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So you want to maximize the conversion potential of your business blog, eh? Well, I don't blame you! Your blog can be a powerhouse when it comes to lead generation and reconversion, but you have to know how to use it. And when it comes right down to it, it's all about the calls-to-action (CTAs).
The CTA you choose can make or break the conversion potential of any given blog post you publish, just like CTAs can make or break the conversion potential of any given page on your website. Knowing that, wouldn't you want to put careful thought into your CTA selection process so you can choose the perfect one for every single post you release into the blogosphere? Yeah ... we think so, too, which is why we wanted to share with you the step-by-step thought process we follow at HubSpot in order to pick the perfect CTA for every one of our posts. Read on if you want to start ensuring that every post you publish has the best CTA it can have.

The Blog CTA Selection Thought Process

First, make a list of all the marketing offers you have. What we're going to do here is gradually narrow down this list of offers, step by step, so you can pick the one that has the best lead generation potential for the specific blog post you're publishing. The following is generally the order in which we narrow down our list at HubSpot, but I imagine that, depending on the nuances of your business, industry, and any testing you do, this order might be slightly different for you. But even if the order is different for you, the following are all great considerations to make when you're choosing the right CTA.

1) Stage of the Sales Funnel

First and foremost, consider the stage of your sales and marketing funnel your visitors are in when they come to your blog. This will help you narrow down your list to only the types of offers that align with that particular stage in the sales cycle. For example, you probably wouldn't want to show someone who finds a blog post of yours for the first time via search (and knows nothing about your business) a CTA for your free trial, which is much better for someone who knows a bit more about your business, products, and services and is further along in your sales funnel. For that new visitor, a more top-of-the-funnel offer like an educational ebook or webinar is a much better fit, and thus, more likely to lead to conversion.

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For example, at HubSpot, we know that about 60% of the monthly traffic we get on our blog is made up of new visitors, which is why our calls-to-action are usually for those top-of-the-funnel type offers like educational ebooks.
But what about the other 40%? Why, I'm so glad you asked! Because if you've built up a great blog with a large subscriber base and repeat visitors, there's a better likelihood that these visitors know a bit more about you and over time, may actually be ready for a more middle- or bottom-of the funnel offer like a product webinar or a free trial. This is where Smart CTAs come into play, and where you can really become a ninja in your blog CTA selection. We'll talk more about Smart CTAs as an additional consideration in your CTA selection at the end of this post. The main thing to keep in mind now is that the main, default CTA you choose should cater to the position in the sales cycle the majority of your blog's visitors are in.

2) Target Persona of Blog Post

Next, consider the audience – or buyer persona – you’re targeting in the blog post. For example, at HubSpot, one specific segment of marketers we target is nonprofit marketers. That’s why in our recent blog post, “5 Resolutions to Amplify Your Nonprofit’s 2013 Fundraising Strategy,” we used a CTA for an offer specifically geared toward that particular audience.