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How to Craft the Perfect Transitional Call to Action (Lead Magnet)

How to Craft the Perfect Transitional Call to Action (Lead Magnet)

Donald Miller calls it a Transitional Call to Action. It’s a simple concept, offer something of value in exchange for an email address. There is no denying it. Email marketing is one of the most underrated forms of marketing today yet has the most significant ROI.

Direct and Transitional Call to Action

But how do you fill your marketing funnel with qualified leads? 

If someone visits your website, they have some kind of buyer intent, but it doesn’t mean they are ready to buy just yet. Sure they may be at the top of the funnel or perhaps closer to making a purchase (at the bottom of your funnel), but one simple fact remains: 

No matter how good you are at design and copywriting, not every visitor to your website is going to click your “buy now” button, a.k.a. your Direct Call to Action.

This is why a Lead Magnet is so important.

(Read more: 2 Mistakes Most Brands Make with their ‘Call To Action’)

What Is a Transitional Call to Action (Lead Magnet)?

A transitional call to action is typically used when introducing your brand, offering an interactive experience or giving helpful content.

This is where the transitional call to action comes into play – You want to give something of value that will build trust and credibility with potential customers. This could be a free ebook, checklist, or video.

There is often transitional content, which helps move a reader from one point to another. It can be used to introduce a new idea or summarize the main points of a previous discussion for a smooth transition. It helps ease your audience into doing the action you want, such as downloading your ebook, without looking like you are forcing it on them. 

The transitional CTA area should be the second most prominent element on the page after your opt-in form.

The transitional CTA text should be clear and strong enough that viewers know the CTA is leading somewhere and should follow. Transitional CTAs generally come in three forms.

Three Forms of Transitional Call to Action

First Form: Answers a Question

The first transitional CTA asks a question and provides an answer to a question, offering an opt-in as the solution. Example: “Answer – Create Professional Resumes on [business name].” The opportunity here is to create a transitional call to action that positions your transitional CTA as a helpful answer to a question.

Second Form: Tells a Story 

The second transitional CTA tells a story and details how the transitional offer resolves the problem in the story. Example: “Story – Read about Ryan’s experience with shipping to Canada from [business name].” 

The opportunity here is to make sure the transitional call to action tells a story that ends in success.

Third Form: Valuable Resource

The third transitional CTA presents a valuable resource or how-to guide that provides solutions to problems. Example: “Resource – Learn How To Make A Perfect Berry Smoothie On [business name].” 

The opportunity here is to offer something of value in exchange for an email address, in this case, transitional content.

Many transitional CTA designs use icons to convey the transitional offer and lead the viewer to click on it. Other transitional CTAs insert the transitional calls to action text in an image with a prominent button that stands out among all other website elements.

Recipe for a Successful Transitional Call to Action

My recipe is simple. If you have completed your StoryBrand BrandScript, you will already know your customer’s “External Problem”. 

The key to a high-converting lead magnet is understanding your customer’s problem and then offering them the answer to that problem for FREE. 

That’s it; it sounds simple enough. Here is the recipe again: 

1. Understand your customer’s problem

The key to a transitional CTA is to understand your customer’s problem and then offer them the answer to that problem. For example, if you have any transitional CTAs, think about how it could be different when you know your customer’s struggles.

2. Write some content that answers that problem

The transitional call to action should be able to answer a question that prospective customers might have about your product or service. The transitional CTAs are typically used to take people from being outsiders to becoming customers.

Once they are customers, you will want them to feel as if they are part of your community so that they stay loyal. You also want them to share the transitional CTA with their friends.

3. Offer that content on your website

The best way to offer your lead magnet to your prospect customers is to make it available on your website. You will gain leads when your audience finds that your lead magnet will benefit them.

4. Generate Leads

Leads are people that have shown interest in your product or service through transitional CTAs.

They are the first steps to your customer life-cycle. When you identify leads, nurture them with transitional CTAs to create a lifelong customer.

How This Recipe Works

This recipe works exceptionally well for Top and Middle of funnel prospects. Let me illustrate with an example. Let’s say you want the greenest lawn in your street (my problem is that I have ugly looking, brown lawn). 

So you visit GreenLawn.com, but you are not ready to buy. What if they offered you a FREE PDF: 3 steps to Lush, green lawn in 3 weeks. Would you be compelled to download that document? Of course, it’s a great lead magnet. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re in B2B or B2C, and it doesn’t matter if you’re in SaaS or eCommerce. If you use a sales funnel to generate traffic, turn them into leads, and then turn those leads into sales, you need lead magnets.

But not all lead magnets are created equally. That’s because the offer is everything. And when coupled with the proper positioning and copy, a few good lead magnets can triple your lead generation almost overnight. 

Here are 89 ideas to inspire your next lead magnet. (Or Transitional Call to Action if you are a fan of StoryBrand).


The Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a marketing term used to describe the process of turning a prospect into a customer. The funnel is made up of a few steps divided into three categories: top, middle, and bottom. 

Top of funnel (new prospects)

The top of the funnel is where you capture leads. In this stage, the audience or the traffic, doesn’t have the intention to buy. They are on your website to get informed or they are curious about your offers.

To get the traffic to move to the next part of the funnel, a lead magnet should be offered. In this case, a transitional call to action is an effective way to introduce the lead magnet to drive the traffic from the top of the funnel to the middle.

A transitional call to action works as a bridge between information and a sale. It’s a transition from showing curiosity about your offer and wanting more information about it by subscribing to your email list, generating leads. 

Best lead magnet examples for the top of the funnel: 

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  • Cheat Sheet
  • Checklist
  • Toolkit
  • Resource List
  • Free Report
  • Industry Update
  • Predictions
  • Guides
  • Video Training
  • Survey
  • Email Course
  • Infographic
  • PDF Version
  • Video Version
  • Quizzes
  • Audio Version
  • Giveaways
  • Calculator
  • Mind Map
  • Process Flow Diagram
  • Scripts
  • Generators
  • Summary
  • Event Recordings
  • Podcast Download
  • Audio Book
  • Templates
  • Swipe File
  • Free Branded Materials
  • Slideshare/Powerpoint Download
  • Spreadsheet
  • Transcripts
  • Splinter of a book
  • Splinter of a video
  • Splinter of an audio
  • Video Course
  • Audio course
  • Audio training
  • Ebook
  • Physical DVD
  • Physical CD
  • Physical Book
  • Fast-Start Guide
  • Workbook/Worksheet
  • Curated Newsletter
  • Roundups
  • Lists
  • Calendar
  • Doodles/Illustrations
  • Facebook Group/Slack Group
  • Members Only Area
  • Mobile Games
  • Mobile Apps
  • Whitepapers
  • Web Apps
  • Quotes
  • Poster
  • Newsletter Subscription
  • Replay
  • Libraries
  • Graphs
  • Timelines
  • Free Magazine Subscription
  • Live Chat
  • Sandwich Content
  • Package
  • Breakdowns
  • The “We’re Live” Update
  • Original Data/Research
  • Periodic Newsletter

Middle of the Funnel

The middle of the funnel is the stage where the customer is considering your offers. It is also where you nurture leads with content and offers until they’re ready to buy. Examples of this are:

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  • Software Download
  • Case Studies
  • Account Registration
  • Free Shipping
  • Webinar
  • Free Tickets To Workshop/Live Event
  • SMS Notifications
  • Early Bird
  • Certification Programs
  • FAQ’s
  • Free Sample
  • Free Version
  • Free Coaching Session
  • Brochures
  • Catalogs
  • Newsletters

Bottom of Funnel

The bottom of the funnel is where you are close to sealing the deal and converting leads into customers. In this stage, the prospects are ready to buy and already making a comparison of products or services.

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To give your prospects the info they need to provide clarity to what you’re offering, provide them one or more of the following lead magnets: 

  • Discount Coupon
  • Free Consultation
  • Comparison Charts
  • Software Demo
  • Price Points Page
  • Free Trial
  • Free Quote
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Needs Analysis Call
  • Sales Call

Here’s my advice. When you launch a new lead magnet, measure the conversion rate (at least every 30 days), then try another headline or another lead magnet. Then measure for another 30 days. Measure and modify and keep measuring and modifying your way to conversion rate success.

If you want to learn more about a transitional call to action and how to use it on your website, schedule a call now!

James Hannan

StoryBrand Certified Guide | Business Made Simple Coach | Social Media Wizard

Results and Co – Part of the Rise Group
  • Storybrand Guide Australia
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  • Storybrand Guide USA
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Aus: +61 402 916 266 , US: +1 615 551 7163

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