Tax & Accounting Blog

3 Most Dramatic Elements of Performing, Lead-Generating Calls to Action (CTAs)

Blog, Checkpoint Marketing for Firms January 27, 2016

You won’t convert every visitor who trips onto your website. Even if they intentionally navigated to it. And are interested in what you offer. And are actually on the market for a new CPA.

But you can maximize your lead generation chances by incorporating some dramatic calls to action into your site.

Your goal, with your website, should not be to sell accounting services right off the bat. That is an unreasonable and unrealistic expectation, particularly for the professional services industry. But what you can, and should, do is try to get visitors to admit their interest by telling you a little something about themselves. An email address, perhaps.

The sales cycle for accountants and other professional service providers can be a lot longer than it is for other industries. You probably have an email newsletter and other campaigns that you use to nurture your prospects digitally. So the objective of your website is to attract as many new (relevant) visitors to it as possible, welcome them warmly, educate and inform them, and then get them to subscribe to your CPA email newsletter, download a case study, or fill out some other form to that you may continue to engage them offline.

Enter your call to action (CTA), center stage.

Like most businesses, your email newsletter subscription form is probably buried under some kind of “news” or “resources” tab or somewhere else far from the home page (or any of the other pages you typically drive prospects to). It can’t take the spotlight if it is hiding behind the scenes.

The call to action you decide to highlight doesn’t need to be your e-newsletter signup form (although that’s a great way to get more people on your email list, which is likely what you use to build up your credibility and trust to earn new business). Whichever CTA you decide to use, make it appear as important as it is. It is, after all, the mechanism that will help you convert a visitor into a potential lead.

Here are the three elements that will give your CTA a starring role in your lead generation efforts.

1) The Hook
Enticing your visitors to give up their contact information isn’t easy. You have to persuade them with a valuable offer or something that they want. The hook is the foundation of your CTA. It is what you will use to craft your irresistible CTA.

It isn’t necessary to give away your services for free as your hook. Your newsletter, if it offers useful and helpful information on topics that your website visitors are looking for, could be a hook all on its own if you position it properly. But an even better hook, with the same result (capturing email addresses) would be to give something of value away.

Let’s say that your firm has capacity and expertise in serving entrepreneurial and start-up businesses. You want to grow your practice in that area, so you’re targeting small business owners. Your hook might be a whitepaper on 10 small business tax mistakes that could seriously hurt your bottom line. Those who download your whitepaper also opt in to your email list to also receive your monthly small business CPA email newsletter.

That’s a pretty tantalizing hook for an entrepreneur who is researching your CPA firm.

2) The Lead
Your hook only becomes tempting if you present it well. That’s where the lead-in copy plays a leading role, pun intended. The lead grabs the reader’s attention, keeping him or her engaged in what you’re offering.

The very best lead begins with a striking, relevant and poignant headline. A “what’s in it for me” kind of headline. Going back to our previous example of the whitepaper, your lead might be:

Have you made any of these 10 fatal small business mistakes? Find out – for free!”

This is your opportunity to prove that you understand your prospects’ pain. What they need. What they want. What will help them.

Your headline should virtually reach out and grab your visitors, engaging them long enough to continue reading so that you can tell them more about the benefits of trading their contact information for this wonderful thing that you’re offering.

3) The Button
The third element to your call to action is the button. This is the true call to action. It is the piece that tells the reader what to do, calling him or her to action. What your button says will be based on what your hook is – what you’re giving away in exchange for juicy contact details – but it should be more descriptive than “download” or “subscribe”. The button should be some kind of concise combination of your hook and your lead.

It is your last (and best) chance to obtain that information you want. It confirms your target’s interest in your hook. It reiterates what you’re giving them. It assuages any fear that your prospective prospects might have. It convinces skeptics and gives them that final incentive to click.

Even if it is “just” your email newsletter sign-up form.

Putting the pieces together

You’ve determined your hook (the give-away), drafted the lead (and related descriptive copy) and decided upon the action that will call your visitors to click your button. Now you have to give it an award-winning design and make it stand out from the rest of your page. But that’s a topic for another day.

Do your CTAs have what it takes to star in your lead-generating efforts? If not, review them and see where they might be falling flat.