Test These Calls to Action to Increase Conversion Rates

by Dan Trefethen June 27, 2016
June 27, 2016


For many marketers, the performance of a successful piece of content largely hinges on the introductory call to action (CTA) that it is promoted with. The conversion rate of that simple button, link, or image strongly impacts the value of that resource for both marketing and sales teams.

That’s kind of scary, right? So much time, effort, research, and resources put into good content can fall by the wayside if nobody looks at the material or provides follow-up information during the discovery experience.

Often content creators and demand gen marketers can overlook the importance of a strong CTA and then wonder why a piece’s performance isn’t hitting expectations. Though you may think, “What can be done? How else can I say ‘Download Now’ or ‘Request a Demo’,” there are several tactics and language approaches to increase conversion rates and intrigue your audience.

In this post, we’ll cover how to challenge, reward, and stand out with CTAs to better convert your content.


Offering your customers and prospects an enticing CTA that presents a challenge or a learning opportunity can be a powerful way to affect click rates. Creating more active, interactive content that tests or contests with users has shown powerful results. Of course, the content on the other side of the CTA has to deliver on the offer.

A recent blog post from Impact Branding & Design titled “This is the Most Interesting Content in the World (And Here’s Why)” highlighted a new Dos Equis campaign that used interactive content to engage their audience.

Having officially retired their Most Interesting Man spokesperson, Dos Equis turned the attention to their audience, asking them to show how interesting they are – well, actually tasking them to “prove it.”

The CTA used is “See Where You Rank” with a content title “Think You’re Interesting? Prove It.”

The content gives unique results based on a user’s actions and ample opportunities to share and challenge their friends in the same manner – for them to “prove” themselves and see where they rank.

Other CTAs that would have a similar “challenging” approach could be:

  • Test Your Knowledge
  • Accept the Challenge
  • How much do you know?

Ideally, these CTAs would all lead to a dynamic piece of content that offers user participation, but that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case. These same CTAs could be used for infographics or ebooks that provide information that users think they have a strong handle on. Suggesting otherwise allows their interest to be piqued.


Similar to proposing challenges to your audience, offering a reward can be equally effective. Creating strong content is always about delivering value.

Often this value is the information – the contents – of the material (ebook, blog post, white paper), but increasingly users want more dynamic results from their content experiences.

This is where using more active content like assessments or calculators can boost engagement performance. Using CTAs that speak to an individual more, and offer unique results for their attention, is a strong way to gain clicks and completions.

These CTAs might look like:

  • Learn My Results
  • Discover Your Persona
  • Where Do You Stand?
  • Calculate!

A bonus to this type of CTA is that it can be used to introduce the content in the promotion, but also towards the end of the experience to only lead gate the results, and not the entire piece. Form fills are less dismissive once the experience is already in progress and committed to.

ServiceNow, a service management company, went with an assessment-focused CTA when covering ITSM (Information Technology Service Management).

The “find out where you stand” is a compelling line that offers an evaluation of your understanding and process. The fact that unique results are achieved for each user adds to the strength of the assessment format here, but CTAs like this can be positioned for a variety of content – as long as value is being delivered to the user.

Stand out

Obviously, all CTAs should stand out as much as possible without going full Vegas-style with blinking neon. Strong design guides users’ eyes to the part of the content where action is needed. However, even if your CTA button, text, or image is very present, the wording that is often used can cause it to be ignored or de-prioritized.

A great example of using a simple language change to give a CTA more pop is on the SnapApp main website.

Using Optimizely to conduct a performance A/B test, we were able to increase conversion rate by 11x on our demo request button for specific pages, going from 2.07% to 22.7%.

What was the test? We switched from the typical “Request A Demo” language on the button to “Let’s Go.”


By just adding a little flavor to more typical requests links and buttons, you inject more intrigue and more attention – even if it’s just a half a second’s worth more.

A bonus for reading this far into the post, here’s a little library of potential CTAs to experiment on future campaigns:

  • Let’s Do This
  • Show it to me!
  • Ready for Action
  • Solve My Problems
  • Make This Mine!
  • Intrigued?
  • Give Me The Goods
  • Let Me Own This
  • Show Me The Way
  • Impart Your Wisdom
  • Drop The knowledge

Providing Value for Your Audience

At the end of the day, a CTA is just a little vehicle to providing value for your audience. They want content that will speak to their interests and provide guidance and information. What marketers want is an engaged and active user base that they can learn from and qualify so their sales team can reach out with the best possible follow up.

Certainly, getting higher conversion rates and completions from your ebooks with strong CTAs would boost your lead engagement. But to really learn from that engagement is where using interactive content comes in.

By having unique form fields and variables that users participate with during an assessment, a quiz, or a calculator not only provides them with custom results, but delivers that informed data back to your marketing and sales teams to use for advancing the buyer’s journey.

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