Choosing the Right Words for Your B2B Call to Action

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In B2B, offering a lead magnet is perhaps the most common call-to-action (CTA) for lead generation.

Although lead magnets can vary greatly in format, medium, length, and content, one of the most common and popular offers is the download of a free PDF, such as an ebook, special report, or white paper.

The actual download is achieved by the prospect clicking on a button or a landing page or in an email.

As for the CTA, there are a few different words you can use in your copy when you want prospects to respond to your free content offers.

But when writing your copy, you should be aware that they have slightly different connotations:

  • Access … makes the content sound exclusive and valuable. Also sounds a bit technical, leading edge, important, and confidential. “Access” is a word that grabs your attention and makes you feel like getting the lead magnet is somewhat of a privilege. Or that the content may even at times be kept secure and restricted.
  • Get … straightforward, simple, and direct. People like to get stuff and be given stuff. This short imperative appeals to the prospect’s desire to get something.
  • Claim … makes the prospect think he has hit gold with your content offer. Gold miners famously “staked” claims for potential mineral reserves and deposits. In a lottery, winners claim their prize. In a casino, gamblers claim their winnings. It sounds as if the prospect is being given an exciting opportunity to get something of real value.
  • Download … a computer-age term that emphasizes the speed and ease of getting the lead magnet. The appeal here is that getting the requested content is quick and simple. Much faster than direct mail where you have to complete a reply element, mail it back to the advertiser, and then wait for the requested material to arrive back to you by post.
  • Read … a bit dull and sounds like work. If you use “read” in your CTA and offer, add copy that makes it sound like it’s not a lot of time and effort; e.g. “Reading Time: Just 7 Minutes.”
  • Request … reasonable language, but it may connote that the prospect is a supplicant of sorts. Might sound to the prospect as if they are in the position of begging you for a favor — and may or may not in fact be given the lead magnet.

A radio commercial for a vocabulary course said, “People judge you by the words you use.” And your prospects judge you by the words you use in your copy.

As suggested above, the tone and intention of your CTA varies with the imperative verb you choose. Yes, it’s only one word. But the word you use can affect your prospect’s emotions and actions more than you might think.