Some things in life are irresistible: chocolate lava cake, popping bubble wrap, cuddling a puppy, and… clicking a button.
Whether it’s in a header, an ad, or included in an email offer, a button practically begs to be punched in its virtual face.
They’re tempting because it’s something to do when you’re on a page. Even if you’re not sure where that button leads.
Problem is, the button basher may do so out of habit and not be truly ready to take that action.
So what’s the harm, you ask? Plenty.
Especially when you consider that a button is literally THE point of conversion.
Nothing is purchased or signed up for until that button is tapped.
Most importantly, buttons are virtual “doors” that, once opened, take people somewhere outside of the page.
Buttons should take your reader to something they want and are ready for.
If you’re the one running the online show, you gotta get your buttons right.
Because here’s the thing about presenting a button too early on your page…
Imagine YOU’RE the customer.
Say you’re on a website and the offer for growing your own potato farm is of interest to you. But you’re not 100% sure yet.
So you read the headline – How to Become a Multi-Million Dollar Potato Farmer — with No Farming Experience! and oh hey, there’s a button, Start today!
You click it.
And you end up on an order page. But it’s premature.
You think you want a potato farm, but you don’t know enough to make a decision.
- What kind of potatoes?
- What type of soil do I need?
- Or can I start them in a flower pot in my basement?
- Will I have to use mulch that smells like cows live in my house?
So many questions!
Yet, you’re staring that shopping cart in the face and your questions hang in the air without answers. Credit card information, please, it asks, with its virtual hand out.
You realize you’re not sold. You’re not convinced. Do you go back?
You have better things to do with your time than bounce around a website selling a potato farming blueprint you may or may not want.
Besides, your YouTube notification just went off and Chunk the Groundhog just dropped a new video. *Poof* you’re gone to see what’s up with the mischievous beast.
Now… imagine you’re in a parallel universe… one where that button doesn’t exist above the fold or in the header (humor me).
In this world, the headline lures you in and you’re intrigued.
But since there’s no button (a.k.a. nothing to do) you keep reading.
The copy describes your exact situation. Yes! Other people want to quit the corporate rat race and get back to the land, too.
Slowly, your doubts about the legitimacy of the offer fade. You realize this may work for you, too. Hmmm…
Testimonials and social media proof further eases your skepticism.
The copy not only talks about the benefits of using the product and how it will make your life easier/healthier/richer, but it also answers objections and questions you may have.
Through social proof and/or testimonials, you hear from others who’ve benefited from raising potatoes and how it’s changed their lives.
You’re gradually seeing how this could work for you.
This does not mean you won’t see buttons popping up in the copy along the way, but they’re not there to sell you. Yet. Because they’re… CALL TO VALUE buttons.
Call to value (CTV) buttons differ from call-to-action (CTA) buttons in that they take you to parts of the page with information to help you decide whether or not you want to take action.
They move you forward and tell you what to expect next.
Calls to value set up the value of an act without asking you to make a commitment you may not be ready for.
A CTV button completes the sentence: “I want to ____.”
Examples may be:
- Get my free trial
- Give me a free inspection
- Show me how
What do readers actually want? That answer is your call to value.
Calls to value appear at the top of the funnel before true purchasing action.
When you’re closer to the final “Yes! I’m in” you use Call to Action (CTA) buttons. You see these most often.
Once your potential customer or client has read enough to know what you’re offering you can make the buttons more action-focused with this type of CTA.
Typically this includes button copy like:
- Buy now
- Add to cart
- Book my reservation
However, be aware of CTAs that sound either scary or like too much work.
For example, “Learn more” sounds like work. It’s a common go-to CTA but can turn off people who don’t want to work that hard (*raises hand*).
Better options may be “show me how” or “tell me more,” for example.
Beware of the smallest amount of work that may turn people off to your CTA.
— What’s the real thing that they want?
— What sounds as frictionless as possible?
Bottom line: Be intentional about your button copy. Don’t throw words on a button without thought.
Keep in mind the questions they’ll be asking themselves:
- Is this what I want to do?
- What will happen when I click this?
- If I click this will I be ready for what’s on the other side of this ‘door’?
Ask yourself: Are they ready for this? Or would your CTA benefit from being a CTV instead.
Put a button on the page that makes people feel good about clicking it.
Calls to action appear at the bottom of the funnel when the reader is ready to take action.
Now go through your own copy on a sales page or email and see if you’ve jumped the gun with a too-early CTA button.
Or one with copy that sounds like work, is confusing or otherwise doesn’t jibe with your message.
Got questions? Leave me a comment below or email me at Linda@LindaMeloneWrites.com if you need high-converting copy.
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P.S. Please share this post with other cool digital entrepreneurs you may know!