Ethan Denney

CTA Marketing 101: How to use targeted CTAs to generate leads and customers

Over the last six months, how many online products or tools have you signed up for?

If you’re anything like us, it’s probably a lot.

While I can’t tell you exactly how many products we’ve signed up for in the last six months, there are at least 48 tools we’ve started using in the last year, that we’re still paying for. So, who knows how many we’ve signed up to try.

Maybe you’re not tool junkies like us – and that’s okay!

But chances are if you’re an online professional who works alongside a dynamic team, together you’ve probably tried dozens or hundreds of tools in the last six months.

So, what is it about specific products and websites that drive tons of people like you and me to take time from our busy lives to sign up?

What separates the websites that successfully get us to take action, from the sea of dead sites that are starved of attention and engagement?

Well, one reason is they obviously have a strong value proposition.

The other reason, is they have a compelling Call-To-Action!

While diving into how to create a strong value proposition would take a significant amount of time, and probably another post, if you’re curious about how you can improve yours, check out this great article by the expert team at ConversionXL.

Here, you’re going to see one of the fastest ways to double or triple your conversion rates and generate more leads for products or services by using what’s known as call-to-action marketing.

What is CTA marketing?

Calls-to-action are instructions to your website visitors delivered through buttons, text or links that entice visitors to take the primary action you want them to take next.

CTA marketing is the process of using targeted calls-to-action throughout your marketing and visitors experience to meet visitors where they are, and guide them to take the next step.

So why should you care?

Simply put, almost every other marketing activity from writing SEO optimized content to setting up paid traffic campaigns takes a lot of work to move the needle and get your business results.

If you want to start seeing results now…

Launching the right CTA targeted at the right visitors on your website is the fastest way to boost your conversion rates today.

“Launching the right CTA targeted at the right visitors on your website is the fastest way to boost your conversion rates today. “

It takes just minutes to set up and drives results with your existing traffic.

Here’s why CTA marketing is so powerful…

1. You only have seconds to capture a visitor’s attention

As you might know, people on the Internet have no mercy when it comes to giving you their attention.

Your message either catches their attention or it doesn’t.

If it doesn’t, then they swipe off or click and bounce.

Everyone and their dog (or cat) is competing for their attention.


So naturally, with all that’s available to them, people determine in seconds what’s worth paying attention to. For most, that is what’s relevant and entertaining.

According to a report by the Nielsen Norman Group, most visitors stick around for less than 59 seconds. This means, if you don’t capture the visitor’s attention in less than a minute, you’ve lost them.

Even if your website has perfect message/customer fit, most visitors are in a browsing trance when they visit a site. Many of them land a website without the intention of committing to take some action.

If you want to capture their attention and get them to take action, then you need to proactively engage your visitors with the right calls-to-action, at the right time, based on who they are and what you know about them.

Movement on your website, combined with the right message at the right time is key for breaking people out of their browsing trance and getting them to take action.

2. Targeted CTAs meet your people where they are, and guide them to take the next step

Unfortunately, too many websites drop the ball here! Does that include yours?

Let’s face it, every person coming to your website is different. You’ve got people who are in various stages of your funnel that visit your site, partners that visit your site, existing customers, journalists, etc.

So why would your website stay the same for every visitor, and not show how him or her how to take the next step?

Just imagine if you could show CTAs to people based who they are, what they’re interested in, the content they’re consuming, and the data you’ve gathered about them?

This means you could…

  • Target new website visitors coming from a specific site and guide them to the right page
  • Target returning website visitors that already have been segmented by industry or interest with the right offer
  • Target existing leads in a marketing campaign with a call-to-action to talk with a sales rep
  • Target existing customers with a relevant product or service and upsell them to grow their account value

If you’re already thinking about how you can move potential customers through each step of your funnel, then you can surely recognize the opportunities targeting CTAs toward each visitor type provides for boosting results.

Companies like FEE are seeing their conversion rates quadruple by using targeted CTAs that engage visitors they already have data on.

“Companies like FEE are seeing their conversion rates quadruple by using targeted CTAs“

So, what does a targeted 
call-to-action look like?

Well, it’s definitely NOT boring forms or annoying popups that show the same message to everyone, and turn people away from your website and brand.

We’re finally past these days, and with tools like ConvertFlow, there are better ways to convert people on your website.

A targeted CTA IS a call-to-action that is engaging, relevant, compelling, personalized and guides visitors to take the next step.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at ActOnThis.Tv

To give you a few more examples, a targeted CTA might be an on-site message that segments visitors on a homepage and drives them to the right content based on their interest.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

Or it might be an exit overlay on your product page offering abandoning visitors a special discount.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

A targeted CTA could also be an embedded form in your blog post that offers a relevant, gated piece of content which many people nowadays call a content upgrade.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

As you can see targeted CTAs come in all shapes and sizes.

So what would work for your business?

If you’re wondering what opportunities exist on your website right now to launch a targeted CTA that could start converting more of your visitors into leads and customers… keep reading, because we’ve got you covered.

3. You can target and convert people based on their intent

Targeting people on your website by intent and behavior is also known as on-site retargeting,

Intent targeting is one of the most effective ways to engage visitors with a relevant CTA because this targeting takes into account a few factors;

  • Who they are
  • The content of the page a visitor is on
  • Where are they coming from
  • What intent is indicated by their behavior on your website

For example, if a person has read a significant portion of your blog post and they’re not already an email subscriber, then you could engage them with a relevant content upgrade/premium content to give them an opportunity to become a subscriber.

If an existing lead is checking out a specific case study page on your site, you could show them some content on what they can expect when working with you, and then give them a way to take the next step.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

If a potential customer is on your pricing page for more than a few seconds and hasn’t taken action, then engage them with a call-to-action to chat with your team.

This way, you can answer their questions, and help them get started.

4. You can target and convert people based on their stage in the funnel

Beyond intent targeting, you can also target people on your website based on what stage of your funnel they’re in.

With ConvertFlow, it’s easy for you to connect your email marketing tools and retarget the right people, with the right calls-to-action, using email subscriber data.

This means you can engage, guide and convert people at every stage of your marketing funnel with the right CTAs.

So instead of showing visitors who are already email subscribers, the same newsletter subscribe form, now you can show the next CTA to promote the next step in your funnel.

That could be to watch a video, register for a webinar, learn more about a product, schedule a consultation, or whatever the next action is that you want your visitors to take.

You think of this the same way your email marketing campaigns nurture and help your leads move down your funnel. Except now, you can greet your visitors with targeted CTAs on your website that do the same, and guide leads to becoming paying customers.

Here are a few ways you could use different CTAs at each stage of your funnel:

  • To engage and educating leads about your products
  • To guide returning leads to content and offers, and converting them into customers
  • To upsell existing customers and driving repeat purchase

With ConvertFlow’s campaign builder for on-site retargeting, you can create personalized flows for your visitors that retarget them with the next step and automate which CTAs people see as they progress through your funnel.

As visitors move through your funnel, and you nurture them, you can also personalize what videos, content, and widgets they see on your website and in your CTAs.

This could mean anything from Wistia videos, to Shopify embeddable buy buttons for your products, to embedding your Calendly calender for scheduling more meetings, and much more.

Want to personalize your CTAs for every visitor using contact data from over 750 apps and business tools?

See how it works by checking out ConvertFlow’s Zapier integration.

You can also send lead data to your favorite tools when leads engage with your ConvertFlow CTAs, visit your website and submit your forms.

With 750+ integrations, the possibilities are endless…

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how marketers and using targeted CTAs to convert visitors based on their email subscriber data and stage in the funnel.

ActOnThis.Tv promotes their membership program to returning subscribers.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at ActOnThis.Tv

And they promote their paid membership to all of their free members.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at ActOnThis.Tv

We promote our Pro trial to users on our free plan. promotes different offers to new visitors and existing subscribers.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at promotes a demo to their existing audience and leads.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

Want to start converting visitors in your funnel based on their email subscriber data? Create a free ConvertFlow account and launch your first CTA today.

5. You can target and convert people with relevant campaigns

Targeted CTAs are not only used for engaging visitors with the right call-to-action based on their intent or where they are in your funnel.

They can be used to engage people on your site with relevant campaigns based on their behavior and interests.

Call-To-Action crafted by the team at

When your marketing team develops new campaigns, products, and promotions, think about increase the effectiveness of your campaign by engaging the right website visitors with the right CTAs.

This unlocks the full potential of your website as a powerful marketing channel for your business, because now you can utilize interest and behavioral targeting beyond email and ads to get your message in front of the right people.

As you can see, CTA marketing is the fastest way you can double or triple your conversion rates and generate more leads for products or services.

And while other marketing activities like creating keyword optimized content for search engines or launching advertising campaigns require you to invest a significant amount of time or money to get decent results, CTA marketing is one of the highest-ROI customer acquisition activities for your business because you’re taking advantage of the opportunities already available to you with potential customers on your website!

About the author

Ethan Denney

Co-Founder & CEO, ConvertFlow