Social is sexy. Showing up on the first page of Google is sexy. Showing your client all the blog followers and site visits you’ve accrued is sexy.
Optimizing the 2 words on your button is not sexy…even when you start talking about the ooohs and aaahs of color change. And what about when you talk about call to action (CTA) location…or even 1st person tense? Nope, still not sexy.
The minor differences between color, number of words and verb selection can dramatically increase your conversion rates. Don’t believe me, check out copyblogger’s 6 Proven Ways to Boost Conversion Rates of Your Call-to-Action Buttons. It really is a very in-depth and insightful read, emphasizing how the nuances in CTAs translated into improved conversion rates. If you have the time, I encourage you to read every word. But, here’s what I’ve seen work, mixed in with some great insights from copyblogger.
Avoid the generics: When creating your buttons, conventional wisdom says make them clear and concise. Tell your customer exactly what you want them to do and use common language. That’s why we see a lot of learn more, buy now, more info buttons. These may work, but challenge yourself (and your copy team) to explore different options.
Instead of more info, consider make me smarter or get brain juice. Instead of buy now, consider start the happy. If you’re concerned about losing clarity, you can try buttons with subheads that explain your more-interesting copy.
Blink test: Load your page with your eyes closed, then blink a couple times to get a very brief view of your website. What do you see? If it’s your CTA(s), you’re probably off to a good start. If you can’t see anything discernible, consider making your CTAs more noticeable. Make sure your desired course of action is the most prominent feature on each of your pages.
A/B Tests: This goes without saying, but run tests on all your buttons frequently. Go ahead and audit your site, challenging your copy and UX teams to develop better buttons/CTAs for every page. Run A/B tests to filter out the winners and the losers. Then, circle back 6 months from now and restart this process. Continuously test and improve your buttons. It’s an ongoing process.
Limit options: Your homepage is not a dump of all your content, products, information, etc. It’s a streamlined approach to encourage customers to pursue your content or offerings at a deeper level, filtering customers as appropriate. You’ll give customers information overload with too many buttons, CTAs, content, images, videos…and yourself a higher bounce rate.
This is where the copyblogger article gets very interesting. It cited the popular Jam Experiment in which researcher, Sheena Iyengar, set up 2 jam sample booths at a grocery store. One booth had 24 jam samples; the other had 6. The 24-Jam booth had many more visitors, but more patrons purchased Jams from the 6-Jam booth.
Iyengar completed another study, similar to the jam experiment. She asked participants to choose a chocolate from a box of 30 and other participants to choose a chocolate from a box of only 6. The participants who selected from the box of 6 were much happier with their choice. See the Chocolate experiment.
This can relate to your site. When you give people fewer choices (fewer links, buttons, CTAs), they feel more satisfied with their decision. They may feel like they’ve had a more complete experience.
Consider first person tense: Hats off to copyblogger for this tip. The smart folks suggest making your button complete this sentence. I want to ______________.
Copyblogger cited an example that tested the difference between Start your free 30 day trial and Start my free 30 day trial. One word difference, but the my option saw a 90% increase in click-through rates.
This is a tactic you rarely see, but Amazon has adapted this approach. And if Amazon is considering this tactic, it might at the very least be worth the “B” in your A/B test.
Remove the tedium: Buttons like register to learn more or sign up for info just sound tedious. Nobody wants to register or sign up…we want to explore and engage. Write buttons that capture that message. Consider buttons similar to:
I want more business
-Sign me up for inside tips
Short, sweet, daily tips
-Sign me up.
Find what works for you: These are some thought starters for creating better CTAs. But ultimately, you need to find your own groove withy your customers.