Paul Cheney

Test Your Marketing Intuition: Which call-to-action won?

“There are no expert marketers; there are only experienced marketers and expert testers.” – Dr. Flint McGlaughlin

Once upon a time, marketers could claim they knew what marketing collateral would generate the highest response from the customer. Now, with the advent of online testing, it has become more challenging to “make definite assertions” about which treatment will perform better.

The best we can do is pose  a hypothesis.

Of course, it never hurts when your hypothesis turns out to be absolutely right.

So to give you a 50/50 chance at gloating (even over a lucky guess), you can hypothesize which call-to-action performed better in the slides below.

Once you’ve studied the slides, go ahead a leave your hypothesis for which call-to-action won (and why) in the comments.

The commenter with the best hypothesis will get the recognition of his or her peers and be featured in the body of this post with a link to their site.

Here is the test we will highlight in today’s 4:00 p.m. (EST) Web clinic: Minor Changes, Major Lifts: How headline and call-to-action optimization increased conversion 45%.

 


Now that you’ve seen the test, go ahead and try to hypothesize which treatment won by 45% in the comments. You’ll get extra kudos if you tell us why you think it won as well.

After the clinic has aired, we’ll link back to the sites of  one or two of you with the best hypotheses in the body of this post.

Good luck!

***UPDATE***

Congratulations to Mark Simchock of Alchemy United for hitting the nail directly on the head with his comment:

If you’re asking me which one pulled the most clicks, I’d favor the treatment. If only because the button is easier to see on what looks to be a page that is fairly busy visually.

That being said, if I were to guess which one pulled the highest quality sign-ups (e.g., higher retention rate at 6+ months) then I would favor the Control. It’s straight forward and honest. Either you accept the price or you do not.

The control might not be the hottest hottie at the party, but if I was going to bring one of them home to mom, I’d pick the control. I think the control has better LTR potential.

This is almost exactly what happened in the actual test. While the clickthrough rate was much higher for the treatment (45% higher), the final conversion rate didn’t statistically validate.

Thanks again to all the comment-ers.

 

Related Resources:

Sign up for today’s Web clinic – Minor Changes, Major Lifts: How headline and call-to-action optimization increased conversion 45%

Headline Writing: How a junior marketer beat the CEO’s headline by 92%

Blandvertising: How you can overcome writing headlines and copy that don’t say anything

Website Redesign: Wondering what to test? Just ask your customers

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Categories: Analytics & Testing Tags: , , , ,



  1. February 22nd, 2012 at 11:47 | #1

    Well, if the treatment failed to outperform the control, I’m going to hold my hands up, and change career :)

    The treatment has a nicer layout, and nicer fonts compared to the control. ‘Get Premium Access to’ gives a feeling of exclusivity and value compared with simply ‘Subscribe to’. Title casing should also be helping.

    The key benefits have been put into bullet points. Much clearer.

    Much improved call to action. Better design, and better wording. ‘Upgrade to Premium’ is reinforcing that I’m going to be getting something much better than I currently do with the free subscription.

    • February 22nd, 2012 at 11:49 | #2

      Thanks for the comment Niall! Any other takers? Get your answers in before 4:00pm EST today if you want to be highlighted as the great marketer you truly are! ;)

  2. Michele Arduengo
    February 22nd, 2012 at 12:23 | #3

    I would choose the treatment–it outlined the benefits of subscribing clearly–from the initial headline,”get premium access” to the bullet points. Far easier as a viewer to understand why I would even consider subscribing.

  3. Brett
    February 22nd, 2012 at 15:06 | #4

    The treatment. The CTA uses a Point first sentence structure which highlights the benefit I “get”. “Subscribe Now” communicates an action I need to take as opposed to the benefit I receive. The bullet point benefits are easier to scan and the bullets themselves are more specific in terms of what I get and therefore, its clearer to me the value.

  4. February 22nd, 2012 at 16:37 | #5

    If you’re asking me which one pulled the most clicks, I’d favor the treatment. If only because the button is easier to see on what looks to be a page that is fairly busy visually.

    That being said, if I were to guess which one pulled the highest quality sign-ups (e.g., higher retention rate at 6+ months) then I would favor the Control. It’s straight forward and honest. Either you accept the price or you do not.

    The control might not be the hottest hottie at the party, but if I was going to bring one of them home to mom, I’d pick the control. I think the control has better LTR potential.

  5. February 23rd, 2012 at 05:47 | #6

    I think the treatment won because:

    1) The phrase “premium access” conveys more inherent benefits than “subscribe”
    2) Benefits are way easier to read in bullet form (hence my answer in bullet form)
    3) Subscription term is not a selling point, and should be de-emphasized
    4) Larger, colorful button emphasizes “upgrade” and premium” – makes me want to click

  6. February 23rd, 2012 at 05:49 | #7

    It’s spooky (and cool) you can pull my photo automatically from Linkedin

  7. February 23rd, 2012 at 11:30 | #8

    I think the treatment would get more clicks primarily because I have to click to see the price. How will I know if it’s worth it?

  8. February 23rd, 2012 at 11:38 | #9

    @Mark Simchock

    Congrats Mark! See update in the body of the post.

  9. February 23rd, 2012 at 12:56 | #10

    Ha! I did wonder about that, but assumed the screen following click through would have effectively dealt with pricing. I guess it didn’t, if click through was higher on the treatment, but final conversion was lower.

    Unfortunately I missed the clinic last night, but look forward to seeing the recording.

    Thanks again for all your efforts. Great learning!

  10. February 24th, 2012 at 06:56 | #11

    Hey Paul, thanks for the pat on the virtual back.

    I presume the key was the bit about retention rate. Retention rate is probably one of the most under-appreciated marketing/sales metrics, yes? Too many get obsessed (and rewarded) for short term results, when the truth is in the longer term staying power.

    • February 24th, 2012 at 07:21 | #12

      Mark -

      Yes. We have a saying around here that we always “optimize for profit.” There will be always be trade-offs between initial short-term results and long-term results. And optimizing for profit seems to always keep those metrics in perspective. Still, it’s fun to see what works and doesn’t in the short-term. I think the key is probably taking those same principles and applying them in the long-term.

  11. February 24th, 2012 at 09:11 | #13

    Hi Paul, if you don’t mind, could I ask about the screen following the click through? How was the pricing handled? If the treatment got a higher CTR, surely the failure was down to what happened next, not so much the initial CTA?

  12. February 24th, 2012 at 13:03 | #14

    @Niall Mackenzie
    Yes. The treatment got a higher CTR. But the conversion rate on the back end didn’t validate. It wasn’t so much a failure, however, as the final number of conversions were extremely low. There wasn’t much to be done to improve it, as the main issue was a lack of value in the product itself, not the messaging.

  13. February 25th, 2012 at 10:52 | #15

    Thanks Paul!

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