Click Here! Add to Cart! Buy Now! Read More! Subscribe! Download! Try it free!
There are only so many phrases we can wedge into a call-to-action button, and frankly, these phrases are beginning to seem a bit trite and worn from overuse. Unfortunately, we are largely stuck with them, since radically different terms might only confuse the customers we’re trying to entice. Nevertheless, consumer expectation doesn’t necessarily dictate whether or not we can make subtle changes, and those subtle changes can often make a world of difference.
But, why would customers really care about how the calls-to-action (CTA) are composed? Isn’t it enough to describe what the buttons do and what the viewer will accomplish by clicking them? You’d be surprised that conversion rates actually do hinge on the way CTAs are phrased.
Cost for value.
The key to successful CTAs is the ability to communicate both benefit and relevance. In order to convey benefit and relevance, it is important to be specific about what the viewer will receive upon clicking the button, as opposed to a mere explanation of what the viewer is supposed to do. If there are advantages that exist beyond what the CTA indicates, make sure that those advantages are clear. If your succinctly-worded CTA fails to capture most of the reasons why the viewer should act, then rephrase it. For example, if the page offers items at a significantly reduced price, instead of saying “Add to Cart” when you want your customers to buy, you might restructure the offer to include the cost reduction: “Save 30 % – Add to Cart”
Speak to customers; don’t bark at them.
Hyper-enthusiasm has its merits – when you’re working towards finding a cure for a chronic disease, building a house, training military recruits or working with children, being excited about your task is an incredibly valuable asset. Nevertheless, there is a subtlety required in salesmanship, and aggressive pursuit of a sale is generally considered unappealing.
CTAs that are phrased like commands tend to turn consumers off. While a sense of urgency is essential, “Buy Now!” is an order, whereas “Add to bag” is much more of a suggestion; a soft sell. “Download!” is quite aggressive, while “Free e-book” is much more enticing.
Hyperlink vs. button graphic – which will work for your strategy?
While some could argue for an eye-catching CTA graphic for email marketing campaigns, it might not be the optimal choice for every type of campaign.
Hyperlinks, while not exceptionally vibrant, could be better for emails that are meant to be graphically minimalist – like a personal communication. An obviously sales-y CTA could work against the image you’re trying to communicate. A hyperlink isn’t particularly stylish, but it won’t undo the personal capital you’ve built through your individualized approach.
However, button graphics do have their place – if your email is already graphically oriented, you might need a vibrant CTA button just to give the viewer his or her bearings.CTAs shouldn’t remain stagnant; they should be updated regularly to reflect not only consumer demand but also brand identity. Take a moment to reassess your CTAs and their effectiveness.
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