When it comes to CTAs, it’s tempting to scour the Internet for that one trick that will get your customers clicking. The problem is, there is no guarantee that someone else’s call-to-action technique is going to work on your customers. The only way to know if your call to action is effective is to run A/B tests.
Interestingly, almost 30% of all A/B tests are CTA button tests, according to one study.
Not every marketer has the time or ability to test every element of a website, but you don’t have to employ an entire analytics department to start running A/B tests on your CTAs. Free tools like SplitButton let you to run A/B tests on your submit buttons, which helps you can see exactly how your customers respond to different styles, colors, and value propositions.
Check out these four must-haves for a call to action that will generate clicks:
1. Use first person.
Let’s get into the grammar for a second.
Did you know that changing the pronoun in your CTA could drastically improve conversions? In one case, changing from “start your free 30-day trial period” to “start my free 30-day trial period” increased conversions by 90%!
Another website studied its successes and found that 66% of their top CTAs used the word “get.” Run a simple submit-button test to determine if your customers are more likely to convert if they read, “Get my e-book now” than “Download the e-book.” The changes are subtle but can have a big effect on your customers.
2. Keep it simple, but specific.
Use language that reflects what your customer is going to receive when they click. Put yourself in their shoes: What’s the next step in the sales process? Do they want to see prices? Sign up for a newsletter? Share with friends?
What happens next should be obvious when you create a strong CTA. One A/B test resulted in a 20% increase in clicks when they changed their button copy to reflect the next logical step. Customers clicked on “Show me my heatmap” instead of “See plans and pricing.” You know where you want your customers to go, but they might be confused. The right language can clarify their path.
3. Add social proof.
Social proof helps to convince a potential customer that people like them are buying—and loving—your product. It can take several different forms – Product reviews help customers make decisions. Logos of companies that have used or featured your product give credibility. Testimonials with photos are often used to attract like-minded buyers.
If you’ve got a big subscriber list, use social proof to your advantage on your email sign-up CTA. The “Join X thousand of your peers” strategy boosted one company’s subscriber conversion rate by 1400%.
4. Don’t assume you know how your customers will act.
Sometimes our customers do wacky things. That is why A/B testing is so critical. For example, marketers might assume that trust verification symbols or no-spam policies near their CTAs reassure customers. But you never know how that will shake out.
One company promised its subscribers that it would never spam, and conversions went down almost 19%. A different company included a VeriSign symbol on its checkout and sales increased by 42%. Minor changes can have a big impact on conversions. The only way to know if your hunch is correct is to run a test and prove it.
Always be testing.
Using A/B testing tools on your calls to action is essential. Since the CTA is the last moment of decision for your customer, it’s a critical place to spend your time. As they hover over that submit button, make it as easy as possible for them to convert.