8 Types of CTAs and How to Use Them Effectively

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Every business aims to achieve the same goal with its website – to drive in leads and convert them into loyal customers. 

And as a marketer, you invest time, capital, and talent to create high-quality content that persuades your audience to engage with your business.

But without the right Call-to-Action (CTA), your content loses the opportunity to perform effectively. A well-crafted CTA reaches your audience when they’re most likely to convert and guides them further down the funnel.

But what exactly is a CTA? How important is it to Marketing? And what are the different types of CTAs?

We’ve put together a handy guide to answer these questions.

Let’s dive right in.

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What is a Call to action (CTA)? 

A CTA is a written command or an action phrase on a website that prompts the user to perform a positive action, like signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an eBook, to name a few.

Put simply, it is a “Call” for a website visitor to take “an action.”

CTAs typically take the form of a hyperlink, an image, or as a CTA button (Text on a button).

There are different types of CTAs, and the right fit depends on the action you want the user to take. 

And that raises the question…

How is it that a short, written command (CTA)  becomes a crucial factor influencing the user’s engagement rate with a business? What makes CTAs an important aspect of Marketing?

Let’s find out.

The Importance of CTAs in Marketing

How do you convert a brand-new visitor into a potential lead?

You convince them how your product/services could benefit them, and entice them to engage, interact and learn more about your business.

And this is where a CTA comes into play.

An effective CTA is essentially the bait to your inbound marketing line. 

  • It acts as a directive statement to convey to your prospective customer what to do and where to go, making it a transparent user journey.
  • A well-crafted CTA can persuade users to take deliberate action when they’re most likely to convert, thereby guiding them further down the marketing funnel.
  • By strategically placing UI-specific CTAs across your content ecosystem, it becomes easier to lure in potential visitors, gradually converting them into loyal customers.

While CTAs are important, slapping a text on a button across your web pages won’t do the trick. 

CTAs act as transitions between different phases of your Buyer’s journey. Hence, it’s crucial that CTAs be designed with a personalized approach, with each CTA targeting the right fit from the audience to perform a specific action.

In fact, a recent study by Hubspot states that Personalized CTAs perform 202% better than basic CTAs.

With that said, let’s have a look at the different types of CTAs used by brands and businesses worldwide.

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8 Types of CTA (With Examples)

While you may have a bazillion CTA ideas, you won’t necessarily need them all for your campaigns because these 8 main types fit in with most marketing verticals –

#1 – Lead Generation CTAs

Lead Generation is the process of getting prospects interested in your business and gradually moving them through the marketing funnel, eventually making them paying customers for your business.

And a well-constructed Lead-Gen CTA acts as an initial entrance for a customer’s journey with your company.

It could pique their interest at the right phase, collect the required data, or persuade them to perform an action, all with zero fuss.

For example, Unbounce has this image CTA within most of their blog posts, and it leads to a page that promotes the benefits of their main product, Smart Traffic, an AI-based landing page builder.

While blog posts are the most popular options to include Lead-Gen CTAs, one could also try placing them in the sidebar, header, or as a floating widget. 

The catch, however, is to entice users with an attractive design and the right blend of words that convey precisely what the user would want to know, in a rather compelling manner.

#2 – Lead Magnet

Users are often willing to share contact information in exchange for resources that seem valuable to them.

These resources or “Lead Magnets” can be anything from a checklist, E-books, case studies, or industry reports relevant to your target audience.

If you can pair a compelling piece of content with a captivating Call-to-Action, a.k.a Lead Magnet-focused form submission CTA, it persuades your user and gives them a reason for sharing their personal details.

Take a look at this landing page from Vonage; a wide, attractive banner graphic, with a short yet concise description of a downloadable resource with the value it offers for the audience. 

Upon Clicking “Download Now,” it takes users to a form where they fill in their contact information and other details. 

You could also take this a step further and –

  • Include an option to sign up for the company’s newsletter or product updates.
  • Use this as a lead qualification tool. Filter the submitted details based on the user’s profession, background, and age, and prioritize it within the sales funnel accordingly.
  • Use it for personalized interactions with the leads. If it’s a software professional, send out emails for your software tool, or if the lead is a student, promote your programming courses.

#3 – Newsletter Subscription CTAs

Did you know that the average ROI for Email marketing is $40 for every $1 spent?

With such an impressive stat, it’s quite obvious why Businesses are constantly upping their marketing limits to stand a better chance at attracting potential customers to their email newsletters.

And in such a competitive scenario, a mere “Subscribe to my Newsletter” CTA simply won’t do the trick.

Here’s an example from Later, a Social Media management platform that reflects the perfect Newsletter Signup CTA. 

It invites users to be part of an existing community in a very subtle way, while also showcasing samples, giving users a pinch of taste on how the newsletter looks like.

Here are a few ways you to craft a similar CTA –

  • Reduce uncertainty – Let visitors know what to expect.
  • Variations – Authoritative, reassuring, and casual, to name a few.
  • Copywriting – Stay human; people need to feel the message.
  • Elements – Include urgency and excitement, but keep a balance.

If you really want to make the most out of it, you need to go the extra mile, intrigue curiosity, showcase your prominence, and make the right promise through proof of how your emails could be valuable to them.

#4 – Learn More

Customer behavior is divided into 3 stages – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.

Even when your marketing campaigns strike the right fit of the audience, brand-new website visitors won’t convert to your lead-generation efforts right away. 

There are questions they have and information they need to know before they even consider making a decision on a purchase.

So what can be done?

With a well-crafted CTA, Invite them to “Learn more” about your products and services. It helps with gaining clarity on what is it your users want, along with the right phase to promote your products to them.

Here’s a neat example by Mulesoft on how to Integrate a Learn More CTA into your website.

In fact, the whole purpose of a homepage is to segment the audience.

Here are a few more ways to optimize your Learn more CTA –

  • Make sure your buttons are optimized for segmentation. There should be separate buttons that appeal to different groups within your audience.
  • Alter the button copy. Sometimes “Learn More” sounds like a forced effort. Try out different variations and analyze the CTR. (e.g. “See [Feature] in Action”) 

#5 – Event Registration

Webinars, events, or meetings, whether offline or online, attract a lot of potential customers to your website. 

As part of spreading the word, you could encourage sign-ups, and gather contact information from your visitors through event registration CTAs.

Here’s an example of how Salesforce promoted their World Tour with a well-crafted CTA on their landing page – 

One good thing about this type of CTA is that it could be placed anywhere on a website. 

If you need to boost ticket sales, you could try using them on your login/sales pages, or if it’s a general martech event and yours is a marketing blog, pretty much everyone who visits your website would be interested in it.

#6 – Social Sharing Buttons

If you’ve created a great piece of content with all the elements of virality, why not ease the sharing process for your audience?

Social Sharing Buttons are a low-commitment way for visitors, leads, or customers to better engage with your brand. 

Here’s an example –

156 people shared this post, it must be pretty good.”

Not only does it increase your social proof, but these buttons also drive in free leads to your website and promote authenticity by displaying the total “share count” for a particular piece of content.

If needed, you may also add a statement like “Enjoying our content? Why not spread the love?”, or anything similar that persuades a user to share it with their circle.

While Blog post footers are the most opted section for placing these, you could also display Social Sharing CTAs on the sidebar, website footer, or as an in-line CTA within the article.

#7 –  Free Trial/Demo

Free Trial, or Demo request is a risk-free CTA that acts as a phase between the awareness and consideration stage of a user’s journey.

If crafted effectively, a Free trial CTA also gives your business a unique opportunity to capture lead data, thereby increasing the chances of triggering sales action almost immediately.

Here’s an example of how Hubspot drives in their potential visitors with a neat and precise CTA – 

It goes without saying that the text copy used with the CTA has to be nothing short of brilliant. 

Here are a few tips to make your Free Trial CTA stand out –

  • Free trial or Demo, Know what to use when.
  • Use proof of work to retain attention.
  • Be transparent with your customers.
  • Rationalize your pricing section.
  • Simplify, test, and optimize.

#8 – Closing the sale

Once all your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts are done, it’s time to close the deal and introduce your user to the final phase of the funnel – Purchase.

The CTA for this stage has to be highly sales-focused, leaving no room for second thoughts for the user – it needs to persuade the user to perform a purchase action right here, right now.

Monday.com does it really well –

Notice how the text copy next to their submit form highlights social proof of their software authenticity? 

A well-crafted sales CTA has to create urgency and build FOMO around the product. 

It needs to showcase the product’s benefits in a way that’s relevant to the needs of a user, persuading them to perform an instant purchase.

While the popular choice for a Purchase CTA is a sales page, it can also be placed on pages with conversion-optimized content within it, product pages, or BOTF blog posts, to name a few.

Final Thoughts

Make your CTAs clear, prominent, and valuable with these eight types of CTAs. But again, the type of CTA for your website will depend on your goals as a business. 

Identify your goals, and place your CTAs across your content ecosystem accordingly, thereby effectively advancing your audience down the funnel, eventually making them loyal customers for your business.

Did you find this valuable? Drop down your thoughts in the comment below.

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