Head of Editorial Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K
June 8th, 2015
Joanna Wiebe of CopyHackers once said “the shorter the copy, the less time people think they have to spend on it.” Unfortunately, how many among us can really say she’s wrong?
When was the last time you spent more than five minutes on a subject line? How about a form title? a navigation link? I think you get my point.
Overall, we as Marketers sometimes forget that every copy counts, no matter how small. One piece that I find many particularly neglect is call-to-action (CTA) text.
Under a time crunch, these little buttons seem to get lost in the commotion. Instead of giving them the time and attention they need to attract and convert leads, we quickly slap on “submit” or the equally ineffective, “read more” and call it a day.
Why “Read More” May Be Killing Conversions
I know what you’re thinking, “I see ‘read more’ everywhere, how can it be killing my conversions?”
The fact of the matter is, depending on your audience, “read more” may be what we call a high “friction” phrase.
High friction words and phrases are those that imply work, obligation, or other actions that people don’t want to do, ultimately, discouraging them from converting. (For instance, buy, invest, request, or submit.)
Calls-to-action aren’t just for show. You place them on your website to guide the audience’s eye and get them to complete a certain action. You want them to symbolically “accept” the action with their click and agree to follow through.
High friction verbs, however, deter people from doing this and bring the nurturing process to a halt. Words like these imply loss and tell your audience that there’s work to be done or something to be given up if they click through, so they don’t.
To illustrate, let’s say your audience is very concerned with saving time and is highly scheduled.
Perhaps being met by a call-to-action that says “read more” will be seen as an inconvenience or lengthy time suck. If your buyer prefers visual content, maybe “reading more” will turn them off completely.
Overall, you want to make your conversion path as easy to understand and complete as possible. The more work your calls-to-action imply, the less likely your audience will be willing to click through.
How Can You Fix It?
Like with all aspects of your Inbound campaign, you need to know your buyer persona and their behaviors before you can effectively align your brand and product with them.
When it comes to the text on your CTAs, you need to know exactly what makes them tick and what motivates them.
With that in mind, use your CTA text to highlight benefitsand value that actually appeal to your buyer persona. Use actions that they will want to take and emphasize benefits they’ll want to click through to receive.
Let’s dive deeper into this with our “read more” example.
“Read more,” like “submit”, is general and unspecific. It can be put on any button, on any offer and be understood, but clarity and universal meaning aside, it is also cold and impersonal.
It does not speak directly to any particular audience and can be easily overlooked.
To increase your conversions, make your CTA stand out by appealing specifically to your audience’s personal goals, interests, and pain points with the offer at hand. Speak directly to their interests, in language that will resonate with them.
For example, if you’re sharing a blog article with a buyer who is not inclined to heavy reading, instead of saying “read more” you can say:
Find Out What Happens Next
Learn More Now
Get My Article
These alternatives downplay that there will be more reading after they click through and highlight the benefit of learning and fulfilling their curiosity.
To look at another scenario, if you’re trying to drive your audience to read more on your pricing page, you can say:
Find My Perfect Plan!
View More Plans
See More Options
So, What Would Work Better?
Think beyond the basic “read more!” Keeping all of the tips from above in mind, here are 12 better options to use as a jumping off point for your next call-to-action.