How To Increase Conversions By Forgetting The CTA

by Jacob McMillen

Last updated on July 27th, 2017

Your target customer has zero interest in your CTA.

He/she doesn’t particularly care about the call, the signup, or even the purchase. He/she isn’t really concerned about whether your CTA copy matches the value proposition.

Your target customer is uninterested in your conversion optimization efforts.

You know this. Why am I telling you anyway?

I was recently reading a great article on this topic, and I want to expound on it for the readers here at Crazy Egg, because it’s too easy for us to get pigeonholed into one way of thinking.

When we talk about increasing a page’s conversion rate, we are focused on a single point of action. The entirety of our focus is moving that target customer to take a specified action at a specified time in a specified place.

This is ALL we are thinking about, and yet, it’s 100% irrelevant to our page’s viewers.

While these consumers have zero interest in our landing page, they have a very deep, vested interest in what comes next. They are looking for tangible solutions to the problems that are holding them back.

They are looking for help. They are looking to accomplish their goals. They are seeking success.

If you want to reach these viewers you have to put yourselves in their shoes – you have to think less like a marketer and more like a customer. The best marketers are the ones who understand their target customers best.

Your CTA isn’t the goal for your customers. Your CTA is simply a point of friction between them and _____. If they fill in the blank with “the product”, you lose. If they fill in the blank with “their success”, you win.

To start winning more, we need to take a moment, forget about the CTA, and follow these 4 steps.

1. Get customers to visualize themselves with your product.

If you do nothing else with your landing page copy, you should be getting viewers to visualize themselves succeeding with your product.

Yes, we should be focusing on “the benefits”, but we need to go a step further. It’s not about “the benefits”, it’s about “how YOU specifically are going to benefit”. Throughout your landing page, prep your readers by helping them visualize success with your product.

For example, if you are selling PPC services:

There are 1,000,000 ways to run PPC ads, and the reality is that 900,000 of them will probably waste your money. Imagine locking into that 10%. It’s not as difficult as your experience might tell you.

There are repeatable, scalable PPC strategies available for YOUR business, right now. Sometimes it just takes an expert’s view to find them.

In this copy, I’m addressing the reader’s problem and creating the idea that hiring expert help in this area is a perfectly normal solution. Most importantly, I’m helping readers visualize what success looks like in the context of my service.

2. Tell customers EXACTLY what will happen when they say “yes”.

Once you have helped potential customers visualize success, it’s time for the CTA. The important thing to understand here is that for your customer, the CTA is a hurdle.

They see all this information on your landing page, but what’s on the other side? Since getting a peek beyond the CTA requires an investment on their part, it can be daunting to make that step.

One easy way to solve this is to tell readers EXACTLY what they can expect once they say “yes”.

Simply remove the blinders. Eliminate the unknown.

Are you ready to stop guessing with your PPC campaigns and begin driving a steady ROI? Click here to begin.

  1. First, we’ll get on the phone with you and discuss your business, products, and target customer.
  2. Next, we’ll provide you with a detailed analysis of your current PPC campaigns.
  3. If we can’t immediately put you on track to increase your existing ROI by 15% or more, we will immediately refund your money.
  4. Once we’ve identified opportunities for growth, we’ll define an appropriate budget that can guarantee success and begin running your campaigns.
  5. Click here to learn more about how are last client doubled his PPC ROI in less than a month!

With this copy, your target customer doesn’t have to guess or hope. He/she knows exactly what to expect, and that CTA becomes less of a roadblock and more of a next-step-towards-success.

3. Write relevant copy AFTER the CTA.

If you are anything like me, anytime you are even remotely interested in saying “yes”, you click-through the CTA in order to see what’s next.

Part of this is because businesses tend to be extremely vague on their landing pages. “Want to increase revenue? Get started now!”

What is that? It’s so incredibly vague and yet I see CTAs like this ALL the time. At this point, if I know the brand and have had good experiences with their content in the past, I might click-through skeptically to see what’s next.

But if I’ve never heard of your business, I will immediately leave.

But regardless of where I’m at when I click-through, the “conversion” isn’t finished yet. There’s going to be at least one more step I need to take, if not two or three.

Treat your post-landing-page pages as part of your landing page. Include copy reinforcing that readers have made the right decision in continuing forward.

Post-landing-page copy should:

  1. Include positive reinforcement
  2. Continue helping customers visualize their success with your product
  3. Include testimonials from past clients.

Continue including relevant copy until the final purchase has been made.

And then keep going…

4. Follow up like you mean it.

Too often, companies do a solid job on the sales process but botch the follow up.

And by follow up, I’m not referring to your customer support. I’m talking about an intentional process that follows up with customers and makes them feel really, REALLY good about buying from you.

There is not a scenario in which you shouldn’t be following up with buyers.

  1. Following up effectively will minimize returns and negative reviews.
  2. Following up effectively will enhance customer satisfaction with your product/service.
  3. Following up effectively will encourage your customer to recommend your business.
  4. Following up effectively will lead to additional purchases down the road.

So what does an effective follow-up actually look like? That will depend entirely on the nature of the product/service.

For example, with the aforementioned PPC service, I would give the customer a call ASAP, congratulating them on taking this massive step towards business success and getting them excited about what’s to come.

If I was selling a product, I’d have an autoresponder set up to, again, congratulate users on the purchase and offer a step-by-step guide to using the product or a list of creative applications.

Any purchasing customer has the potential to experience a level of buyer’s remorse, and the easiest way to eliminate this phenomenon is to make users feel like they received way more value than they expected. Creating a great product/service is the most important piece of that equation, but it’s amazing what can be accomplished on a psychological level when you make the effort to follow up with your customers.


Obviously, the point of this article was not to tell you that your CTA isn’t important.

It is.

But sometimes we need to stop, forget about landing pages, CTA’s, and CRO tactics, and simply place ourselves in our customers’ shoes.

By focusing on your UX before, during, and most importantly, AFTER, the CTA, we can create a funnel that will be an incredibly positive and rewarding experience for new customers.



Get updates on new articles, webinars and other opportunities:

Jacob McMillen

Jacob McMillen is a website copywriter and content strategist. He helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing tangible ROI. Download his free guide: 2 Fail-Proof Marketing Strategies For Businesses On A Budget


Comment Policy

Please join the conversation! We like long and thoughtful communication.
Abrupt comments and gibberish will not be approved. Please, only use your real name, not your business name or keywords. We rarely allow links in your comment.
Finally, please use your favorite personal social media profile for the website field.


Your email address will not be published.

  1. Alan joseph says:
    October 22, 2015 at 8:02 am

    This is why we use the word “You” — to personalize the message and maximize the intent to the reader. Think of the messaging as your way to create a one-to-one experience.

  2. Xeŕxès aga says:
    October 22, 2015 at 1:11 am

    I think I agree wholeheartedly. To remove the ‘ I think’, I would need a complete deciphering of all the acronyms used. As an Indian, I am a little unfamiliar with some of them. Glosàrry please?

  3. Sherman Smith says:
    October 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Hey Jacob,

    I have to agree with you on this. You want to give the consumer more details of what to expect and give them the confidence that they made the right decision. This build more confidence in you in the long run from the consumers perception and they’re more likely to recommend business to you.

    Great post Jacob! Have a great weekend!

Show Me My Heatmap

Click tracking, heat maps, and no spreadsheet? Yes, please. @CrazyEgg is one solution.



What makes people leave your website?