While calls-to-action are a proven tactic to generate leads in many industries, few solar companies do calls-to-action well.
One company in New York State, Sunpower by Infinity Solar, stands out as a pioneer in lead generation for its effective use of calls-to-action.
Very cleverly, the company decided to put together the most common questions that homeowners ask the company’s sales reps about solar in an innovative way. They didn’t just create an FAQ page, which would be nothing new and wouldn’t get much traffic in any event.
Instead, they wrote and published an attractive e-book to answer these questions in a user-friendly way for homeowners: 25 Common Questions About Solar Energy We Hear All the Time.
Then, to advertise the e-book, the company created an eye-catching call-to-action graphic that they posted in different places around their website:
Unfortunately, few other American solar companies do the same. Too bad for them, since it means they’re missing the chance to generate high quality sales leads online.
However, Sunipod, a solar company based in India, leverages a series of its own e-books to generate solar leads on its website. E-books feature titles geared to the Indian solar buyer such as “Golden Reasons to Go Solar” and “Good and Goodwill from Solar.” For each e-book, Sunipod displays effective calls-to-action throughout its website. Check out this example for their e-book “Consumer Guide to Solar PV”:
Money on the table
It’s a shame that few solar companies use effective calls-to-action, because it means they’re leaving money on the table.
Think about it. The top solar installers have clearly spent tens of thousands of dollars on building attractive websites. In some cases, their home pages are good at building excitement in website visitors with stories of happy homeowners bragging about their rooftop solar. The bigger solar companies also do good work generating traffic, whether by publishing a blog or being active on social media.
But after all that investment in generating traffic and then making their sites attractive for the visitor, without calls-to-action, these solar companies are then just leaving the visitor to figure things out on their own. And that may or may not ever turn into new solar leads.
It’s like sending out lots of invitations to a party and then making your house ready by hanging festive decorations, hiring a guy on acoustic guitar and filling a couple of coolers full of craft brewed IPAs — but then failing to answer the door when visitors arrive.
Building a sleek solar website and attracting visitors are a good start. But once you’ve got a website visitor, it’s not enough to just hope that she will figure out whether she wants to take the next step and if she does, how to do it.
Menu bars and other navigation links help visitors get around a website, but they’re not strong enough to convert visitors to leads unless they offer something of real value in exchange.
Calls-to-action entice curious visitors to become solar leads
Using a call-to-action for a premium content offer such as an e-book or checklist is the best way to guide a potential solar customer to the next step of the solar buyer’s journey.
And that means getting that visitor to fill out a form to become a lead.
Of course your e-book or other content offer needs to be appealing enough to get a visitor to surrender their contact information to your sales team. And that starts with a clickable call-to-action.
Usually a banner ad placed at the bottom of a page or blog post, a clickable call-to-action graphic can also appear in the middle of the text or in a website’s sidebar or footer.
Wherever you place it, a call-to-action must be enticing — visually attractive and verbally compelling. HubSpot gives you 20 critical do’s and don’ts for calls-to-action, including:
- Don’t use the word “Submit” on a button but do offer action-oriented language like “Download Whitepaper”
- Don’t hide your calls-to-action where nobody can find them but do put them above the fold where they stand out
- Don’t be too wordy but do make your offer easy to understand
For inspiration, check out these 11 examples of”kick-ass” calls-to-action. Then, try to create your own. Visual calls-to-action often perform best, and you can create little banner ads easily with Canva or any other graphics program. HubSpot includes a call-to-action generator in its suite of Marketing Automation tools that doesn’t require either any design skills or any knowledge of code.
But you should also put text-only calls-to-action in the body of your text, even near the top. This will increase your click rates.
Ultimately, if you want to generate solar leads yourself online, you should have calls to action throughout your website, especially on the most popular pages and posts.
— Erik Curren, Curren Media Group