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Making CTA Buttons Convert

Dec 5, 2013   //   by jeremywallace   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Are You Pushing Your Prospects Buttons?

The goal of every website owner is to get their buttons pushed.  Whether that be a “Buy Now” button – an email “Submit” button – or a “Sign Up for our Newsletter” button – getting CTA buttons clicked is critical to the success of your website.

But in order to get visitors to click your buttons – you must first push their buttons.  You need to get into their heads and gain a true understanding of what they want and need.  All page content should support your user goals and your desired actions should be nicely wrapped up in a powerful call to action button.

Always Include a Call to Action

It’s hard to believe, but many websites have pages that don’t even include a call to action.  They just leave it up to the visitor to figure out what to do next.  Never leave it up to your visitor to figure it out! Guide them…persuade them…put it smack in their face if you have to.

One of Visual Website Optimizer’s clients, Consolidate Label, took one of their pages without a call to action and tested it against the same page – but with a call to action button.

Control Page without a button:


Test Page with a button:


The result was an impressive 62% increase in conversions for the test page which included a button over the control page which did not have a button.

Choose to Be Clear Rather Than Vague

Many sites use vague buttons – particularly in their checkout system.  Buttons that simply say “Next” or “Continue” or even just an arrow may get visitors to the next page.  However, there are stronger ways to make sure users keep clicking through.

Visitors have a strong desire to know where they are in the process and the progress they are making (it makes them feel like they are actually completing a task – which yields satisfaction).  Buttons such as “Continue to Step2” or “Proceed to Payment Details” lets your visitors know exactly where they are at in the process and what is coming next.  Bottom line – the more clear and descriptive you are the less likely it is that your visitors are going to get lost.

Add Benefits and Urgency to Button Text 

Want a way to really speak to your visitors needs?  Add the benefit right into the text copy.  Button text such as “Get Access Now” or “Get the Free Report” tells visitors the benefits they will receive when they click your buttons.


You can also create a sense of urgency by adding words such as “Now” to your buttons.  Notice how Hubspot uses this technique in their ad for – you guessed it – mastering calls to action ebook.  If they’ve tested and written an ebook based on buttons – there is a good chance they tested their CTA copy for the button on their ads as well.

Also notice the arrow they use within the button.  Arrows can be used to help propel action and are an element worth testing.


Place Copy Near Your Buttons

Adding copy that persuades, reassures or draws attention to your offer can also have an impact on getting your buttons clicked.

The following split test conducted by Justin Goff tested both a more prominent button and some copy above the button.  Together the new version yielded a 78% increase in sales.


Test Variations

No split test is insignificant.  It can be surprising how simple subtle differences can make a relatively huge impact.  For example, ContentVerve shows how visitors preferred to click a button that used the word “My” rather than “Your”.


One of LeadPage’s clients saw a 30% conversion lift with this split test.


Visitors were more interested in submitting info and clicking a button that said “Tell me more!” than they were a button that said “Notify Me”.

The Mitt Romney’s digital campaign team tested their fundraising button by split testing the text with one version saying “Donate” and the other version saying “Contribute”.  “Contribute created a 10% conversion lift.  One might guess that the perceived value in the button that said “Contribute” is that it makes the visitor feel like they are a part of the campaign.


Match User Expectation

Your headlines, sub-headlines and body text are all pieces that orchestrate your marketing message.  The final piece is your call-to action.  And it’s majorly important that it fits with the rest of your message to meet user expectation.

In other words, it’s important that the flow of your message stays strong and consistent from the onset of your headline all the way through the body text and to the call to action.


Color Isn’t Everything

There has been much debate over which color is the best button color to use – and unfortunately there aren’t any “Orange is always best” type rules .  Ultimately, the best color to use is any color that makes your buttons boldly stand out against the rest of your design so it’s easily identifiable for users.

For instance, a gray button likely won’t stand out as well as an orange, green or red button would with most designs.


Stay Away From Standard Submit Buttons

It’s almost always better to dump the standard “Submit” button copy.

Hubspot found that conversions were lower when “Submit” was used.  In fact I have never seen a case study where “Submit” outperforms alternative button copy.


5 Things Every Button Should Have

In conclusion, we’ve given you a number of pointers that will give your calls to action some punch and get your buttons pushed.

So make sure you remember these 5 things when it comes to your call to action buttons.

  1. Make sure you have a call to action in the first place.
  2. Make sure it stands out against the rest of the design.
  3. Make sure the text is concise rather than vague.
  4. Make sure it matches user expectations.
  5. Make sure to test it!.

Happy Testing!

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