“What is the most effective copy for my buttons?” That is one of the most frequent questions we receive at MarketingExperiments. And for good reason. As our testing shows, simple changes to the copy on your call-to-action buttons can generate impressive results.
Yet even though we know that, we don’t always optimize our button copy. And in this case, I’m not using the royal “we” to try to refer to all marketers. Right here on the MarketingExperiments blog, where all we do is write about testing, optimization, and messaging, we had an unoptimized button.
But, fortunately, we also have an audience of savvy optimizers that constantly keeps us on our toes. In fact, on a recent post – Live Experiment (Part 1): How many marketers does it take to optimize a webpage? – Thomas Strunk made a comment on the post that rightly called us to task…
Also just another thing I just noticed is that your little green button below says “Submit Comment” and I thought that the word “Submit” was a BAD word 🙂 Maybe you could do an A/B test on it with a button that says “Share Your Thoughts” or something like that… Who knows you might get more responses to your posts?
Good point, Thomas. To the splitter!
The control button was something you’ve seen a million times before, and probably the most popular button on the Internet – the Submit button. Or more specifically, “Submit Comment.”
As we’ve found in test after test, the default “Submit” button tends to underperform. So we wanted to create a treatment for this blog, as well at the MarketingSherpa blog, that better implied the value of commenting.
Frankly, this was easier said than done. One of the biggest points of value many people see in commenting on a blog is getting a link back to their site. Our audience is made up of marketers and, frankly, I think marketers are even worse about this than the average Joe.
However, spam comments that say “great post” add no real value for you, the reader. That’s why we delete many of the comments we get on our blogs. If it doesn’t add value to the reader, it doesn’t make the cut.
So we certainly didn’t want a button that played up value some in our audience would like, but that we don’t want to give them at the expense of the majority of our audience.
So which words accurately describe the value you can expect to receive from commenting on our blogs?
As Senior Editorial Analyst, Austin McCraw, replied to Thomas…
“‘Share your thoughts’ is better, but still seems like it is too ‘action-centric’ rather than ‘value-centric.’ What does the reader get from sharing their thoughts? Why did you comment? What was in it for you?”
Even Thomas was perplexed…
“I am not really sure what was in it for me? I guess I am just thankful for all the info you guys let us in on and I know that it is nice to get feedback on all your hard work. I am anxious to see what a ‘value-centric’ wording will be on a ‘submit your comment’ button. Because I could totally use something better for my site too. Looking forward to see what you come up with.”
Frankly, it took a little soul searching on our part. Why do we even want you to comment in the first place?
And then it hit me. It goes back to the line I use to sign off on every issue of the MarketingExperiments Journal that we send, “Our job is to help you do your job better. Let us know how we can help.”
We’re optimizers. Frankly, we’re constantly trying to make everything we do better. And that’s where your feedback, from a community of professional marketers, is so helpful to us.
But to help you do your job better, we also want you to interact with each other. Sometimes you can learn more from your peers than you can from us. It’s why we encourage you to tweet on #webclinic during Web clinics. It’s why we invite you to present your case studies to your peers at marketing Summits.
Essentially, we want you to “Join the conversation.” Yes, I know there is nothing shockingly new about that phrase. But, it just seemed to fit the bill…
We found a significant difference on the MarketingExperiments blog at an 82.9% level of confidence, a 34.0% lift to be exact. The results are above.
We did not find a significant difference on the MarketingSherpa blog at even an 80% level of confidence.
What can you learn from this test?
- At a very base level, it’s worth testing your buttons. Compared to, say, an entire shopping cart process, it’s an easy test to run. Yet, because it’s so close to the point of conversion, it may have a significant impact. After all, think about all of the money, time, and resources you invest driving people to that button.
- Think about the messaging on your buttons. Every action you expect your audience to take should have a value. While, admittedly, there is only a small value in joining a conversation for some (and perhaps no value for many), there is certainly more value than simply saying, “Submit Comment.” Besides, what are you really telling your audience when you ask them to submit? What is their expected response? As Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MarketingExperiments likes to say, “I SUBMIT TO THE GODS OF MARKETING!”
- No significant difference is valuable. As you can see at the bottom of this blog post, we changed the button to “Join the conversation” on our blogs even though we did not find a significant difference at the 95% level of confidence (the level we usually look require to make a business decision).
That no significant difference finding is valuable. “Join the conversation” better ties into the message we try to send our audience, but we didn’t want to hurt conversion. Knowing that the more consistent messaging will not hurt conversion gave us the confidence to make the change.
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