Learn all about Calls-To-Action: what they are, what they do, and how you can use them in your Hub.
What is a Call-to-Action?
You're probably already familiar with Calls-to-Action (CTAs), which urge your visitors to take an action that brings them into (or advances them through) your funnel. CTAs are an essential tool for marketers, which is why they're also an integral part of Uberflip Hubs. While your Hub allows you to showcase all your content and create great experiences around it, CTAs are how you leverage that content to generate leads and drive conversions.
Most commonly, CTAs on the web come in the form of banners, buttons, and forms. In an Uberflip Hub, we combine these concepts to present CTAs as, essentially, a special type of Item Tile. Here's what they look like in an actual Stream:
The Tiles marked with arrows are CTAs, while all the other Tiles are pieces of content. CTA Tiles are designed to be eye-catching: they have bolder graphics and colors, a tagline in a larger font, and a prominent button or text field to indicate that visitors can interact with them.
But although they stand out, CTA Tiles are also the same basic size and shape as your Item Tiles. This allows them to integrate seamlessly with your Streams, and ensures your audience sees them as they browse your content.
How do Uberflip CTAs Work?
In general, CTAs look and work like regular Item Tiles: they are the same size, and look fairly similar at first glace. Just like Item Tiles, they can be embedded outside your Hub. Compared to Item Tiles, however, CTA Tiles differ in how visitors interact with them, how they can be styled, and how they are placed.
There are two types of CTAs in Uberflip, Link CTAs and Form CTAs. In the screenshot above, Link CTAs are the ones with a button, while Form CTAs are the ones with a text field. Each type of CTA serves a specific purpose:
- With Link CTAs, the prompted action is to click on a link. The purpose of a Link CTA is to encourage a visitor go somewhere (like a specific URL). Alternatively, it can also be used in conjunction with an email address or phone number to prompt a visitor to contact you.
- With Form CTAs, the prompted action is to fill out a form. The purpose of a Form CTA is to collect information from a visitor and generate leads.
We'll look at the two CTA types in greater depth later on in this article.
Visually, the main difference between a regular Item Tile and a CTA Tile is that the Item's thumbnail image will cover only about two-fifths of the Tile's area, while the background image (or color) on a CTA will cover the entire Tile, which helps CTAs to stand out.
As they appear within a Stream, both types of CTAs have the same basic layout, consisting of (1) a background color or image, (2) a tagline to grab the visitor's attention and (3) a button or text field that allow the visitor to interact with the CTA. You can customize any of these elements to match your brand and use case.
You can place your CTAs in three ways: At Stream Level, At Item Level (Show Beside), and At Item Level (Gate). You can place any single CTA at both Stream level and at Item level, but you must choose either Show Beside or Gate for the Item level placement (you can't choose both).
- At Stream Level: This is essentially the default placement. When placed at Stream level, a CTA's Item Tile appears among the Item Tiles in that Stream. You specify this type of placement in relation to content Items, i.e. "appear after Item n", where n is the number of Item Tiles that will appear in the grid before the CTA Tile. For example, in this screenshot, CTAs have been placed after Item 1, Item 3, and Item 4:
If your Stream is long, you can also have CTAs placed at Stream level repeat after a given number of Items.
- At Item Level (Show Beside): You can also place CTAs at Item level. There are two ways you can do this, one of which is Show Beside, which makes the CTA appear beside the content. With this option, the CTA Tile will be displayed in the top right corner when the Item is viewed:
Show Beside CTA Tiles float, so they remain fixed in the same position as visitors scroll down the page.
- At Item Level (Gate): The other type of Item level placement is Gate. This means that the CTA is placed "in front of" the Item, so that the visitor has to interact with the CTA before they can access the Item, like this:
This CTA placement is especially useful for high-value content like ebooks or white papers. Note that gating an Item can only be done with Form CTAs.
How do I use Link CTAs and Form CTAs?
Fundamentally, Link CTAs and Form CTAs are variations of the same concept: for both types, the main purpose is to urge the visitor to interact with the CTA. Each type is designed to produce a specific outcome from that interaction, so they lend themselves to particular use cases.
This is the simpler of the two CTA types. Think of a Link CTA as a kind of banner: it's intended to be eye-catching among your regular content so that users will click on it.
The primary use case for Link CTAs is to funnel visitors to specific content. Here's one example, in which we're using a Link CTA to encourage visitors to view of our ebooks:
Link CTAs are ideal for making your visitors aware of your high-value (and most-converting) content, and giving them an easy way to get there. Once they're looking at that content, you then have an opportunity to leverage it by using Form CTAs to convert those visitors into leads.
While they're often used to link to Hub content, Link CTAs can link to anything you want, including external URLs. In fact, the link doesn't even have to be to a webpage: you can also specify URI schemes like mailto: and tel: on the link to point to contact information.
As a result, another great use case for Link CTAs is as a way to encourage prospects and customers to reach out. This is especially useful on personalized ABM and Sales Streams, where you can include a Link CTA with your contact details to encourage the target to follow up:
Form CTAs are essentially a kind of registration form, like the kind you would find on a landing page, and are designed to collect information from a visitor. Form CTAs can contain just a single field (such as for an email address), or can serve a full multi-field form that collects all kinds of information.
The primary use case for Form CTAs is to gate high-value content. Once you've funnelled prospects to a desirable piece of content (for example by using a Link CTA), gating it means they can see the content in the background, but have to interact with the Form CTA before they can access it. This approach is not only great for generating leads, it's also far more effective than using a traditional landing page — as well as faster and easier to set up. This also means that you can (and should!) use Form CTAs to replace your traditional landing pages.
A secondary use case for Form CTAs is as a way to generate subscribers for your content, such as newsletters. This kind of Form CTA would usually just collect one or two pieces of information, and can be placed throughout your Streams:
Of course, these use cases only represent half of the story — once you have used a Form CTA to collect information from your visitors, you have to do something with that data. For this reason, Form CTAs integrate with Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) like HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua, etc. Whenever a visitor fills in one of your Form CTAs, that information is passed directly to your MAP.
Form CTAs also have a few features built in to increase the chances that visitors will interact with them. For example, no matter how many fields a Form CTA actually contains, only one field is ever displayed by default. The additional fields only become visible when a visitor interacts with a Form CTA, and are displayed on a second "page" (which also scrolls to accommodate all fields):
You can also enable progressive profiling, which automatically hides any fields that a known visitor (as identified by a cookie) has previously completed. For example, if they had earlier signed up for your newsletter and provided their name and email address at that time, those fields would be hidden from any other Form CTAs they interact with (and automatically filled in on the backend).
Lastly, Form CTAs can also have fields that are optional, so that visitors can choose not to complete them. Or, you can make fields conditional, so they are displayed only if certain conditions are met. This allows you to present different fields to different visitors based on their inputs: for example, you could present additional fields to visitors from the EU, which is useful for GDPR compliance.
Ready to get started with Link CTAs and Form CTAs? Learn how to use them with these articles: