Are you going to sign up for an email newsletter when the Call to Action button says “submit?”
If you think about the word literally, what’s your reaction? It probably isn’t “YES I want to submit… I need to submit. Watch me grovel on the floor before you, and submit to your superior knowledge!!! “
And it’s not just the wording on your Call to Action button that may need work. How is the color, or the design? Could they be improved? Here’s the quandary. Do you just arbitrarily make a decision and change the button, or do you find out what your visitors think?
Go for a test. Let your visitors show you the button that works the best for them.
Testing your Call to Action button, for your newsletter or email sign-up, doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are three simple tests you can perform to maximize your sign-ups.
- Test the color of your button
- Test the shape of your button
- Test the wording on your button
Your button color needs to stand out on the page and draw visitor’s eyes.
Some button colors blend in and are hard to distinguish. Some are so bright that they become a distraction. When you test your button color, you let your visitors show you which color is the most effective. Even if you think you’ve got the perfect color, testing will confirm that for you.
If your current button is a red-orange, try an equally vivid green. If it’s gold try a red-orange. If it’s red try a bright blue or gold. Adjust the color of the lettering according to the color. In some cases black will stand out better than white. You want to be sure that there is enough contrast between the font color and the button color that people don’t have to strain to figure out the words. Color is just one element that draws the eye; we quickly perceive unusual shapes as well.
When visitors scan a page, their eyes pick up anything that has an unusual shape.
Symmetry is everywhere in nature and we find it pleasing and comforting. When something on the page is not symmetrical the eye notices and is drawn to it. Changing the shape of your button so that it is asymmetrical can help it get noticed.
If your current button is square, try rounding one end of it or adding an arrow image at the beginning or end of it. If your current button has rounded corners, shape one end into a point, square it off, or add a contrasting color image at one end.
Shape and color draw the eye, but it’s the words that engage people and cause them to act.
Words are powerful motivators.
Once you’ve attracted your visitor’s attention, you need to give them a reason to click. Your button is never neutral. It either motivates people to move forward or causes them to pause, think it over and possibly not act.
See what happens if you change a word like “submit to “Sign me up” for a newsletter or email list or “Call Me Soon” for a form where visitors expect a call back. Think about what visitors hope to get by signing up and reinforce that message on the button. Getting started is easy.
Try a completely new button for your first test.
Test all 3 elements, color, shape and wording, at the same time vs. the original button, just to see if you’re on the right track. Then on subsequent tests, test just one element at a time; different wording or just a color change.
Testing opens up a conversation between you and your customers that’s based not on their opinions but on their behavior. Learning what motivates your audience will help you improve your website in ways that would otherwise not be possible. Things like:
- What messages work?
- Does your audience resonate to certain colors?
- Do certain designs work better than others?
We need to introduce a reality check here: not all messages work, and not all new designs are a huge success.
What if you’re new button is a complete flop?
We all hate being wrong. And worse, when you’re testing your Call to Action button, if you get it wrong, you’re losing potential customers that you probably will never get back.
Always remember, you’re not locked into a test for a set period of time. You have complete control and can stop any test at any time. Getting disastrous results stop the test immediately. Figure out what went wrong and try again.
Most tests are not that dramatic though. At times what starts as the winning variation can quickly become the losing variation as more people test out the changes. The key thing to remember is that unless the test is really harming your business; let it run until you have reached statistical significance.
Even if your ideas don’t pan out like you expect, you will have a much better idea, after the test, what your potential customers like and don’t like.
A test with results that don’t go the way you expect can sometimes leave you not wanting to test further. You can doubt your ability to gauge what’s important to your visitors or believe that one test confirms what you’ve thought all along – that your original version is the best there is. That may prove ultimately to be true, but more tests are needed to confirm.
The biggest testing mistake occurs at both extremes.
If your first test is a complete bust, the tendency is to stop . The thinking goes like this, “This button represented my best new ideas. Clearly my visitors like my current button…why test anything else?” At the other extreme, if your first test produced an unqualified win, you don’t’ test again because you’ve found the “winner.”
In both cases more tests are warranted. Big wins can be the beginning of an even bigger win, while losing tests can be rejiggered to become winners.
Take a step back and analyze what you’ve learned about your visitors from the test. Use that information to design your next test. Build on your knowledge to keep improving not only the page your testing, but your entire website.
Start testing and find out what really motivates your visitors to click on your Call to Action button.
Create a new button incorporating a new design, color and wording. Test it against your current button and see what you learn. I think you’ll be amazed.