One of the most important lessons for any Internet marketer to learn is how easy it is to measure, adjust, and fine-tune your online marketing efforts.
Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are an excellent example of this. You've got your CTAs in place, accompanied by good Landing and Thank You pages, and, you know, they're working. You're doing a decent amount of trade in your eBooks or free consultations or whatever your promotional hook is. Many people, especially those used to offline marketing, will ask, "Why mess with what works?"
On the Internet, the question should be: "Why NOT mess with what works?" After all, virtually anything that is working can be made to work better.
Unless literally every visitor to your site is taking advantage of your CTAs, there is most likely (ample) room for improvement. Chances are, in reality, only a small percentage of your visitors are getting that far. You're missing out on those opportunities, so why refuse to look for ways to seize them instead? -- To us, that sounds like shooting yourself in the foot.
Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Calls to Action
The first step to improving is to see where you're at to begin with. Once you have a baseline, you can start looking for the areas that either most need improvement, or could be most easily refined.
Here are a few statistics to look at that you should be able to easily pull out of your server logs, or by using a decent piece of analytics software (Google has an effective free analytics tool if you can't afford a more robust service like Hubspot.)
Overall percentage of visitors clicking on each Call to Action button.
The clickthrough rate for each CTA on each individual page.
Previous pages clicked on by people who later click a CTA. (Are there certain pages in common that seem to generate more activity?)
Overall percentage of people proceeding through the Landing Page.
Percentage of visitors who sign up at the Landing Page, but never claim their reward.
Once you have these charted, you can start looking for good places to start. There should be something that makes you think, "Oh, we can do better than that."
Form Concrete Goals For Your Calls-to-Action
The next step is to form a plan. For best effect, you should proceed in a relatively slow and scientific manner. Don't tweak endlessly without pausing to reflect. Instead, pick a very concrete goal. If 40% of the people visiting your Landing Pages sign up, ask yourself how to get that number up to 50%.
Then, once you reach 50%, pause and reevaluate. Perhaps another area needs attention more, or perhaps it's time to again step back and look at how to push that from 50% to 60%, while still working towards your larger marketing strategic goals. Set a new goal, and start working on it.
If you follow this consistent pattern of setting a goal, achieving it, and then reevaluating before setting your next goal, you should be able to continually improve while maintaining control of your marketing strategy.
Don't Be Afraid to Experiment
The great thing about Internet marketing is how cheap and easy it is to try new things. If you want to try out some new Calls-to-Action buttons, it only takes an hour or two to redo the graphics and upload the new buttons to your site. Give it a couple weeks or a month, and see where you're at. If it doesn't work better, at worst, you can always easily revert back to what did work and then look for a new approach.
Here are a few things you might experiment with when trying to improve your CTAs:
Sweeten the deal on your landing pages.
Try different formats for your landing pages. Try using an infographic rather than a text box, or try longer or shorter copy.
In general, simpler is better. Is there anything distracting and unnecessary you can remove from your CTA or landing page?
Try different color/font combinations on the CTA buttons, or different page placements.
Just make sure not to change too many things at one time, so you can track the effectiveness of each individual change. Again, be scientific.
Strive for 100%
Just because you're unlikely to achieve 100% visitor conversion doesn't mean you shouldn't try for it anyway. Set your sights high, and see just how far you can reach.
What techniques have you successfully used to improve your Calls to Action?