better CTAs.
For more advice and direction on have to optimize your website, and compete better online, request a free website audit. Our team can help you determine quick website design wins you can implement immediately to grow your traffic and convert more qualified leads.