Earlier this year, a team of analysts approached me about a closed case that was reopened for additional interpretation. It was about button copy, and the results were initially baffling.
Here are three of the prominent treatments and their respective clickthrough rates, each with a statistically significant difference in comparison:
Does this look familiar? While Daniel Burstein did a great job covering the “what” of this test earlier this year in this MarketingExperiments Blog post, he did not have opportunity to go into the why:
- Why didn’t “Start Free Trial” win?
- Isn’t there more value by highlighting the word “Free?”
- Why is it that the word “Now” in “Get Started” was the difference between underperforming or outperforming “Start Free Trial?”
Everyone in digital marketing is convinced that a call-to-action is a button or a link — something that people can click, or touch, and it will take them off the current view and into another. Because of this preconception, they often create and improve their calls-to-action with the same kind of tunneled focus.
Unfortunately, that’s not how the customer looks at it.
To the customer, the clickable thing has no meaning outside of its surrounding context
Take this classic example of context from Leonard Mlodinow’s book Subliminal.
Read this sentence:
“The cooking teacher said the children made good snacks.”
Now read this one:
“The cannibal said the children made good snacks.”
The meaning of the word “made” has significantly changed hasn’t it? In fact, the meaning of that one word is dependant on the context in which it is placed.1