The humble call to action button is always a popular topic in the world of CRO/UX with a number of constant debates surrounding a number of CTA features such as what colour encourages the user to click, what size the button should be to stand out and where the CTA should be placed on the page for maximum exposure. However, I have noticed that whilst people seem to spend much time on fine tuning these various aesthetic features, one key component is often overlooked – the message itself.
It seems obvious but testing the actual call to action text should be the starting point in any test of this kind. Especially when the action isn’t particularly clear i.e. it is part of a series of actions across multiple pages. Essentially, the message on your CTA buttons will have the greatest impact on whether a visitor clicks on them or not, so it’s worth taking the time to test the CTAs presented throughout your site in order to determine exactly what best encourages your particular target audience to respond.
Consider the following core questions?
1. Where is the verb placed in your CTA copy? Does it begin with an action verb such as Buy or Shop?
Verbs help us to gather the meaning of a sentence from a cursory glance, thus by including the action prominently at the start of the text, the reader will be able to tell what to do with minimal effort prompting them to take action with little thought.
2. Are verbs used in an active tense such as Shop Now?
Remember that the purpose of a CTA button is to guide the user when they reach the stage of “what now?” or “where do I go next?” Therefore, by thinking about the typical questions visitors may want to know from looking at your site and addressing these by way of including a clear and active direction in your CTA copy, you can answer these questions before your visitors get a chance to consider them.
3. Do your CTA’s evoke a sense of urgency in the user?
Creating a sense of urgency can be an extremely powerful way of encouraging consumer behaviour so make the most of it in your CTA button text where possible. By making it seem as though the opportunity will not be there if the visitor does not take it immediately, the user will be naturally driven to take it (if the opportunity is desirable to them).
4. Does your CTA button include figures?
People trust numbers; it’s as simple as that. Not only do figures provide specificity they, also prompt users to react. Thus, where possible, include figures to illustrate your point. For example, instead of just saying “Shop Now!” mention discounts such as “Shop Now for 50% off !”.
5. Does the message offer the user something?
Try to use words which will seem beneficial to the user. For example, “learn”, “grab” and “compare” all imply that the visitor will get something out the page/information which is presented to them after they click. This will make the action seem more desirable and will further encourage the user to complete the ultimate goal of clicking!
Thus, there are a number of components when it comes to call to action text that are worth considering. However, remember that, whilst there are numerous blog lists available highlighting the “best” CTA phrases in driving clicks, the effectiveness of the messages presented is largely dependent upon a number of factors specific to each individual website, e.g. the target audience and the existing tone of the site. Therefore, it is essential to test what works best for YOUR website in order to get a true indication what your audience will respond to. Also, don’t just test once and forget about it. As your website and services evolve so will your audience so make sure that you continually refine the messages presented in order to establish and benefit from what makes people click!