Words Matter: Focus on Your Call to Action

How a Few Words Can Make a Huge Difference

The wording on your site represents an area where there are virtually inexhaustible opportunities for experimenting with variations. The variations can be crafted with just a few key-strokes, and often the slightest change can have a major effect. Because language is so easily tweaked (compared to art or images, which require careful design work) and its possibilities are so vast, it represents a major opportunity to test variations at the speed of brainstorming itself. The words on a site are some of the most powerful and potent elements a user sees. The right combination can be leaps-and-bounds more effective than the rest.

Reconsider “Submit”: The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

After we had been able to dramatically increase the donations per pageview at the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund by removing two of the form fields, we next considered the call-to-action button itself, and asked ourselves if the word “Submit” was really putting our best foot forward.

Instead we tried the label “Support Haiti,” hypothesizing that making the button reflect the purpose of their action would make the meaning of their clicks more immediately clear to users (Figure 5.1).

The difference was enormous. The effect of the change from “Submit” to “Support Haiti” was on the order of several dollars per pageview, and this small change, together with our optimizations to the form and several other quick, simple tests, ...

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