From Action to Engagement: The Call2Action Button Comes of Age


Share on LinkedIn

A version of this post was first carried in MarketingProfs

Call to actions are an integral part of all websites, over the years these little buttons or tabs urging a website visitor to act on the website, disclosing their interest and intent have moved from a basic ‘click here for more info’ or ‘contact us’ to tabs that are designed to engage a visitor.

The most significant change has been the adaption of C2As across all types of marketing collateral, the C2A buttons today can be seen on emails, videos, online brochures etc.

And it is this change that has made the C2As an integral part of the Lead generation and Lead nurturing process.

Today C2As are not just tabs that ask a visitor to act, but are key to providing an insight into the frame of mind of a prospect on the site. If used appropriately, C2As can become the perfect lead generation tools that help in engaging and converting a visitor.

C2A as defined earlier do not work anymore

In the realm of C2A, what worked before fails to impress today, it could be because of the increased competition and shorter attention span of Internet users or because of the constant need for innovative designs and ideas that help companies retain their visitors on their sites for longer durations.

C2A tabs like

? A box which says ‘leave your emails for updates’ is obsolete in the current business scenario, where the focus is on providing value to a visitor at every step and slowly winning their trust. The act of leaving one’s email id on a company website, unless and until you get something in return for that activity, offers no value for a customer and hence, fails to make a visitor act. Days of building email lists using your ‘contact us’ page are over.

? Contact us buttons have also lost their relevance at a time when the contact page offers website visitors multiple options for getting in touch with the company, depending on what is most convenient to them – phone, chat or email.

Websites today have all kinds of C2As depending on the content and the assets available on the site.

These can be broadly divided into three categories, depending on their usage and effectiveness in helping with the lead generation and nurturing process.

1. Ineffective

C2A buttons which fail to get a visitor to act beyond the obvious are usually ineffective in getting any desired actions from a visitor. Their presence on a page is more consequential than strategic.

Buttons like,

  • Click here
  • Learn more

fail to entice a visitor and lead him onto the next stage. Also, since these have been used on all kinds of marketing collateral from press releases to blog posts, the chances of missing them is higher than other C2A tabs that tend to stand out from the content clutter around them.

2. Useful

  • Watch demo
  • Request a quote
  • Download
  • Webinar sign up
  • Free Trial sign up

All of the above tabs offer the visitor some value, added information for parting with his contact details. Most of these also lead to a long time engagement with the visitor.

They not only provide more info on the company’s offerings, but also lead a visitor to make choices on how he would like to take his interest in the company forward.

So while a click on the Download or Webinar sign-up tab may mean interested but still researching, a click on demo or free trial buttons clearly implies a lead is interested in checking out the company’s product/solution and will fall under the ‘qualified leads for sales’ category.

3. Engaging

Then there are C2A tabs that are extremely efficient in engaging the visitor. These are not just simple tabs transporting you to another page with more information, but are in a way assets which help a company assess the interests and intent of a visitor.

These include

  • Qualifying with questions having options as answer
  • Buying guides/comparative guides/RFPs
  • Free eBook
  • Contests
  • ROI Calculator
  • Lead Bait- which allows you to input information about your website or product and provides you with audit/assessment/recommendations
  • Chat Now

The role these C2As play is very significant to a company’s lead generation process, they are interactive and offer an answer to the query, a visitor is most likely to have at that point of time, during their stay on the page. These also, keep the visitors longer on the site, while analyzing their requirements through the options they choose on the site. The engagement is real and meaningful and hence gets a better response from the visitors.

It takes little to convert a useful C2A tab into a highly engaging C2A tab.

All it needs is a bit of customization which clearly suggests to the visitor the action you want your visitor to take after clicking on the C2A button. For example the watch demo option – There could be multiple actions that the clicking of this button can trigger. As in the conventional case, upon clicking this button, the visitor could be directed to a pre-loaded, or a simulated demo video which explains the value proposition of the product.

The alternative could also be to lead the visitor to a page where there is option for a live chat with a sales executive, who could organize this demo for you. A third option could be to provide a visitor a sandbox environment, so he can experience for himself how the product fares in the live environment. So although the C2A is “watch demo”, there could be multiple actions that could triggered by clicking this button and enhancing the user experience.


Looking at how soon this space is evolving and how strongly C2As are consolidating their position as a Lead generation and Lead nurturing tool, here are some of my predictions on how C2As will come of age and act more like Call2Engagement Buttons.

? C2E based on buying cycle status: Today the C2As are more based on what the company wishes to offer its prospects, wishes them to see, read etc. Hopefully this will change in the future and there will be different Call2Engagement widgets which are more buyer centric, based on where the engaged visitor is in their buying cycle. If the buyer is in the early decision cycle then there will be more data sheets and white papers to download, if in the analysis/comparison phase then the widget could provide comparative charts/buying guides/RFP and so on. These widgets could also become dynamic and in real time it could be single widgets with multiple states with the current state based on buying cycle position.

? Multiple C2E’s on home page and every page has a different C2E’s: Today the common practice is that there are couple of standard C2A buttons on the home page and they are then repeated in the internal pages.This would change, there would be multiple C2E widgets on a website and the type of C2E widget on each page would depend on the content of the page, for example product pages could have more datasheet/use case scenarios and white papers downloads, while pricing page could have ‘Request for Quote’ or Discount/Offer qualifiers.

? As SAS products increase most conversations will occur through C2E’s and very less direct: With SAS products beginning to take center stage most of the transactions are moving online and so will the interaction/conversations with prospects. In such a scenario, these interactions will happen through C2E’s and these could become more complex with workflow and online chat included.

? C2E Buttons to go beyond the Web: C2E Initiators will extend beyond web to email signatures, business cards, online ads and all other marketing collateral both old and new. We are seeing this change in the designer/branded email signatures that are available in the market today. The trend will percolate down to other types of communication and media too.

Today the buyer is more evolved and independent when it comes to acquiring information;he is looking for solutions and wants to be educated, but not marketed to. He wants to learn and make a informed choice but not sold to.

C2Es with their distinct qualities of leading, involving and engaging a prospect have become the automated tool, which takes on the role of an advisory to a visitor, ensuring he sees and hears what he wants and yet consumes enough knowledge on the product or solution a company is offering, to make an informed choice.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Shreesha Ramdas
Shreesha Ramdas is SVP and GM at Medallia. Previously he was CEO and Co-founder of Strikedeck. Prior to Strikedeck, Shreesha was GM of the Marketing Cloud at CallidusCloud, Co-founder at LeadFormix (acquired by CallidusCloud) & OuterJoin, and GM at Yodlee. Shreesha has led teams in sales and marketing at Catalytic Software, MW2 Consulting, and Tata. Shreesha also advises startups on marketing and growth hacking.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here