Wednesday 31 July, 2013

Call to Action Buttons – Good vs. Bad

According to the 2013 Online Subscription Benchmark Report, 76% of subscription sites have bad call to action buttons. This means they’re potentially leaving money on the table that could be profits to them.

You can’t underestimate the importance of the call to action button. It can have a serious effect on whether or not a site visitor buys, along with other factors on your sales page. Let’s take a look at what makes a bad call to action button and how you can make yours better.

Where’s That Darn Button?

No one is going to click on the call to action button if they can’t see it. Lots of sites make the horrible mistake of hiding their call to action button – not intentionally, of course, but through bad design.

The call to action should be large and its color should contrast with the rest of the website. If your site’s background is white, make it a dark color. If the background is a cool green or blue, make your call to action button a hot red or orange. The best places to put a call to action button are at the top and the bottom of the page.

Language Matters

Language makes a huge difference in whether or not a call to action button gets clicked. The button should state the benefits of clicking it in clear, concise language. Something like ‘click here’ isn’t going to entice anyone, and if your button has a paragraph long explanation of benefits, it’s information overload.

Short phrases like ‘download’ and ‘add to cart’ work well and there are a number of ‘magic words’ for calls to action such as ‘free,’ ‘now,’ and ‘instant’ that are good to use. Anything that emphasizes the urgency or limited availability works well too.

The worst phrases to use are ‘submit’ and ‘next.’ ‘Submit,’ in particular, has psychological implications that are not good. Words and phrases like ‘next’ and ‘read more’ don’t tell the person anything about what they’re going to get by clicking.

Mouse Rollover

There’s a small design feature that can make a big difference. It’s called ‘mouse rollover.’ This is when you roll the mouse over an image, bit of text or link, and the pointer changes to something else. This tells the visitor that something will happen when they click the link. It’s a subtle effect but it helps.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

It’s good to get creative with your site design but with the call to action, simple is best. You may come up with an excellent idea to make yours creative, but remember that other sites have easy-to-see, simple buttons that entice visitors with the benefits they’ll get from clicking. Your clever idea probably can’t compete.

Bob Steele

Bob Steele is an entrepreneur, software developer, marketer, and author living in the Denver metropolitan area. He’s an avid outdoorsman who loves skiing, hiking, fishing, boating, and just plain having fun. His interests include games, space, technology, physics, cooking (well eating actually), economics, business, internationalism, and team sports. With over thirty years of professional consulting experience, Bob has been exposed to many diverse business models and has gained a sensible approach to life. Bob’s company, WaveCentric is focused on commerce, marketing, and entertainment related products.

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Comments Off on Call to Action Buttons – Good vs. Bad   Posted In: Commerce, Marketing   |    Written By: Bob Steele