1 min read

It's a Whole New HubSpot Calls-to-Action World, Or Is It? Let's Find Out ... (HubHeroes, Ep. 62)

hubspot calls to action cta tool strategy how to


There's probably a great way for my elder millennial self to make some sort of inbound analogy about content, CTAs, milkshakes, and which of those things brings all the boys to the yard, but I can't figure out which one is the milkshake.

Needless to say, somehow we've gone more than 50 episodes without talking about the most powerful HubSpot feature that basically makes the whole inbound flywheel run. Because there are no conversions — website visitors into contacts, contacts into qualified leads, and so on — without a call-to-action.

Recently, HubSpot rolled out a massive overhaul to the CTA tool that is both modernizing and utterly refreshing:


Image courtesy of HubSpot

And here's another sneak peek from your pal, George:

We're going to talk about what those changes are, don't you worry — but we're also going to be digging into some deeper questions.

Are CTAs still effective? What does a great CTA strategy look like? And what are some of the horror stories we've seen from the inbound frontlines, as well as what could be possible with these new changes on the horizon?

Strap in, folks! It's gonna be a fun one!

What We Talked About

  • What has changed with the HubSpot CTA tool? George gives us all the details!

  • Why are these changes good? We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the old school legacy HubSpot CTAs...

  • Are CTAs even relevant anymore?

  • What are the mindsets folks need to have going into creating and placing CTAs?

  • Where do you think most folks go wrong with their CTA strategy?

  • What are the CTA copywriting tips and tricks I recommend most?
  • Given the new features of HubSpot CTAs, what are the best practices and tactics folks need to keep in mind? Are there ways folks could be thinking about CTAs that they may not be right now?

  • What are the most creative way's we've seen others use CTAs?

And so much more ... 

Additional Resources

HubHeroes Community

(We've made it easy!)

😱 BREAKING INBOUND NEWS: With HubSpot rolling out a jaw-dropping set of updates to their tried-and-true CTA tool, what do you need to know? Plus, are CTAs even relevant anymore?


#hubspot #hubspotmarketinghub #inboundmarketing #CRO #conversionrateoptimization #inboundflywheel

💥 What do you need to know about HubSpot's big changes to their flagship CTA tool?

💥 What does a great CTA strategy look like today, and what's changed?

💥 What are the HubHeroes' favorite CTA copywriting tips, tricks, and tactics?

Get the answers to these questions and more on this week's episode of the HubHeroes podcast:


#hubspot #hubspotmarketinghub #inboundmarketing #CRO #conversionrateoptimization #inboundflywheel

✅ What do you need to know about the new HubSpot CTA tool updates?

⭐ What are the most essential mindsets inbounders need to have when thinking about their CTA strategy?

⛔ What are the biggest mistakes you're making with your CTA conversion strategy?


#hubspot #hubspotmarketinghub #inboundmarketing #CRO #conversionrateoptimization #inboundflywheel 

Meet your HubHeroes

Liz Murphy


Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.

Devyn Bellamy


HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.

Max Cohen


HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.

George B. Thomas


HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.

[00:00:00] Liz Moorehead: Welcome back to Hub Heroes. We are totally on our best behavior today. Everything is fine. And for those of you listening at home, rest assured, we started recording on time today. And everything is fine. We're doing fine, right fellas?

[00:00:15] George B. Thomas: peachy

[00:00:15] Liz Moorehead: great. How peachy keen are you, George? Tell us, how

[00:00:20] George B. Thomas: as peachy as a peachy keen can be I don't know what that means, but I'm good.

[00:00:26] Liz Moorehead: town. Max,

[00:00:27] George B. Thomas: Ooh,

[00:00:28] Max Cohen: Well, I'm keen for a Peach. 

[00:00:31] Liz Moorehead: not here.

[00:00:33] George B. Thomas: no, cause he's not doing good. He's a little under the weather. You know, it's not under the weather HubSpot CTAs tool. It's a big baller right now.

[00:00:43] Liz Moorehead: Okay, you

[00:00:43] Max Cohen: big

[00:00:44] Liz Moorehead: I have a whole thing. I have a whole thing set up for this episode, George. Are you

[00:00:48] George B. Thomas: Oh yeah. I'm ready. I was born ready.

[00:00:51] Liz Moorehead: great. I was born ready, but your equipment wasn't that there's that

[00:00:54] George B. Thomas: No. Yeah. And there's that.

[00:00:56] Liz Moorehead: we are kicking off

[00:00:57] Max Cohen: You know what I was thinking of the other day?

[00:00:59] Liz Moorehead: Oh, no, what max,

[00:01:00] Max Cohen: If, if matter cannot be created nor destroyed, how did it get there in the first place?

[00:01:05] Liz Moorehead: you are absolutely right. Max HubSpot CTA is a great topic and it is unbelievable that it's taken us so long to bring it up here. On this podcast, in fact, there's probably a great way for my elder millennial self to make some sort of inbound analogy about content and CTAs and milkshakes and which of those things brings all the boys to my yard.

But I can't figure out which one is the milkshake. So we're not going to be doing any analogies today, but needless to say, Max, like you said, we've somehow gone more than 50 episodes. Without ever talking about HubSpot's most powerful feature that basically makes the whole inbound flywheel run. Because there are no conversions.

Website visitors into contacts. Contacts into qualified leads and so on. Without A ye olde call to action. Now, recently, HubSpot rolled out a massive overhaul to the CTA tool that is both modernizing and refreshing. And we're going to talk about what those changes are. In fact, that's where we're going to be starting our conversation today.

But we are going to be digging into some deeper questions. For example, are CTAs still effective? What does a great CTA strategy look like today and what are some of the horror stories we've seen from the inbound front lines, as well as what could be possible with these new changes on the horizon. So, George, are you excited?

[00:02:25] George B. Thomas: Oh, I'm excited. Yeah. I listen.

[00:02:27] Liz Moorehead: are you excited about this

[00:02:28] George B. Thomas: love the new tool.

[00:02:28] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, well, actually let's start with you, George. Can you give our listeners at home a quick overview of A, why you're excited and B, what's changed with the HubSpot CTA tool?

[00:02:41] George B. Thomas: yeah, well, a lot has changed. Like that's the answer to that one. Um, enough that we can do an entire episode and talk about all the things that you can do that you once could not do, um, in a way that is actually built for mere mortal humans. And here's why I think I'm so excited about, uh, the conversation just in general, one CTAs is a place where people historically have really loved them.

To the detriment of what they're trying to do or had a love hate relationship with them and didn't want to use them at all You know and I'm talking to you guy or gal who has nine CTAs on one page and is wondering why it takes forever for that page to load Um, but I'm also talking to you guy or gal who has written a thousand and one blog articles, but have taken nobody anywhere except for the author bio at the bottom.

Like there are just reasons to have them and reasons not to have too many. historically there were like a button, which when I would train it and do onboardings, I'd be like, and we're going to show you how to do this using stupid buttons. Uh, and then we could talk about image based CTAs because you could do like a faux title and a faux, you know, but that wasn't readable by Google, the text, cause it was an image.

Well, that's one of the first features that I know we need to talk about today, because now you can create CTAs that are lighter in weight, um, have more of like, readable by Google, and therefore the action can be placed on a button, but it not just be a dumb button sitting there by itself. Boggled my mind when I would go to people back in the day and they would just have like, A single blue button at the bottom of a blog that said, Get your guide now!

Like, that's real exciting. But now it can be exciting. Anyway, those are some of the reasons why I'm excited of just the overall conversation about HubSpot Coda Actions.

[00:04:29] Max Cohen: you know, I mean, you know how like there's just been the bigger conversations around like ungating your content right and doing less of just like, you know, lead capturing earlier on in the, in the, you know, buyer's journey or whatever and, and, and stacking it mostly at the, at the end when the intense much higher, are you still doing a lot of like the classic, um, You know, awareness stage blog posts, CTA to a landing page, like type motion, or has it kind of shifted more to like, how are you using CTAs to more like support a logical?

You know, experience through your website, right? Um, and when I say that, actually, wait, I'm going to, I'm going to pause there. That first part of the question, does that like classic, that classic HubSpot marketing hub meta setup of blog posts, CTA landing page, is that still something that like people are doing a lot of and still seeing it be as effective or no?


[00:05:31] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, me too. Okay. Do you want to go first or should

[00:05:33] George B. Thomas: Go ahead. Go ahead, Liz.

[00:05:34] Liz Moorehead: Okay. I think for me it's a both and. I think there are definitely circumstances in which you're doing that more of that ungated organic nurturing, but I'll be perfectly honest. let's say for example, the CTA is going to a pillar page.

That pillar page is ungated by nature, but there is a conversion option if somebody wants to have it. I think, I get really kind of stressed out when anybody tries to get me to think along the lines of, Well, the old is old, so we're not doing that anymore, and we're doing it this new way. Whenever I sit down and I'm optimizing a piece of content for conversion, I'm always doing it for the Do you want to say humans for me, George?

Can I get a good Can we get a good humans here?

[00:06:15] George B. Thomas: You're doing it for the HUMANS.

[00:06:18] Liz Moorehead: Yeah. So, I like to sit down and I like to think about the humans. In many cases, the CTAs I'm actually kicking people out to are, are alternate related articles, but in other cases, I'm also still bringing them to a relevant resource that is directly tied to what it is that I was writing about. So it's more about being contextual.

It's less about, I think sometimes as inbound marketers, it's that whole idea of like blogging is dead, SEO is dead. Everything's dead. Everything's on fire and terrible and dead. Like, that's not how any of this works. We have a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water. Once we've decided that a particular way of doing things is antiquated.

Now, I think to your point, Max. It used to be much more binary of like there is a blog and then there is a bottom of the blog CTA and it is a gated thing with a tiny landing page that doesn't give anything away because they must give us their email in order to get anything. Like I think that level of gatekeeping over.

But I think in general, if you're doing content correctly, your blog articles are a lot more selfless. Like this is the thing I don't think people realize when they talk about the CTA conversation that's changed. Those CTAs used to be paired on articles that were like five or six hundred words long that weren't giving Anything away, so I think what I've seen mostly with organizations that are doing it correctly and also through the work that I'm doing is that content in general is more selfless.

It's more open. It is more giving. And if you're doing it correctly, you can have it either way.

[00:07:55] Max Cohen: Awesome. George, say what you're going to say, and then I want to talk about why I love what you just said,

[00:07:58] George B. Thomas: Yeah, so, um, I'm going to say it depends, which is a great marketing answer. There are still some industries and still some, uh, spaces that that will air quotes old school playbook works. Um, yes to everything that Liz said, but here's what boggles my imagination and my brain right now is that we're having a conversation around call to actions and we immediately went to this conversation of gated and ungated content, which actually the call to action is just a small piece of that.

But to get into that conversation, we heard the word call to action. Our brain had to go to conversion. And then we asked the question of, well, is that still working? Here's the thing. Uh, CTAs aren't necessarily just for conversion. There are CTAs for conversion and there are CTAs for navigation. And let me actually get you to stop and think for a second, especially with a new reporting tool in HubSpot called, Oh, I don't know the journey mapping tool.

What is the actual glue that takes. from point A to point B when you're trying to actually navigate them a call to action. So if you're going to say, Hey, did they go to this page? And did they fill out this form? One of the things that you're going to put in your journey mapping is it was this call to action that got them there.

Also, you talk about ungating max, or asking the question about ungating. I've had people use the CTAs tool just so they could understand how many times something that was ungated was downloaded because every click now equals a download. So like many other HubSpot tools, we have to realize there's a thousand and one ways that we can use this tool.

And there's 102 reasons why we might do that. For instance, without saying too much. We're in the middle of a really big project at GBT. One of the things that we're battling against is making the most optimized thing that we can make. One thing that makes it the most unoptimized thing that it can be is having a form on the page because it's heavy and it slows down site speed.

However, You can create a CTA now with the new CTAs tool that we're going to talk about that actually enables a pop up and in that pop up you can have guess what a form and guess what doesn't load on page load the CTA and the form pop up because it only loads once you actually have to use it. So your page can be fast because you understand the functionality of a tool and you layer it into a thing in the way that you want to use it.

[00:10:29] Max Cohen: Yeah. Because it comes up. Oh, go ahead. Sorry. Go

[00:10:32] George B. Thomas: all of these things I'm saying is like. If you're here, the word CTA moving forward and you're bringing historical baggage of what it once was, and you're thinking of as only a small micro fraction of a conversion process, stop it,

[00:10:48] Max Cohen: yeah, yeah,

[00:10:49] George B. Thomas: it a chance, rethink it, look at it and use it for what it can be moving forward.

[00:10:56] Max Cohen: yeah, and it's, it is one of those things that were, you know, as we're all coming up in, in the inbound world in the early days, it was probably all beaten into our heads that it goes, blog posts, CTA, landing page, form conversion, I, and I'm part of the problem too, I preached that to thousands of HubSpotters during my time being a trainer, right?

Um, but I remember, so to go back to what you were saying, Liz, um, is, I think there is. There's like going on to that, like convert that, that question of like having to convert them, right. Or gating or not on gating. I think the reason I love that you're talking about bringing someone to another article or navigating someone to another article, right.

I think the question marketers need to like, ask themselves when they're in that situation of just like, okay, I wrote this piece of content, it's playing some part. In the road that's leading to changing the hearts and minds of the people that are reading it to, you know, further their decision making process and exploratory journey, if you will, of hopefully leading down the path to wanting to buy something from us.

Right. And I think what happens is like, cool, you write this blog article, you have like a, uh, a call to action in there you really kind of have two choices. One, do I potentially throw off all this momentum of someone who is actually stuck with my content enough and read through it enough to get to this button, realize that it's not an ad and it's something else, read it and understand that there's something cooler that they're interested in when they click this button, right?

You have the option there to either continue to another piece of content that can help. Continuing to shape that mind and that thought process and that, that buyer's journey, that decision making, or you have the option of, man, I really want that email. Maybe I'll roll the dice can fuck this whole thing up by putting a form in front of them.

And I think that's like another sort of, you know, we talk about risk and reward on forms. I think we also got to think of like risk and reward on calls to action. Right?

[00:13:09] Liz Moorehead: Well, the way I like to think about it with calls to action is this, it's kind of like the rule of designing a website, right? When you think about what is the goal of a homepage? It's to get someone to page to when you think about what people are doing when they are scrolling around on a website or a piece of content.

Do you know what they are searching for? If you're doing your job correctly? Okay. What am I supposed to do now? Your call to action is just quite literally. Telling them, okay, so here's what you do next. And so Max, to your point, it's like sitting down on a date, right? Well, we just had a really nice dinner.

I think I know what her last name is. I bet this is the perfect time to tell her I love her. Like, that's what some people are doing when it comes to their CTAs, their calls to actions. You know, it's, it's that strategery that we, we teased at the beginning of this episode where people get tripped up. Your people, your visitors on your website, all they want to know is, okay, so what am I supposed to do next?

Where do I go now? How do I keep digging more deeply? How do I continue to solve my problem? George, what do you got for me?

[00:14:18] George B. Thomas: Yeah. And Max, here's another problem is that because you trained. And one people, uh, how to do it

[00:14:26] Liz Moorehead: a part of the problem,

[00:14:27] George B. Thomas: and, and because, and because HubSpot, um, showed the way to do it. One of the things that I've been a big advocate in the background for many people that I've talked to. Is this idea of singularity when it comes to CTAs, right?

Like literally how you are talking, they get to the bottom of this article and they see this thing. What if they could see these things? What if you started to think of the bottom of your blog articles as the potential of a choose your own adventure? You can go here. Or you can go there, meaning you could have two CTAs kind of side by side.

And I'm not talking about buttons. I'm talking about visually designed, dope text, nice little button. And I'm like, Oh, do I want to turn left? Or do I, do I want to turn right? You know, in this circumstance for me, I want to turn right. I'm going to click on that one. Versus it's this or nothing

[00:15:22] Max Cohen: Mm hmm. I, so, yeah. I, as soon as we started talking about this, I, I had a flashback to you, George, talking about this, like, choose your own adventure experience type thing. Right? So, outside of the use case of blog article going to somewhere, right, um, even, I think, People could be a lot more thoughtful in how they're using calls to action, even at the bottom of the funnel or in your decision stage content or decision stage offers that you're giving people.

Right. Um, I was always a, like a practice that I really, really tried to, um, always focus on or always try to do with a customer when I was working with them. And in specifically the ones that only just had a contact us page to get to sales. Right? Um, is try to come up with like, different ways that those folks that are in that decision stage, but like to initiate that decision stage in different ways, giving them alternate avenues that they're comfortable with doing that.

Right? So for example, that could be something like having a form and simply asking a question on the form, Like what's your intent of this? Oh, I want a demo or oh, I want a um, Oh, I want a I just want a consultation with someone or oh, I just want to talk I just straight up want to talk about pricing right and because because Because people can come into those decision stage offers in such different mindsets that it can throw those initial conversations off like crazy.

Whether it's like, Oh, I'm just a BDR, but I didn't know you wanted a demo of this, right. Or people going in and it's like, I don't know if I need a demo of the software yet, or a demo of the solution. I just want to talk, I want to have like a lightweight conversation with someone to see, like, if we should even be talking about it.

Right. And you create all these, like. Awkward interactions between sales reps and customers because customers are approaching the decision stage in different ways. While salespeople are always just approaching it in, Oh, I need to sell something to you. And then that ends up creating these really awkward moments where I think CTAs help a lot is what you were talking about, George is you have these opportunities.

To go down these different paths for folks that are in these in the decision stage to make sure they're engaging with that decision in that decision stage in a way that they're comfortable with, whether it's like, you know, they get to a page where it's like, obviously a page about your product. You could have one CT that says, are you interested in a demo?

Click here, want to just learn a little bit more click here. And those go to two different experiences where someone can still consume a decision stage offer somehow, but they're doing it in a way that they expected to and that they wanted to. And there's no confusion with whoever gets assigned to that conversation, being like a sales rep of what that person's actually expecting in that interaction, right?

But instead people are just saying here's a demo page, and it doesn't really matter if that's what they wanted, and then creating these like weird, you know, 

[00:18:33] George B. Thomas: and Max, you're bumping against something that while I am super excited about the new CTAs tool, I'm hoping there's functionality that has disappeared that is coming back because I painted the picture of having to CTA side by side, which I still agree and believe, like, choose your own adventure in that way.

When we get contextual again, because in beta or in legacy, sorry, we did have where we could do smart rules based on, uh, you know, awareness consideration dishes in a list that's missing in the new CTS tool. But when they take what they've got. And they add in that layer of also being able to make them not just dope and cool, but like smart in that fashion.

Now you could literally have two CTAs for if they were an awareness, uh, subscriber to MQL. You could have two CTAs if they were sales qualified, and you could have two different CTAs if they were opportunities, right? You could get that granular. And that's the thing. This is one of the areas in HubSpot where for years I've talked about, this is more of a scalpel strategy instead of a sledgehammer.

This is where you could, where you should stop and strategize and really come up with a method to the madness of why you're using a button versus a CTA, a CTA versus an image based CTA historically, or now a freaking button versus. All the ways that you can actually do it. So sticky banners, pop up boxes, slide ins, embeds, embedded images, embedded buttons, and now even embedded HTML CTAs.

So you have a plethora, a freaking arsenal of new things and new ways that you can do everything that we've kind of bounced around from a strategic standpoint. As you kind of move forward with the new tool.

[00:20:31] Liz Moorehead: So let's actually get into the new tool a little bit, because it's interesting. We ended up in the strategy portion of this discussion, which is exactly where I wanted to go. But before we. Before we continue further, George, I want to go back to one of the initial questions I asked you at the start of this conversation, which is at a high level.

What are the big takeaways, the big bullet points, the big headlines of how the CTA tool has changed? Because the way I remember how I used to use it, and I'm, I've already become more familiar with the new tool, but just for those who are listening. The old tool, it was like, you had to upload an image. You could make them smart, so if somebody was on a mobile device, a mobile version could show up, but these were graphical CTAs that you had to upload manually into HubSpot and set smart rules if you wanted different ones to show up, uh, based on a variety of dependencies.

[00:21:24] George B. Thomas: So I'm going to talk about a couple of things. One that actually has nothing to do with the graphical side of this, but, uh, one that's very important to user experience. Here's two things actually around user experience. Everybody listening to this podcast knows that they've surfed around the internet, come upon a website and immediately went, Oh, they use HubSpot because the pop up shows up and you know, because you could never edit it.

That this is a HubSpot website, by the way, if you're a sales rep and you didn't realize this, you still have some glory days of prospecting for HubSpot users just by knowing it's the stupid forms based pop up CTA that just looks like garbage, okay? So that's one. Now we can actually create CTAs that you're not going to know if it was created in HubSpot or not, because it's literally, you can design it with any type of background, any type of size, any color of overlay.

Like you can change the X to close it out after it's done popping up. You can make bottom banners look three dimensional dependent upon the graphics you use. So, so those old school days of like, Oh, it's a HubSpot website or a HubSpot user are going to be gone. The other thing too, is it historically you would get this pop up and you'd be like, I don't want to see it. And depending on if the marketer was a butthead or a good human, you'd either see that CTA in another two days, or you'd see it in 30 days. Here's another piece of functionality that's changed is you can literally, let's say all of a sudden, by the way, you know, the pandemic. A lot of websites were putting these messages out.

We need to get a message out to everybody. And those messages kept showing up even after you saw the, you only needed to see it once. Now the new functionality says, and never show again. So you can literally show something once and never show again, or you can do it based off of time. So now you have this rubrics of, I only want to show this CTA to these people in this list on this page and only show it once, or.

I want to show it to only these people on this page and show it every 30 days, unless they converted because now they're not in that list anymore. So again, this is, uh, I talk about that scalpel strategy. Now, Liz, where you were kind of going is this graphical side of things. The fact that you can go in and in an editor, you can go into like, let's say embedded.

And inside of that editor, you've got like the drag and drop email tool or the drag and drop website pages or landing pages that you're used to. You have modules that you can add buttons, dividers, forms, images, rich text, video. And even WhatsApp link if you if you're a WhatsApp user and so now imagine being able to create navigational call to actions because you're using a button or conversion call to actions because you choose to use a form or just a call to action that pops up that they can actually contact you using WhatsApp.

Even better, the fact that it could be a pop up and it could be an explainer video with a button to the freaking webinar or event you want them to attend because there was a 30 or 40. So, user experience that you can create. Using this tool has gone from zero to freaking hero. Historically, if you're a WordPress user, you've been attaching HubSpot to WordPress, you may have heard of like, um, the, the monster thing, whatever it is, like, uh, um, I'm, I don't remember the name of it, but it was literally like a WordPress plugin that you could do these kinds of cool pop ups and slides, but you don't need that anymore.

Cut it out of your budget. Use this tool, design the crap out of it, create a better user experience.

[00:25:22] Max Cohen: just want to say we just need to take a second, rip to the goat, and pour one out for the corduroy. Style on button CTAs.

[00:25:34] George B. Thomas: so bro, little story.

[00:25:37] Max Cohen: I had a little troll that I did with my customers where I told them that that style converted more than the other ones

[00:25:43] Liz Moorehead: What? Why are you such a chaos goblin? What is wrong with

[00:25:48] George B. Thomas: but here's the

[00:25:49] Max Cohen: because it was hilarious to me and I needed to entertain myself and I said I don't know what it is guys, but like the corduroy button converts 25 percent more than the other styles

[00:25:59] George B. Thomas: So, but here's, here's what's funny. Max I too, during onboarding would talk about the corduroy button. But, but, but I would do it in a different way. I would say, Listen, some of these buttons don't ever need to be used. For instance, Go ahead and click and check out that corduroy button. And they'd click on it and they'd start laughing.

And I'm like, Am I right? Am I right? So the corduroy button, Woo, thank god

[00:26:25] Liz Moorehead: Wait, George, George,

[00:26:27] Max Cohen: here's the thing. If you're listening, product team, if you're listening, you need to bring back smart CTAs and the f ing corduroy

[00:26:33] George B. Thomas: No,

[00:26:34] Max Cohen: Those are

[00:26:35] Liz Moorehead: no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

[00:26:36] George B. Thomas: Do not

[00:26:37] Liz Moorehead: what we're learning today, George? You know what we're learning today, George? Do we think that Max is like the patient zero of all bad?

[00:26:46] Max Cohen: It's very possible.

[00:26:48] Liz Moorehead: practices.

[00:26:48] George B. Thomas: might be

[00:26:49] Liz Moorehead: Use the corduroy button.

[00:26:51] Max Cohen: very possible.

[00:26:52] George B. Thomas: dude. No, don't do it. That,

[00:26:55] Max Cohen: still see a corduroy button, that's me.

[00:26:58] George B. Thomas: Yeah, that corduroy button and the download button that were in the original CTA tool like, good riddance. Buh bye.

[00:27:05] Liz Moorehead: The other thing that was weird about this though, George, and I have to say this, is that we're talking about this as this like, this is breaking news. It just happened. No, I've been getting like tormented by legacy versus new CTA tool for months. But the rollout was so weird. They were like, Hey, do you want to switch to this thing that you do not understand and it's completely different and it doesn't make any sense and it's counterintuitive and there's no video here to tell you what's happening or what's changed every single time.

I'm like, I don't want to change. What are you doing? And it kills me the way it was rolled out.

[00:27:41] George B. Thomas: Well, you have to remember the, um, see, here's the thing. Having Almost 11, 11 plus years of being in the HubSpot ecosystem, you had two different tools, CTAs tool and the forms tool and the forms tool had forms and then pop ups and slide ins. Right. And so now what does that mean? That means you have two different sets of code. You have two different sets of teams. You have two different PMs. And so now all of a sudden, it's like, well, how do we take this? And that and mash it together and when we mash it together, how do we do it in a way that people just don't like immediately have a shit ton of work or lose their minds? And so, like, I can, I, I feel like if I was to correlate this to anything in, like, the back rooms of HubSpot, if you've ever played that game where it's like, it's the little sticks and you pull it out and the marbles drop down and you're trying to like.

Pull every little stick out with like the marble staying at the top. It was like doing that until they could get like a beta version for people to start to play with. Then for them to immediately start learning how those beta folks were using it and buying them time to get the stuff out of the forms tool and over into the new tool.

So here's the thing. This is in still what I would probably call a growth mode if I had to guess. Meaning. That's why A B testing isn't in it right now. That's why smart content isn't in it right now, but I believe it will be in the future. And so we have to think about that process that they've been going through.

And that leads me into lives like one of the things they are paying attention to is this massive amount of work that one immediately might think that they would have to do to get like into the new tool. There is a private beta. That the hub heroes listeners need to know about. You can go into your hub spot, go into your right panel, scroll down to updates.

There's a private beta legacy CTA migration feature, which allows you to migrate the buttons, allows you to migrate the image based, allows you to migrate any historical HTML, CTAs that you've created and get them in the new tool. Now there's, if you've ever. Read any article. This is an article to read because it explains to you like where it's going to show up Even when it's not the like historical one, but in reporting it'll still show there.

So your reporting is not jacked up It'll show you the exact way that you should clone it It also tells you that you can build one first and then attach the old one to the new one So there's a couple different ways you can work around this It tells you how it will actually impact lists and workflows and emails.

Like one of the gotchas that I know I'm going to hear from a client. It's like, Hey, I updated my CTA and I still see the historical CTA in the email preview. You will until you actually like publish it. Then the new one shows up. It's just, it's a thing.

[00:30:47] Max Cohen: Yeah.

[00:30:47] George B. Thomas: Or you can go and replace it. And then all of a sudden it shows up, right?

So if you have some stuff that's been laying around, there's going to be a little bit of housekeeping that needs to happen. But at the end of the day. All of this change that sometimes can be difficult is worth the better. Listen up, please. Just put down your pencil, your phone, close the door, whatever you, the user experience that you can create with the new tool, if you get strategic with it could be a game changer to the way that people can navigate your site and convert on any of the things that you're trying to do moving forward.

[00:31:28] Max Cohen: How funny would it be if they just came back and just started calling it lead flows again? Remember

[00:31:33] George B. Thomas: No.

[00:31:34] Max Cohen: Remember that cute little lead

[00:31:35] Liz Moorehead: them ideas. Max, Max,

[00:31:38] Max Cohen: ha ha! Dude, some people just want to watch the the Ha ha

[00:31:43] George B. Thomas: about lead flows now, like what else are you going to throw into this episode?

[00:31:48] Max Cohen: Gah! Alright, so

[00:31:49] Liz Moorehead: goblin. All right.

[00:31:51] Max Cohen: the deal. I I also agree, Liz. It was really confusing watching. Like, cause it was like, there's a new CTA tool and then there's this one and then they're kind of like side by side and like you saw them both in the menu and you're like, what is that? And then they sunset one and fold it in the other and this and that what's crazy.

And I think like a lot of people like, you know, outside of us who like know all this stuff is like the CTA tools are so crazy. Woven into like everything, if you think about it, right? Like it's in your analytics. Cause it's a button that like tracks analytics events. It was in the CTA or sorry, it was in the workflows tool.

Cause you could trigger workflows off the CTAs. It was in your list tool. Cause you could trigger people going on to lists from that, right? There was like all these different things. And then on top of that HubSpot changed like their CMS platform completely. So you had this like old CTA tool, which I don't even know how well.

It worked in the news, like drag and drop CMS stuff like it was fine. Okay, cool. So they figure that piece out somehow, right? But then you've got this like old tool that like works with this classic CMS tool working in this new CMS editor. People are like bringing stuff over but then they have to sunset it and like there's so much stuff that they had to untangle that like, yeah, doesn't surprise me at all.

That like. Everyone on the outside was just like, what is happening with this simple, like, button

[00:33:13] Liz Moorehead: don't like it. Stop it.

[00:33:15] Max Cohen: But, like, it's just, it's, you know, it speaks to how interconnected everything in HubSpot is, that, like, even the button tool was, like, a real pain in the ass to, like, replace, shut down, and rip out. And,

[00:33:26] George B. Thomas: shame on you. Shame on you. Shame on you for calling the CTA tool the button tool. It's not a damn button tool.

[00:33:35] Max Cohen: I know, I

[00:33:36] Liz Moorehead: A corduroy button tool from

[00:33:38] George B. Thomas: my god, he called it the button tool. Alright, so, but, but here's the thing. Here's the thing. I got, cause I gotta get this out too. Cause Liz, you mentioned like, yeah, you could use smart content and you could have like a, a mobile version and a tablet version and like a desktop version of an image CTA that would show up in the right place at the right time.

What I want, because we mentioned now that that functionality isn't in there right now. I don't want the listeners to go, well, shoot, I should probably wait because that functionality is in there. And I have these three different sizes of CTAs. The magical thing about the, uh, embed, right? Not the image embed, but the embed is that you can make it mobile responsive.

Meaning you just design it the way you want it. Make sure you click on a button here or there. Make sure you set the things the way they need to be. And it shows up magically. On desktop, the way it should tablet the way it should and then flows to look right on mobile the way it should. And therefore, now you don't have to be Einstein and ask your designer to do 3 different images just to create a user experience.

You just create the CTA 1 time. And it works everywhere.

[00:34:52] Liz Moorehead: So here's the only thing I want to say, because I want to go back to this thing that we're talking about with Change for a Moment, because often I will ask the question of what do you guys have a wish list item for HubSpot? Right? I usually don't answer that question, but I have a very distinct one now.

HubSpot is super invested in video. They do a great job of using video in HubSpot Academy and through their marketing. What I would love is that when they don't have the ability to do a big campaign or a big cam push around a critical change to a tool like the CTA tool, if they could just have a small video that says, Hey, what's changed?

And it's just like a two minute primer. Because what I think is, it's just like a two minute primer. On the one hand, I get it. They now have, we're not dealing with one hub. We're dealing with what six, seven hubs. There are things changing constantly all the time. But lead capture is such a core component of how the inbound flywheel works.

It is the fulcrum around which what so much functionality is built off of in the HubSpot marketing hub. So to have that change and to basically make it be like, well, we're not going to tell you what it is, but do you want to do it now?

[00:36:00] George B. Thomas: see this is where I have to, this is where I have to apologize to the audience though. I have to apologize to the audience because historically this wasn't, this wasn't HubSpot at all, Liz. This was me. This was me making a video, putting it out on YouTube, putting it out on LinkedIn, keeping the people educated about the latest and greatest things that are showing up across the hub.

And I haven't been making, we're changing that in 2024, by the way, but I haven't been making those videos in the moment. I did make one on this. This was that important that there is a YouTube video that shows you how to do the new embed, how to design them, how they go responsive, how I put them on a page.

So I did do that one, but just know that I apologize for not creating the amount of videos that I once did, we're changing that in 2024, I do agree with you, it'd be great if HubSpot could help with that, as a matter of fact, wait, wait, wait, wait, they have, if you're not following Kyle Jepson,

[00:36:54] Max Cohen: I was

[00:36:54] George B. Thomas: Kyle Jepson does daily updates, and by the way, my homie is backlogged for like six months.

[00:37:01] Max Cohen: Yeah,

[00:37:02] George B. Thomas: he does a video a day, but he's got like six months of backlog of things that he could talk about that help spots changing. Listen, I went yesterday and searched for the CTA beta that I talked about and it was on the first sheet of like updates. I had to load the page a couple times to find it because of the updates in the last day.

That have happened in the platform,

[00:37:27] Max Cohen: yeah, I was gonna say Kyle Jepsen is those videos right now. He's uh, I swear he just

[00:37:32] Liz Moorehead: though, is that you have to go to, that's like following a hippie to a second location. Most people are not going to do it, even if it's a very nice hippie. Like it's just not going to

[00:37:41] George B. Thomas: he is a nice guy. Let's just throw that out there.

[00:37:43] Liz Moorehead: is a very nice guy, but that's the thing. Like that's

[00:37:46] Max Cohen: It's my nemesis

[00:37:46] Liz Moorehead: only thing I will say is like, I'm not expecting HubSpot to roll out the red carpet on every tiny change, every micro shift.

But this is a fairly substantive one, a change that most people have slept on, if not outright opted out of and sticking with that legacy tool until it kills them. Which is why we wanted to have this conversation today. So I want, I know we only have a few minutes left in today's conversation. So. I want us to look at future forecasting, okay?

So given these new features, George and Max, of HubSpot CTAs, what are the new best practices and tactics you want folks to keep in mind? Are there new ways that people should be thinking about CTAs that they may not be doing so right now?

[00:38:31] George B. Thomas: Yeah. Um, Max, do you want to go first? You want me to go

[00:38:34] Max Cohen: I mean, for me, I think the most important thing is like break, break the, break the cycle of thinking this must go to somewhere where I get someone's email address. Um, like it is much more valuable to you as a marketer that you, you bring that person to a next logical. step that can continue to educate them and change their mind.

Because ultimately that is what's going to lead to you eventually, hopefully selling something to them one day, if that's the ultimate goal, right? Um, you know, not just, Oh, can I email blast them after this thing that I taught them? So that's the one thing, right? So think about like guiding them to the next logical, uh, content experience that makes the most sense.

The other thing though. And this is more just like a tactical thing. Um, I think of CTAs a lot like I think about ads that you run on search engines. Right? One of the worst things you can do with an ad is Promise one thing when someone sees the very, because if you think about it, like an ad on, you see on a web page, it's almost the same thing as a CTA, like physically, technically, right?

It's like, here's the thing, do this, click here, and it goes somewhere. the worst thing you can do in those situations is promise something, then bring that person to a page that's not what they were expecting, right? The good old, learn more, just kidding, it's requesting a quote. Um, just trying to get eyes on that page, but then, oops, it's not what you were expecting.

And now your trust is broken and you're, you're leaving and you're wondering why your bounce rates are sky high. Right? So the biggest thing that I would say is that what you are promising on the CTA through the words, through the imagery, through the button itself, through the video, through the, whatever, when I click that or go to that place, if I take that action, ensure.

That what I see on the other side of that is what you promised to me before I trusted it, took your hand, and went there. Right? Um, if you care anything about bounce rates on your pages, or not totally disrupting someone's experience on your website. Yeah.

[00:40:35] George B. Thomas: So what I need people to do this is I need them to embrace the growth mindset, uh, principle and ask themselves, is it possible not make a knee jerk response as to what once was HubSpot CTAs or what they thought HubSpot CTAs could do, for instance, One of the things I've just barked on this whole episode is user experience.

The understanding or realization of that you can create a more simple page for people to navigate because there is now a trigger on button click. That you don't need a developer for that you can put a button on a page, they can click it and it can equal navigation or it can equal conversion. Totally up to you, but the fact that you can put that on a page using a button module and inside the drop down like a normal human being without a developer, you'll see the fricking name of your CTA that you want to pop up.

It's that simple. It's that easy, right? Think to yourself, is it possible like go in and take it for a test drive again, going back to those frequencies, those timings you now have after a set period of time, repeat or don't show again. And by the way, on this, after a set period of time, I got giddy when I saw that it could be every year.

Show them this thing every year or show them this thing every three months or there's also show them this thing every 30 minutes But I tell my clients if I see you select show them every 30 minutes I'm driving to your location and I'm ripping your hub spot out of your server, but that's not even a thing So you get my point?

I just get mad because every 30 minutes is come on come on but like once a year cool and then again repeat like it can literally Remember to be considerate and do not disrupt your visitors more than necessary. This is by the way, when you put it on that in the software, it gives you that the CTA will be shown to visitors each time they visit selected web pages and perform the trigger action, even if they've already interacted with it. Some things I agree with HubSpot, some things I don't. If you want to annoy the crap out of your users, go for it. But no, no, don't. Anyway.

[00:42:49] Max Cohen: me to ask Liz one more question?

[00:42:52] Liz Moorehead: Yes, you do.

[00:42:53] Max Cohen: I need a hot copyright take. Is there any good way to do a pop up? Like, like a pop up from like a, like a copywriting perspective, because like, I feel like I am so muscle memory, hit the X button, get rid of the pop up, because like, remember how pop ups were such like a negative thing, especially in the age of like, there's always that meme of like, getting a virus and a million pop ups and pop up blockers.

And like, when you hear a pop up, When you hear a pop up you we I was taught to cringe right but like from a copy perspective Is there any way to do a good pop up?

[00:43:31] Liz Moorehead: Yeah, I've seen tons of

[00:43:32] Max Cohen: All right, give me educate me cuz I am

[00:43:35] Liz Moorehead: all, it has to start with a, it has to, it has to, first of all, you can never be writing copy from the posture of I know you don't want to be here, but look at me. So there's that. That's number 1 from a copy

[00:43:47] Max Cohen: Is that like exit? Are you talking about the exit intent stuff? So like I go to leave your page and it's like wait, wait, wait, wait You're you won't even stay on my website, but will you buy something if I give you 10 percent off go f yourself

[00:44:00] Liz Moorehead: well, there's that, but then there's also, there's also the idea of like, I remember there was somebody I was coaching, uh, that they were going to go do a big presentation at a conference and they wanted to work with me to help them on their presentation skills. And he said, I know exactly what I'm going to do when I walk up there.

I'm going to let them know, Hey, I know you don't want to be here either, but I promise you this is valuable. No, no, no, no, no, no. You can't show up with the posture of. I, I, I don't, I know you don't want to be here like that's their, their, that will show up in your writing. Um, and it will show up in the way you position it.

The other thing you have to keep in mind too, is you actually have to be offering something. Of value, like 9 times out of 10, the copy. The copy is what will seal the deal, but often the reason why people are clicking off of those CTAs is, or those pop up CTAs is something they're seeing. It's like, oh, it's the 25 percent off.

It's the generic offer. It's the generic thing. But if you're offering something genuinely of value. That's going to get you a really long way. Then from a copy perspective, in terms of honesty, I've seen a couple of websites do it really well, and I wish I could remember them off the top of their head, but it's not like they're overly clever or quippy, but they kind of speak to the elephant in the room of, Hey, we know your time is valuable.

This may not be for you, but we think it might be, you know, just

[00:45:23] Max Cohen: maybe?

[00:45:24] Liz Moorehead: like, for example, there was a website that I went to and it was the typical exit intent pop up CTA. Right. And the thing, the headline was the last thing you need in your inbox is another email. I'm like, go on.

[00:45:38] Max Cohen: Mm hmm

[00:45:39] Liz Moorehead: And that was what caught my attention, and I thought that was interesting, and they didn't do it to be overly clever, it wasn't clickbaity, they said, so each week we're going to earn your spot in your inbox.

[00:45:50] Max Cohen: Yeah, I almost

[00:45:51] Liz Moorehead: may not be for you, but it is for you if you are X, Y, Z.

[00:45:55] Max Cohen: I wonder if with pop ups, there is a, a tactic you can take to say, Hey, think about what this person is doing on this page right now. And is there anything that you can do to support whatever the end goal is? That's not just, that's not just buy, right? So if I gave an example here, let's say you're a, you're a, let's say you're a, uh, re uh, uh, retail e commerce, maybe you sell clothes, right?

Could an example of a good use in this case, be like, Hey, if you see someone's browsing one of your, you know, clothing items or whatever, and it's like your listing page for all your, your pants or something, right. Could you maybe say like, wait seven seconds or do a page scroll and then like offer a sizing chart, like try to find the right size, sizing chart, but not gate it behind something.

And maybe that might be something that aids in the experience versus you're just trying to get something from them. I don't know, is that like, kind of what we're saying, or? A

[00:46:55] Liz Moorehead: of like that. I think what it comes down to though is really just, I write my CTA copy the way I'm talking to George. I'm going to be direct, I'm going to think about, no, I'm going to

[00:47:06] Max Cohen: lot of swears.

[00:47:08] Liz Moorehead: A lot of swearing, a lot of mixed minuses, um, George, by the way, I know you're, you are pacing a trench in your carpet.

I will get to you. Give me one

[00:47:18] Max Cohen: he's actively having an aneurysm as we're,

[00:47:20] Liz Moorehead: Please. I know. So we're going to make him wait a little bit longer. No, I write my CTAs the way I talk to George, the way I talk to you, which is. I'm going to speak directly. I'm going to speak like a human. And I think there, I think maybe it could be called a somewhat ironic tone.

It could be called a little bit glib, but I'm just being honest. You have better places to be. You got to go. So let me make this fast.

[00:47:46] Max Cohen: I'm just gonna

[00:47:46] Liz Moorehead: me just tell you what this thing is. Get a little bit unsexy about it. Be direct. George,

[00:47:51] Max Cohen: I'm gonna turn down the volume in my headphones just a little bit before George talks.

[00:47:55] Liz Moorehead: Hold on. I'm stepping away further. Okay.

George, how you doing bud?

[00:47:58] George B. Thomas: cut death brass taxes here. If you're sitting here and you're pulling a PDF outta your butthole and you're putting on a page, 'cause you gotta generate more leads for a fricking, some a leads you need, it's all about conversion. Sit your butt down, jabi. 'cause that's not what the inbound strategy is about.

This is the thing. Specificity wins the day. If there is no action, next action or value. Then don't put a fricking pop up or any type of CT on the page. Leave them alone. Let them be. But if you can create a great user experience, if there is added value or specificity to the thing that they need to do, if you are there to be human and help them do their hurdles and reach their aspirational point, then use all the tools.

But again, if you are just trying to crap something out, fake somebody out and get a bullshit lead. Sit down, take a nap, you don't belong here.

[00:48:59] Liz Moorehead: So, George, I gotta ask you a follow up question here.

[00:49:03] George B. Thomas: I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack.

[00:49:06] Max Cohen: I know, I

[00:49:06] Liz Moorehead: you struggle

[00:49:07] Max Cohen: couldn't tell if you agreed with me or, or called me the dumbest person in the face of the planet, I couldn't tell.

[00:49:12] George B. Thomas: No, no, I,

[00:49:13] Liz Moorehead: struggle to emote? Do you struggle to share your opinions and thoughts clearly in a way that can be well understood by the masses?

[00:49:20] George B. Thomas: you know, I've, I've, some medical chart asked me that same question at some point in my life. The answer is no, like, like, but all foolishness aside, right? I have said in this podcast, it's about a scalpel, not a sledgehammer. I have said in this podcast, specificity wins the day. I have said in this podcast, it's all about user experience.

If you just take those three things and then use what is now turning into a super dope tool in HubSpot, you'll be okay. If you come at this from what I was joking around about. In all seriousness, no, sit down, shut up, figure out a better way.

[00:50:03] Max Cohen: Fortnite. God.

[00:50:04] George B. Thomas: Well, I don't think that really fit in there, but okay.

[00:50:09] Liz Moorehead: He's been doing that the whole show, George. The whole show. That's

[00:50:14] Max Cohen: Well, it's a random Will Smith button, so we get what he gives

[00:50:17] Liz Moorehead: Oh, can we get another one? Can we get another one?

[00:50:20] Max Cohen: Ah ha ha, Fortnite.

[00:50:23] George B. Thomas: the next one might be something about Jada, but anyway.

[00:50:26] Liz Moorehead: Oh my gosh. I know on that note, gentlemen. Do either of you have a parting word of wisdom you'd like to give to the masses? If they remember nothing else from today's episode about CTAs, what should they remember and why I will go first this time. For the love of all that is holy, stop getting hung up on blueprints and tactics and frameworks and binary.

two dimensional by the book strategies that you think you are supposed to be playing with when it comes to CTAs. Remember a call to action, whether it's navigational, whether it's going to an offer, whether it's going to another article is about giving the most purposeful, thoughtful and logical next step.

To the people who are there. It should be in service of them and no one else. That is how you do CTAs correctly. George.

[00:51:21] George B. Thomas: What I would want them to realize, and we kind of spun around this, in all sorts of different ways. There's a saying in sales, don't sell out of your own pocket. Meaning just because you couldn't afford 50, 000 for that widget, doesn't mean that there aren't 100, 000 people that could. People do this with CTAs. They, as humans, Hate pop ups, slide ins, banners, drop downs. Therefore, because as a human They hate that experience. They put their heels in and they refuse or choose not to do it. Listen, I'm with you as a human. I hate pop ups, banners, slide ins, all the things that we can now do with the CTAs tool, but as a marketer, God, I love them because they work.

I've sat and watched. Us go from like almost no conversions to like a 400 percent conversion increase with some of the clients that I've helped, because we added a very specific, very user friendly, very, Hey, that's just the right next thing. And people were like, I'll take it. I'll take it. Cause it was all about.


[00:52:34] Liz Moorehead: we go. Look at that.

[00:52:35] Max Cohen: Alright.

[00:52:37] Liz Moorehead: Do you want to talk about matter and the universe or are we going to talk about

[00:52:39] Max Cohen: No. One last thing I'm gonna leave you with.

If you think Corduroy is just for pants,

[00:52:44] Liz Moorehead: Oh Jesus.

[00:52:46] Max Cohen: you've already lost.