Case Studies, Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation, Intermediate

CASE STUDY: The Importance of Call-to-Actions

Andrew Gough
by Andrew Gough
on June 12, 2013

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Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are deceptively powerful yet often overlooked. As we discovered with one client, an international school in Switzerland, there’s nothing quite so simple and effective than pointing out the next logical step in a user’s journey towards conversion. The effect of adding CTAs in the right places really can make all the difference in generating leads, as a new case study of ours reveals.

What is a CTA?

A CTA is any wording or graphic that provides an obvious link to the next clear action. Anything that says “download now”, “get it now”, “subscribe today”, and other such direct/active language, is a CTA. Even if you only surf the internet for a few minutes each day, you’ll very likely see these little psychological cues in many and myriad forms. 

We covered this in a blog post from last year called How NOT to Create a Call-to-Action Button – in it you’ll also find some great tips on how to phrase your CTAs, get noticed and keep things fresh.

Show me some examples 

There are examples all over this very page. The banner at the top that invites visitors to “request a free website evaluation” is a CTA, in fact the highlighted wording in this sentence is a cue to perform an action you may have been considering.

CTAs are everywhere, so much so that you probably don’t notice them any more. Yet take them away and the whole visitor journey breaks down. No longer is there an obvious exit page, and for online marketers that means a high bounce rate (when a visitor only views a certain page before exiting the website).

A case in point: CTAs gave our client more leads

A client of ours – an international school in Switzerland – with our help has been using the Inbound Marketing methodology for over a year, running on the HubSpot marketing platform. 

Lead generation from offers and landing page forms was steady until January this year, when we placed new text-based CTAs (highlighted in green below) on key pages throughout the main website, as well as a newly designed graphical CTA on blog posts. 

School website page with Call-to-Action (CTAs) highlighted

Two text-based CTAs were made more visible with a contrasting background.

Swiss international school blog Call-to-Action (CTA)

This graphical CTA appears at the end of blog posts and provides a logical progression.

As a result, the renowned Swiss high school now averages 12 times as many new leads per month compared to a year ago. Over half of these new contacts have been evaluated as ‘marketing qualified’ (ready to enter the sales phase) and there is little sign of this slowing down.

International school lead generation figures

To sum things up, use CTAs. In their most basic form they're easy to implement, and can as simple as a box with some text. Place them where they seem logical, for example, if you're talking about a particular service or product it makes sense to have a CTA giving people the option to buy, sign-up or subscribe. When you write your CTAs, put yourself in the mind of your potential customers – what kind of cues would they be looking for? 

As well as CTAs, find out how other aspects of Inbound Marketing helped the Swiss high school double its traffic in just four months, establish an active social media community, and achieve a high lead generation rate on its landing pages with one in five visitors converting – read Inbound Marketing Case Study: Swiss International School.

One last CTA, for good measure:

Indispensable guide to Inbound Marketing
Written by
Andrew Gough