How to create a smart Call-to-Action (CTA) based on lifecycle stage

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 visitor's lifecycle stage.

1. Go the Content > Calls-to-Action

From your 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 Lifecycle Stage button to create a CTA based on a visitor's lifecycle stage. Then select the Create Smart CTA button to complete the process.

4. Choose smart rules

Now add a smart rule for your CTA so that your CTA is displayed to contacts who are in a certain lifecycle stage. Choose the lifecycle stages that you want to include in this rule from the drop-down menu. Feel free to add as many as you like. When you're done selecting lifecycle stages, click the Next Step button.

5. Select a CTA for your new rule

Choose which CTA you want to use for visitors who fit the new rule. 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 Use Selected CTA button.

6. Select a default Smart CTA

In the next pop-up window, choose the CTA that you want to use as your default CTA. The default CTA is the one that will be displayed to visitors who do not match any of the smart criteria that you set. If you don't 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

Hooray! You've created your smart CTA. Take a minute to review the smart CTA rules that you just set up. Your smart CTA will be displayed when a contact matches the lifecycle stages that you set. The default CTA will be displayed when a contact is in a lifecycle stage that doesn't match any of your smart CTA rules.

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

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. 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.

Here you can see the number of views and clicks each CTA has gotten, as well as the percentage and the number of submissions the CTA contributed 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, use this guide.

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

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