Calls-to-action are those magical little buttons that start the action to turn visitors into leads or move leads further down the sales funnel. CTAs are the in-text calls to “click here,” “read more” or “download now.”
They are the connection between a blog post, social media update or email and a landing page on your website. But are you showing the same CTAs to everyone? Does every visitor to your website see the same call-to-action in your blog’s sidebar, whether it is their first visit or their fiftieth? Whether they are a frequent customer or an unknown face?
If so, it’s time to use the power of dynamic content to segment the calls-to-action your website visitors, blog readers and email subscribers see, in order to provide them with the most relevant offers and information.
Why segment your CTAs:
A friend of mine posted this little bit of annoyance on Facebook recently: “No, Amazon, I don’t want to buy another toilet seat. I just bought one. It isn’t something I collect; you don’t need to offer me more with an ad that follows me everywhere.” Imagine, everywhere you turn, another ad for something you just bought — and don’t need a duplicate of.
Is your website or blog possibly doing that to your loyal readers or leads — continuing to show them CTAs for an offer they’ve already downloaded? If so, you may not necessarily be annoying them (since your ads aren’t as ubiquitous as Amazon’s, showing up on every social media site and recipe blog out there), but you are missing out on opportunities to entice them to reconvert and access another offer, possibly one that would indicate they are moving through the sales funnel and approaching a buying decision.
Our partner HubSpot, whose content management and lead nurturing technology we use for our own website, recommends setting rules grouping visitors into a few categories based on their point in the buyer’s journey and showing them offers with the potential to move them to next level.
The first might be visitors — those individuals visiting your website or reading your blog who have not yet converted on any offer. They would be shown CTAs for offers that fit the awareness stage of the sales funnel: introductory ebooks, a blog subscription and links to additional blog posts on similar topics.
Those who have converted to a lead on an awareness or early engagement stage offer (we include resources such as templates and checklists in the early engagement stage) and are known to the site see a new set of CTAs when they visit blog posts. These CTAs would be for offers that might help a lead in making a purchase decision, such as case studies or product comparisons.
Finally, if the lead has already converted on one of those consideration stage offers, the CTAs might, depending the type of company, offer a consultation, a product demo or a free trial.
It doesn’t make sense to invite every new visitor to your website to schedule a meeting on their first visit OR to offer everyone, including the hot lead, a basic blog subscription (especially if they already have one).
Segmenting your calls-to-action based on the stage of the sales funnel puts the right offer in front of the right prospect at the right time.
Where to use segmented CTAs:
Where should you implement segmented CTAs? Basically, everyone you use them.
Your blog text will remain the same for all visitors, meaning the contextual CTAs (hyperlinks from a word or phrase in the text to a related offer’s landing page) and in-line CTAs (direct text-based calls to action; e.g. “Download the offer here”) will remain the same for all visitors, but you can vary the other calls-to-action on your blog posts and page based on segmentation by using dynamic content tools within your content management and lead nurturing technology. This would include sidebar offers, banners, and pop-up or slide-in calls-to-action.
If your email lists are already segmented by subscribers, leads, sales funnel stage or even more classifications such as industry or job title, you can send slightly different emails to each segment, focusing on including the calls-to-action that will be most relevant to each group. If you are using automated lead nurturing, those nurturing emails are already written specifically to target the appropriate stage of the sales funnel and offer leads the opportunity to move to the next level.
Social media advertising:
If paid social media promotion is part of your overall marketing strategy, you can easily segment and target the offers promoted using the tools within each social media channel to pinpoint specific audiences. You could target specific CTAs only to those who are already followers of your social media page, who are involved in a certain industry, live in a certain geographic area or are a certain gender or age.
Segmenting your calls-to-action based on where a contact falls in the sales funnel allows you to target each one with the information they most need now. See how we define the stages of the sales funnel and find ideas for the offers that most appeal to leads at each stage, by downloading our cheat sheet: Content Strategy For All Stages Of The Sales Funnel.