We want our audience to take an action as a result of reading every piece of content we produce. And this call-to-action – or CTA – could be anything:

  • ‘Read this blog’
  • ‘Download a white paper’
  • ‘Register for a webinar’
  • Say hello!

In performing your CTA, your content has converted your audience within your nurture flow and strengthened your bond with them.

So what should we think about when inserting a CTA into our content?

Hard vs. soft CTAs

A mistake I see a lot of companies making is to push what I think of as the ‘hard’ CTA – something like ‘Book a demo’. It’s hard because it requires your audience to take a big (scary!) step with you. And depending on where they are within your nurture flow, they might not be ready for it.

Just imagine…

You’ve never heard of a company before but discovered one of their articles when you did a Google search. Unless that article contains some pretty spectacular copywriting, chances are there’s no way that person is ready for a demo of your software.

That’s why I advocate using softer CTAs to help nudge your audience, at each step building trust that nothing bad will happen when they perform the hard CTA.

One way to do this is to offer 2 CTAs. For example:

‘If you want to discuss your project, Say hello! Alternatively download this guide to discover more.’

Another tactic is to insert softer CTAs throughout your piece – perhaps after every paragraph/section – to build that familiarity and trust before hitting them at the end with that hard CTA.

Or, if you know your content will always be viewed early on in the nurture flow, and therefore anyone reading it is unlikely to ever contact you directly – think about the softer alternative. For example, rather than ‘Book a demo’ use ‘Watch a demo video’ because it requires the audience to make less commitment.

The best places to use CTAs

Every piece of content you create should include a CTA – otherwise what’s the point in creating it? Even if the content you’re producing is written for your customers, designed to enhance their experience, it still needs a CTA. Think:

  • What other information might they find useful?
  • Who else can they talk to?
  • Where can they learn more about something?

The possibilities are endless.

And then think about how you use those CTAs across different platforms.

For example, if someone follows you on Twitter, can you get them to subscribe to your newsletter? Or if you’re focussed on account-based marketing, can you drive them to a specific landing page from a direct mail?

And don’t forget all the small spaces:

  • Email signatures
  • Social bios
  • Business cards
  • Merchandise
  • Engineer’s polo shirts

Anywhere your brand is present is an opportunity to drive people towards a CTA.

How many CTAs to include

That’s totally dependent on your business and your conversion rate.

If you’re offering a SaaS product that’s £5 per user, per month, it’s a much simpler ‘sell’ than a bespoke £100k project including consultancy, statement of work documentation, end user workshops and custom configuration.

Within a single piece of content, I’d advocate having one main CTA at the end of the piece (whether hard or soft) and then insert some supporting CTAs where appropriate within the piece.

As with most things in marketing, the secret to success is testing what works best for your business – varying the types of CTA you use to see what entices your audience in and reliably converts them.

And here’s my big CTA…

You want copy that converts? Then say hello!


Read how I helped Atech Support (a cloud managed service provider) to increase its web traffic by 383%…