Call-to-Action Checklist and Tips to Grow B2B Conversions

Not every lead that visits your website will convert. An analysis of lead generation landing pages across 10 different industries (with over 74 million visitors) showed the average landing page conversion rate is 4.02%. This may be discouraging for marketers who have spent countless hours identifying relevant offers, buying premium ad space, and designing landing pages to generate leads. 

Graph: Average lead-generation conversion rates by industry. Higher education 2.6%. Real estate 2.9%. Health 2.9%. Home Improvement 3.3%. Legal 3.3%. Business Services 3.5%. Business Consulting 5.0%. Travel 5.0%. Credit & lending: 5.6%. Vocational studies & Job training 6.1%.

What is going wrong?

There’s no easy answer, but one often overlooked element of B2B landing pages could be a major factor: the call-to-action (CTA). 

Too many marketers are defaulting to the dreaded “Submit” button and missing out on a serious boost in conversions as a result. 

Want to beat the low conversion rate blues? Use the checklist below to generate more leads with better calls-to-action.

1. KEEP IT SHORT

Get straight to the point with your call-to-action. You can use headlines, body copy, and images to include supplemental information (which research shows is usually skimmed anyway and not read in its entirety), but your CTA itself should be between two to five words.

Don’t: Click here to download your copy of the award-winning e-book now, free of charge!

Do: Get Free E-book

2. DON’T BE BOSSY

Use commands, not demands. By filling out a form or otherwise taking action on your website, visitors are doing you a favor. Using forms and landing pages is key to successful lead generation. Don’t demand any more of visitors than they’re already giving by using generic and potentially demanding words such as “submit,” “send,” or “click here.” 

Don’t: Submit

Do: Start My Free Trial

3. CONVEY VALUE

What’s in it for me? That’s what I want to know when I click a call-to-action button or submit a form with my personal information. CTAs like the don’t below are overly sales-oriented and imply a greater benefit for the business than for the prospect. 

Marketers should take care to explain (in as few words as possible) the value the lead will receive.

Don’t: Request a Consultation with a Sales Rep

Do: Schedule My Custom Consultation

4. MAKE THE CALL-TO-ACTION OBVIOUS

Don’t make potential leads work to navigate your landing pages. It’s important to keep your CTA above the fold so visitors don’t have to scroll to find it, especially on mobile. 

Make sure it stands out from the background, as well. You can do this with a colorful button or otherwise differentiated text. 

5. KEEP IT CONSISTENT

Your CTA should be consistent with your message. The goal is to always guide your reader toward next steps.   

The CTA should feel like a natural progression from what they have read. Whether it is for them to learn more information or be introduced to a new product, webinar, or event, be certain the CTA is consistent with the message in your post. In addition to consistency, adding urgency (appropriately) can be valuable.

Don’t: Add a link that isn’t relevant to the message

Do: Add a link aligned with the message with clear next steps

6. TEST, TEST, TEST!

You’ve found a CTA that works well? That’s great, but I bet there’s one that will work even better. Create a couple different options, and then use automated A/B testing to determine which version of your call-to-action is more effective. Found a winner? Do it again with a third option. Even if you’ve got the wording down pat, you can still tweak something else to increase conversion rates — like button color, CTA placement, or page layout, just to name a few options.

THE CHECKLIST

This checklist will help when you’re creating new landing pages. Remember: calls-to-action can make or break your otherwise effective offer, so spending a little extra time crafting excellent CTAs is absolutely worth it.The Call-to-Action Checklist. Text version at bottom of page.

Want more checklists and worksheets to help you take your B2B marketing to the next level? Get The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing:

Download The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing. Get Free E-book

Checklist: Text Version

The Call-to-Action Checklist

Creating the right CTA can be tough, and there’s no set formula that will guarantee success. Here are a few general guidelines you can follow to keep yourself on the right track.

  • Keep it short. Calls-to-action should be as to-the-point as possible.
  • Don’t be bossy. Use commands, not demands. You want you CTAs to encourage an action without sounding demanding.
  • Convey value. Tell users what they’re going to get, not what they need to do.
  • Make CTAs obvious. Set your CTAs apart. They should be easy to find, so consider differentiating via color or buttons.
  • Indicate urgency. Your users will be more tempted by offers they perceive to be available for al imited time only.
  • Test, test test. Use A/B testing to decide which CTAs perform the best, then optimize accordingly.

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