Testing call-to-action buttons are a popular starting point for conversion optimizers because of their role in moving your customer through your conversion funnel. It’s easy to get quick uplift when your control button sucks to begin with — if it’s small, doesn’t contrast with your page or branding colors, is placed too far below the fold or is styled too similar to secondary calls to action. Testing a button that fixes these issues is a no-brainer. But what about moving the needle higher when you have a good call-to-action? Can you squeeze more juice out of your button?

Break the mould

Amazon is a paragon of conversion testing, and has a long history of testing its calls-to-action (as documented over the years by CRO expert Bryan Eisenberg). One of Bryan’s testing secrets is to use an unusually shaped button, similar to Amazon’s neither-square, neither-round button edges. The unusualness makes the button stand out, and often outperforms regular shapes.

But Amazon didn’t stop testing, even after finding a star shape and sticking with it for years. A recent radical redesign Bryan spotted this summer featured rectangular buttons, among other variables:

It appears, at least from what I can see, Amazon has reverted back to its trusty irregular button, but continues to redesign its call-to-action area.

If you’ve found a color/size combo that’s a winner for you, consider testing it against an irregular shaped button in the same color / size.

“Get” creative

Marketing Experiments has found winning headlines often lead with the word “get.” Focusing on what the customer gets vs. what you want the customer to do has a persuasive effect.

While it’s not a great idea to mess with the conventional “Add to Cart” label, using “Get” in calls-to-action in email creative, display ads and home page merchandising may have more impact than “Buy Now” and the like.

The above example also references price, which makes an interesting test.

Include a value prop

Low price is a value prop, as are X-day free trial, easy sign-up process, no credit card required, etc.

Consider testing buttons with a value prop, whatever yours may be, against your existing control.

Get to the point

Eye-tracking studies prove eye movements follow a model’s gaze, whether it points to your call-to-action or away from it. Arrows can have the same subliminal effect. If the action you are calling to sits on your page, like a registration form or an email address entry field, consider testing an arrow on your button.

Are you ever done testing calls-to-action?

There’s always potential for one more test to generate more lift — but be careful not to throw too much effort at a single element at the expense of other tests. Remember the concept of diminishing returns!

Your call-to-action button is ripe for re-testing if:

  • Your test idea is different beyond simply testing another color, shape or size
  • The change’s intent is to boost persuasion (such as adding a value proposition, including the word “get” or adding an arrow)
  • You’ve changed your business model (see Amazon “rent” button, above)
  • You’ve redesigned your site or significantly changed the surrounding design context
  • Your target customer has changed since your last test (e.g. expanded internationally or consolidated brands into one site)

Note: With the exception of Amazon tests, I borrowed the above button examples from Rich Page’s free Conversion Optimization Toolbox (author of Website Optimization: An Hour a Day). In it you’ll find a 20-point conversion optimization checklist, a conversion rate revenue uplift calculator along with case studies, testing ideas and more. Check it out (did I mention it’s free?)