June 26, 2014 | Kayla Hollatz

Click Here! Submit! Go!

NO. My first reaction is to close the browser window and that company’s chance of converting me into a customer.

How many times have we seen the same vague, passive copy being used by businesses begging us to click their call-to-action (CTA) buttons? Probably a number so big that I’d want to forget I asked in the first place.

So how can we fix the submit button epidemic? There are several factors when looking at optimizing conversion rates with CTA buttons, but today, it’s all about language.

No matter how well-designed a landing page is, if the call-to-action copy isn’t clear and effective, it won’t meet conversion rate projections.

Customers will not convert if they are bombarded by too many messages at once.

If you were to visit a landing page with the title of “Looking to gain more Twitter followers but aren’t sure where to start?” and the copy of the CTA button said “Download,” would you click it? Probably not, because you have no clue what you’re about to download.

Sure, maybe somewhere in the bulleted list under the title it would explain that you’d be downloading a free white paper, but many visitors won’t get this far.

Writing Call-to-action Copy

When writing the copy of your CTA, you must assume that your customer may not read the paragraph text in order to save time. Your CTA copy must be clear on its own and relate to the title copy.

Your CTA copy should always tie in with the title and overall message of your landing page.

If the PPC advertisement is titled “Boost your SEO with Erin Johnson’s SEO Guide eBook,” the CTA copy of “Get My Free SEO Guide eBook” would make sense. Your visitors know why they are clicking and what will happen when they click.

Remember that optimizing your conversion rate results does not necessarily lead to shortening the length of your copy. You want to be concise, but above all, you must be clear.

Your visitor would rather see five words with a clear message, rather than reading one or two words for concise, but confusing, copy. If a CTA goal was to have your visitor register to attend a social media seminar, you’d want to say “Sign Me Up For Social Seminar” rather than “RSVP.”

So we see that unified messaging is important, but what are some other good rules of thumb?

CTA Do’s & Please Don’ts

  • Do use active words. Heck, the word action is even in call-to-action! Cut the passive terms and cliché language.
  • Don’t use the same language in every CTA button you create. Copy should be altered to better reach your target audience.
  • Do be specific. Instead of saying “Register,” call out what the customer is registering for. If you’re confused by your copy, chances are your customers will be, too.
  • Don’t oversell and under-deliver. Placing a guarantee on something that can’t be guaranteed hurts you and your customer. Don’t over-promise in your copy in hopes that more people will click your CTA.
  • Do test your CTA copy. You A/B test the design of your landing pages, so testing your copy is a no-brainer.

An important question to ask yourself is, would your CTA copy be enough to make you convert as a first-time visitor looking at your landing page? If your answer is no, edit.

Pay attention to what turns you off as a customer when you visit other landing pages. This way you can ensure your customers have a great user experience on yours. Keep it simple, tight, and oh-so-specific.

And whatever you do, don’t fall victim to the submit button.



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