Creating effective calls-to-action (CTAs) is necessary to move casual, first-time visitors through your conversion funnel and convert them to customers. Bottom of funnel CTAs are easy to identify as they tell people to "Buy Now" or "Call Now", but what about people who are visiting your site for the first time and aren't ready to buy?
Most website visitors do not complete a sale on their first visit. They check out a few sites, do their research, and then come back to buy. Sometimes they come back to buy. As a retailer, you want to capture the attention of your website visitor right away on the first visit so that you can nurture them into becoming a paying customer in due time.
How can you help first time visitors and nurture them into becoming customers? If you read the title of the article you know the answer here is by using calls-to-action.
Calls-to-Action (CTAs) for First Time Visitors
You don't always know why someone is on your site for the first time. They might be looking for a specific product, type of product, a solution to a particular problem, or it could be a variety of other things. Your calls-to-action should reflect their current stage within the buyer's journey.
What's the Motive?
Every prospective customer travels through stages of "the buyer's journey" before they convert. This is true of B2B, B2C, service-based businesses, and ecommerce alike.
The awareness or “top of the funnel” stage is where people are looking for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight. They’re looking for answers – sometimes specific, sometimes not so specific.
In the awareness stage, buyers are aware of the symptoms of their problems but not always the root cause of the problem or the solution for it. They're doing research and trying to get clarity. They're taking to different channels — like Google search, social media, and online forums for insight.
As a marketer, you need to think of your Buyer Personas or your target audience and consider what questions or problems they might be having that could lead to your product or services. Often, this can be much more broad than you would normally focus on. Then, you'll want to create content around those questions and CTAs that answer them.
As an example, if you sell ecommerce marketing services like us, you might have an awareness stage content on "Easy Ways to Increase Conversion Rates." If you sell shoes to consumers, that capture
Your job is to create content and CTAs at this stage that capture their attention and provides them with answers. You’re not here to push or promote any specific product or service. Instead you’re offering a broad range of knowledge intended to educate your audience. Taking this into consideration, amend your messaging for your CTAs.
- Looks Like: the prospect has recognized a problem or opportunity.
- Research Includes: neutral 3rd party information that verifies their concerns.
- You Might Provide: material that addresses the buyer’s pain points, such as editorial content, educational content, etc.
During the awareness phase you want to reach people before they even know they need you. Your Secret Weapon to Attract Visitors during this stage of the journey is placing relevant content that is optimized for search and promote it in key places online.
When creating CTAs for the awareness stage remember that this will be for a top of the funnel offer. Someone is on your website looking to solve a problem, so the CTA should relay information that you have a solution to that problem. These should be educational in nature and cast a wide net to capture as many prospects as possible. Some examples CTA offers could be:
- White Paper
- Industry Guides
Companies often put a great deal of their marketing efforts into producing a lot of top-of-the-funnel content. And that’s a good idea – this type of content marketing can generate three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less than traditional marketing efforts.
Blogs are often the most popular; 79% of companies with an active blog report a positive ROI.
At this stage, your call to action needs to focus the attention of the audience. They’re not yet a qualified lead or customer, and you don’t want to push promotional CTAs or you risk driving them away.
Instead, use personalized calls to action that promote continued engagement. This can include:
- A CTA to drive engagement – “Share this post with your network” or “Leave a comment below with your thoughts”
- A CTA that gathers info – “Click to get your free eBook” or “Download your free local marketing checklist”
Remember, helping new visitors at the "top of funnel" should focus on education and continued engagement with the eventual goal of moving visitors through the funnel to ultimately become customers.