In advertising, the call-to-action (CTA) phrase can determine the success or failure of a campaign. CTAs are expressions in the form of buttons and links that direct a user down a specific path. Click-worthy ads begin with a compelling CTA. However, not all CTAs align with each campaign. A good CTA depends on the funnel stage the campaign is targeting.

The sales funnel plays a significant role in which CTA is the best fit. Help your advertisers cater to the funnel stage of their audience with a strong CTA to match. Read on to learn why tailoring CTAs to a specific stage of the sales funnel yields better results.

3 Stage Marketing Funnel

What Are the Funnel Stages?

The sales and marketing funnel visualizes the customer journey. The funnel describes the process from discovery to purchase and the steps in between. The sales funnel consists of three distinct stages: awareness, consideration and decision.

  • Awareness: Buyers embark on their customer journey here at the awareness stage. It’s the broadest stage with the largest audience of potential customers. Buyers become aware of a problem and are in the initial research phase for a solution. They may not know what they’re looking for but are ready to learn about available solutions. Advertisers should offer value-driven, informational content and avoid an overt sales pitch. Blogs, infographics and informational social posts are effective ways to achieve this.
  • Consideration: The customer graduates to the consideration stage by engaging with a brand. Engagement could be subscribing to a newsletter, signing up for promo emails or responding to SMS marketing messages. At this stage, the buyer zeroes in on the problem and narrows down potential solutions. Keep prospects rolling down the funnel with content spotlighting the unique brand qualities. In other words, what’s the value proposition? What can it do for its customers that competitors fail to do? These could be downloadable case studies, white papers, product reviews, demo videos, online courses and webinars.
  • Decision: Most people from the awareness stage won’t make it this far; thus, it’s the narrowest part of the funnel. Your advertisers are doing something right if they find their lead at the decision stage. The deal is not done yet; this stage is where prospects make the decision to buy or not. Free consultations, demos, trials and discounts are offers that will further engage a buyer at the decision stage.

CTAs for Every Funnel Stage

We have compiled a list of effective CTAs based on the defining characteristics of the funnel stages. This list could be a starting point for advertisers looking to spice up their CTAs and increase their click-through rate (CTR).

Awareness CTAs

As mentioned previously, awareness CTAs should be educational rather than promotional. Help advertisers get a foot in the door with a solid CTA emphasizing what the buyer could learn from the brand’s content.

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Consideration CTAs

Advertisers aim to attract attention by highlighting their brand’s unique selling proposition (USP). Link to webinars, white papers, case studies and testimonials. Use CTAs that tease what the brand offers and what the buyer could gain.

  • Take the quiz (or survey)
  • Reserve your seat
  • Save your spot
  • Download the case study
  • Start the free course
  • See our products
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  • Read reviews
  • Get your free e-book
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  • Follow us

Decision CTAs

The consumer knows the brand and the product or service it offers. The brand is one of a select few they may be choosing from at this stage. It is the final push for advertisers to sell their solution. CTAs that create urgency, offer significant value and drive action fit best at this stage.

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The Importance of Strong CTAs

The standard “learn more” and “click here” are easy to ignore in a competitive marketplace flooded with brands looking to spark interest. Add challenges like banner blindness and ad-blocking tools to the mix, and the CTA becomes even more relevant. These challenges are real, with 61% of marketers saying generating leads is their biggest hurdle.

Recommend testing a variety of phrases, placements and designs to track effectiveness and convert leads. Here are some general rules for your advertisers to follow to increase the odds of a campaign taking off:

  • Use actionable language.
  • Include a value proposition.
  • Create a sense of urgency.
  • Draw the eye with effective graphic design.
  • Be strategic about placement.
  • Include keywords in CTAs.

Funnel Advertising Strategy: Help Advertisers Boost Conversions

Advertisers who combine CTA good practices with a funnel stage strategy see better campaign results. A HubSpot study of more than 330,000 CTAs found that personalized CTAs convert 202% better than default versions. Another study determined that marketing strategies covering the full funnel resulted in 45% better returns than those that omit part of the funnel.

Show an interest in helping your advertisers see better campaign results. Offer ideas and inspiration that prove to be successful. Find even more CTAs in our Top 100 CTA Phrases post.