We’ve talked at length about the importance of developing a content strategy built to attract serious franchise buyers combing the web for an opportunity that speaks to them.
The second logical step in the inbound methodology is converting those interested visitors into leads you can nurture through the franchise sales process and eventually close—the final step of the inbound process.
This post will focus squarely on how to create a compelling call-to-action that will earn the clicks of your website visitors, leading them on the start of their conversion path.
What are calls-to-action and how are they used to convert potential buyers?
Simply put, calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons or links that encourage prospects to take action. Whether it’s downloading a white paper, registering to attend a webinar to learn more about the company, or any other kind of downloadable material or contact form, just about every next step on your franchise website is prompted by strategically placed CTAs. Here's a simple example:
Without these prompts to take action, the visitor is forced to actively search for answers by combing the site themselves—a chore that can frustrate many to the point where they simply leave your website and move on to explore other opportunities.
As far as how they appear on your website, CTAs can take just about any form or shape depending on the kind of page and the content being displayed. Blog posts for instance, work great with both image-based CTAs as well as text-based links that compel readers to get additional information based on what they’ve just been reading about.
What makes a call-to-action compelling enough to prompt a prospect to click?
While they may seem simple enough, marketers have been studying, testing, and refining calls-to-action for years. While some of the research dives into deeper psychological research such as the effectiveness of using the word “Get” as opposed to “Download” on the CTA button itself, the fundamental best practices of CTAs are straightforward:
CTAs should be:
- Visually striking. Include language that compels interested parties to click.
- Brief. Less is more—don’t write more than a sentence.
- Action oriented. In just about every case, your CTA should start with a verb.
- Located with visibility in mind. CTAs need to be easy for visitors to find, and follow the natural flow of the webpage.
- Noticeable. Just make sure you don’t go crazy with color. While a contrasting color is a great idea to make CTAs pop on your page, make sure it still fits with the color scheme of the website.
- Clear. Be sure to state exactly what the visitor’s getting after they click.
What exactly is the next step of the conversion process?
After generating some interest while looking at your website, a prospect decides to download a whitepaper with some more information about your industry. Where are they taken after clicking your CTA?
After clicking the CTA, they’re sent to a landing page which presents them with a form to then fill out to complete the download. They receive their content, you receive their contact information, and a new lead is born. Forms can be customized to collect the kinds of data you use to segment your leads into categories. Here's a simple example:
If you’re using an automated franchise marketing system, this lead is automatically added to your contact list. Here, the lead and all of their submitted information is listed alongside the rest of your leads, which can then be reviewed to assess their level of qualification as a potential buyer. From there, you can nurture the good leads by providing additional information and eliminate the unqualified leads.