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The Best Content Offers: The Right Offer at the Right Time

By August 16, 2016Strategy

Calls to action (CTAs) are the buttons and links that open landing pages where people give you their contact information in exchange for some helpful content you are offering. CTAs are a form of lead generation, converting anonymous website visitors into known contacts, and nurturing known contacts into leads on the site. As a result, the only way visitors could express interest in learning more was to request a demo.

A demo request is a “bottom of the funnel” call to action and appropriate when someone has already identified their business problem, identified possible solutions, and is ready to select a product. It is usually among the last steps in the sales cycle. With a demo request as the only CTA on its website, this company was capturing many top of the funnel leads–people researching different products and solutions–with a bottom of the funnel offer. Once people had gone through the demo, it was hard to follow up with more information because they had already been through a complete product demonstration.

It’s important to have a sequence of offers for contacts that are at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Typically this means a guide, ebook, white paper, or case study that helps define the problem you solve, appropriate for the awareness stage when people have just become aware of a problem or need. This helps people confirm that the problem they are trying to solve is real and has been addressed. This is the kind of resource you offer on a home page, blogs, ads and, other content designed to attract new leads.

A next step would be something like a comparison of the solutions available in the market that you address. These are great tools for people who have confirmed their problem and are looking at various solutions, also known as the consideration stage.

The final step would be something like a demo when someone is ready to make a purchase. This is the decision stage. Other decision-stage calls to action might be an offer of a free trial or an appointment with a sales rep. It’s important that this bottom of the funnel offer be given at the appropriate time when both you and the lead is ready to move forward or part ways. Offering a bottom of the funnel CTA indiscriminately sets you up to lose the opportunity to nurture leads that are not ready to make a decision. You’ve taken the last step in the buyer’s journey with people that may be at the first step.

Let’s look at an example. One company we work with was frustrated because it was giving a lot of software demos to people, but most of the leads were never heard from again. We analyzed their site and saw that the “Request a Demo” CTAs was front and center on the company’s homepage, and once it was requested, there were few next steps available.

It is also important to have the right call to action for the right stage in the buyer’s journey. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself responding to leads with inappropriate next steps and alienating the lead.

The best CTAs are not just great offers, but great offers to the right people at the right time. It is especially important to determine where and when to offer your bottom of the funnel call to action. You should have CTAs on your website, email marketing, ads and other marketing outreach in order to give your visitors and contacts an opportunity to tell you what they are interested in learning more about.

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