How to create a smart Call-to-Action (CTA) based on a contacts list

Last updated: June 13, 2016

Available For:

Product: HubSpot Marketing
Subscription: Professional & Enterprise

A Call-to-Action (CTA) is a button or link that you place on your website to drive prospective customers to convert to leads through landing page forms.

Smart CTAs allow you to display a different button to different types of visitors based on their membership in your various contact lists. Smart CTAs are available to Professional and Enterprise customers only.

Common Use Cases

  • Create different messages for prospects, leads and customers:  Your contacts' needs change over time, and your marketing should reflect and respond to those changes. Smart CTAs allow you to design different messages based on an individual's lifecycle stage. Early-stage CTA buttons can focus on top-of-the-funnel offers, and then evolve to direct the lead to demos or sales consultations down the line.
  • Tailor messages by industry, marketing persona, interest level, geography or any other contact property:  At the Professional and Enterprise levels, you can assign Smart CTAs based on their inclusion in a contact list. Smart contact lists are created by using a wide range of criteria that can include any property in the contact profile.  That means that if you serve multiple industries with different marketing personas, you can adapt your site to reflect what you know about each persona's specific set of interests. If you offer a special service to leads or customers in a particular geographic area, you can change your message to be specific to those contacts. If you want your most engaged customers to see different offers than others, you can make that happen too.


Read the following steps to learn how to create a smart CTA based on a contacts list.

1. Go to Content > Calls-to-Action

From the dashboard, navigate to Content > Calls-to-Action.

2. Create a smart CTA

Click on the down arrow on Create a smart CTA button and choose Create a Smart CTA.

3. Which type of smart CTA do you want to create?

In the window that pops up, click on the Contact List Membership button to create a CTA based on a visitor's inclusion on a contact list. Then select the Next Step button to complete the process. Read this guide to learn how to create a smart CTA based on a contact's lifecycle stage.

4. Add your smart rule

Now you will add a smart rule for your CTA so that your CTA is displayed to a contact who is on a certain contact list. 

From the dropdown menu, you can choose as many contact lists as you'd like to for your smart rule. If you choose more than one list here, this will make your rule so that a contact must be in all lists selected in order to meet the criteria of your rule. 

When you are done selecting contact lists, click the Next Step button.

5. Select a CTA for your new rule

Choose which CTA button you want to use for visitors who fit the new rule you assigned. Again, if you do not see an existing CTA that you want to use, select Create a new CTA. When you have chosen your CTA, click on the Next Step button.

6. Select a default smart CTA

In the next pop-up window, choose the CTA that you would like to use as the default CTA. The default CTA is the button that will be displayed to visitors who do not match any of the criteria that you set. If you do not see an existing CTA that you want to use, select Create a new CTA. When you have chosen your CTA, click on the Done button. If you would like a refresher on how to create a CTA, click here.

7. View the smart CTA rules

Phew, you've made it. Take time to review the Smart CTA Rules that you set up. The Smart CTA will be displayed when a contact is on a contact list that you set as a rule. 

You can review the smart CTA rules by clicking the gear icon and edit smart rules

So, visitors to your webpage who are on a Form Submitted or Viewed Pages contact list will see the Download Free eBook CTA. The default CTA will be displayed when a contact does not match any of your Smart CTA Rules. That means that every visitor who is not on either of those two lists will see the default Click to Download CTA.

From the Smart CTA Rules page, you can:

  • add a rule
  • edit the CTA
  • swap the CTA button for another button
  • delete the existing smart rule

8. Set the priority of CTA buttons in the smart CTA button group

You can drag and drop your smart CTA rules to form a hierarchy of the rules.

The rule that is placed at the top of this window will be the rule shown if a visitor meets the criteria of multiple rules.

9. Analyze the performance of your new smart CTA

Click on the Details link to see from your main CTA Dashboard to see the Performance of your Smart CTA

You can see the number of views and clicks on each CTA as well as the various metrics percentages and the amount of submissions the CTA lead to. You can also view the overall performance of your smart CTA button group.If the performance is low for various rules, consider editing or swapping out the CTA button. You can also see the performance of each CTA broken down by the COS content that it lives on by clicking the + icon. Enterprise customers can run an A/B variation test. To learn how to create an A/B variation test, follow this guide.

You can also Edit Smart Rules from the CTA details page.

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