How’s that “Submit” button working for you? Or the ever-popular “Learn More” button? How about “Click Here”? Or “Download Now”?
Yes, it’s time to think about the buttons.
The text you put on a button can make the difference between a click and a skip. It’s one more opportunity to be engaging and enticing – to tempt your visitors into clicking. Yet so often, we see the same ol’ boring button text.
What if you could simply use different words on your buttons to get different results? What if you could leverage what happens in people’s heads to stop them from skipping the clicking of your button? Think about it for a second.
Boring Button Text
SUBMIT – I’m thinking of that South Park character, Cartman, who says “Respect my authoritay!” (I know it’s misspelled, but that’s how he says it.) Any way you slice it, the word “submit” can imply that the pushing of that button acknowledges subservience. For grins, I looked it up on dictionary.com and all the definitions it showed were essentially about others having more power than you do. (If you’re curious, you can look it up here.) Bottom line – who wants to fill in their information and click a button that says “Submit”?
Unfortunately, “submit” is the default button text for lots of different opt-in form builders – but you should have the power to change the button text regardless of what form builder you are using.
LEARN MORE – This just promises that scholarly pursuits await you, doesn’t it? How fun does that sound? Yes, there are times when this button text is appropriate, but by and large, it’s an indication that it will take you to a page with lots of information on it. Fun, right? Nope.
CLICK HERE – A very commanding button, wouldn’t you say? If it builds even a smidgen of resistance in your mind, it will do the same for your site visitors or email readers. “You don’t get to tell me what to do!” could be the unfortunate mental reaction to such a command. This is frequently used with the Learn More text – Click Here to Learn More – so a double ugh for this one.
DOWNLOAD NOW – Do I have to? Seriously, this one isn’t so bad, but it’s also not terribly exciting or inspiring. We can do better.
REGISTER NOW – Yes, a registration form awaits you. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? For those who are committed to take the action, it works just fine. But anyone waffling on their decision to click will likely respond better to a more engaging button.
Better Button Text is Here
Let’s look at some button text that will be more engaging and inspire more actions, shall we?
First off, let’s stop using “Submit” as a button on the bottom of opt-in / lead capture forms. What you use instead depends on the purpose of the form itself.
If a lead is filling in a form to get a lead magnet from you, how about using “Yes, I want this!” as your button text? Or “Get my copy now” could work as well. Or try “Yes, send it to me!” if you like that best. Did you notice that the language is putting the power in the hand of the clicker, versus “submit” which transfers power to the giver? That’s a powerful technique to use on a button.
If the form is to register people into a webinar, consider button text along these lines: Save My Spot! Reserve My Seat! Claim My Spot! Doesn’t your brain react differently to those options than it does to “Register Now”?
If you’ve got a form on your website or landing page that’s for setting up a meeting, appointment, or requesting a contact, instead of “Submit” default, what about “Let’s Get Started” or perhaps “Contact Me Please“?
For your website pages where you want people to click a button to go to another page for more information, what about ditching “Learn More” and replacing it with “See the Details,” “Check It Out,” or perhaps “Tell Me More”? If you’re linking people to a story you’ve told in a blog post, what about “Get Inspired by the Story” on your button?
Focus on the Outcome, not the Effort
You may have picked up that the button text I labeled as “boring” above is all about the effort. Register, Download, Learn, Click – all are commands that say “you will do more work when you click this button.” See what I mean? The people contemplating the click will be asking themselves if the effort is worth the reward before they ever hit the button. After all, in most cases, they’re giving up their email address to get whatever you’re offering – and they’re likely savvy enough to know that action will add them to your email list and they’ll be on your radar.
If you focus instead on the outcome – Get My Copy, Save My Seat, etc., they’ll be less focused on the effort and more interested in what they’ll get.
It’s subtle, yes. But it works.
Calls to action, or CTAs, do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to engaging your site visitors and your leads – and we don’t want to create any friction before a click is made. Thinking about and adapting your CTA button text, in forms and on your site pages, to more engaging and empowering text, will reduce friction and positively impact your results.
P.S. I’m sure that there are places on our website where we’ve used boring button text. We’re currently going through and changing that in light of this research we’ve done. 🙂
I like this one, Margaret. It’s nicely worded and makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tips. They will be helpful, and I will pass them on to my copy writer.
Thanks, David. Glad you’ve found it useful. The psychology of button text – who knew?