Test, retest, optimize—while not our official mission statement, it has been considered as one of Lucid Fusion’s top 5 company sayings to put on a T-shirt (see also: “Inspire Action” and “Put a pigeon on it.”)
The reason we love testing so much is that it’s one of the best examples of how the Digital Age makes it easier than ever to be an effective marketer: you no longer have to make your best guess at what will resonate with and convert customers; you can test your way to real-time, actionable results.
But, while it’s possible to A|B test everything (and for the best possible statistical and optimizational significance, you should), the reality is that most businesses don’t have that kind of work/time investment available. Add to that the proposition that you need to be able to test one changed element at a time or else you won’t know what’s making a difference, and it’s no wonder that proper A|B testing often gets shoved to the backburner—despite the fact that it can boost conversions by as much as 25%.
The good news is, even the littlest things can make a big difference when it comes to A|B testing, and it’s usually these little things that help bolster the rest of your testing and optimization endeavors. So where’s the simplest place to start? Look no further than your humble Calls to Action.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind when drafting new CTAs to test.
1. Inspire Action.
Submit Now. Download Whitepaper. Visit Hogwarts.
It isn’t called a Call to ACTION for nothing. Remember that you’re asking your customers to do something; your copy should not only give direction, but should also hint at what they can expect to get out of this exchange. In fact,
Lead with a verb, and don’t be afraid to tailor it to your brand or target audience; while “Sign Up” is a perfectly acceptable and universally understood form action, you could probably jazz it up depending on the expectations of your industry or customers. Try out more fun or specialized actions like “Stay Connected,” “Get the Scoop,” or “Be More Awesome,” and see what attracts the most interest. Also, experiment with adding in copy that expresses a sense of urgency or highlights your unique value prop (Get A Free Quote Now); this might be the bit of subliminal encouragement that folks need take that all-important next step.
2. Keep it simple.
When you’ve got a customer one click away from conversion, the last thing you want to do is make them offended or confused. So while fun CTAs can help make them stand out, keep in mind that there is such a thing as being too clever—and that goes for copy, layout, and button design.
Make simplicity a priority, and test variations to find out exactly what that means to your target audience. Start with best practices (which usually tag effective CTA copy at two–five words, max), and then challenge yourself to present the simplest of directions in new ways: more/less descriptive copy, varying button sizes, difference color schemes, etc. This exercise will require you to be especially mindful about the context you provide before asking customers to act, and focus on the most intuitive experience for your specific user (you can’t expect people to “Sign Up Now” before they’ve had a chance to learn about whatever it is you want them to sign up for).
3. Make it personal.
Writing CTA copy in the first person—that is, changing “Make Your Profile” to “Make My Profile”—also helps to frame the whole experience (including what you’re asking users to do) as if it were designed especially for your customer’s wants and needs. While it doesn’t seem like much, all those familiar personal pronouns create a nuance that can make a big difference. In fact, Michael Aagard of Content Verve found that
Even if first person copy seems like something that is out of place with your brand or vertical, it’s one of the easiest copy tweaks you can test—and, honestly, you have nothing to lose in testing it out. (...90% increase in clicks!)
The truth with all testing—but especially A|B testing—is that you really never know what will resonate best until you test…and retest. And test some more. In fact, the more you test, the more you’ll realize that you can almost never assume what will or will not work, no matter how well you think you know your brand or customers. That’s why in-depth A|B testing never ends; there’s always a new form layout, color scheme, banner, or button size that might bridge the gap between abandonment and conversion. Luckily those hardworking CTAs placed strategically around your website, emails, or ads, represent an easy way to make one small change that can potentially change a lot. Get started!
Need some extra help in covering all your A|B testing bases? Connect with us! (See what we did there?)