Call to Action: The X-Factor in Spurring Conversion Rate

No longer make the best guess at what will resonate with & convert customers; you can test your way to real-time, actionable results

By Entrepreneur Contributor

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The reason entrepreneurs love testing so much is that reflects 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. The tool? A/B testing that compares the data from two versions of your webpage or app or - the focus here - your call to action (CTA) to learn which one performs better.

Yet, while it's possible to A/B test everything, 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 percent.

The good news is, even the smallest things can make a big difference when it comes to A/B testing. So, where's the simplest place to start? Look no further than your humble CTAs. Here are three things to keep in mind when drafting new CTAs to test.

1. Inspire action

Submit Now. Download Whitepaper. It isn't called a CTA for nothing. Remember: You're asking 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, adding just one word after "Submit" on a button can boost conversion rates by 320 percent!

When writing your CTA, 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 of action, you should jazz it up, depending on the
industry or customers' expectations. 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 copy that expresses a sense of urgency or highlights your unique value prop (Get A Free Quote Now).

2. Keep it simple

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-to-five words, max), and then present the simplest of directions in new ways: more/less descriptive copy, varying button sizes, difference color schemes, etc. So, you will need to be especially mindful about the context you provide before you ask customers to act, and to 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 as if it were designed especially for your customer's wants and needs. 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. (a 90 percent increase in clicks, anybody?) In-depth A/B testing never ends; there's always a new style of layout, color scheme, banner or button size that might bridge the gap between abandonment and conversion. Luckily, strategically placing those hard-working CTAs, e-mails or ads around your website is one small, easy change that might change a lot. So, get started!

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