In today’s world, quick and easy access to relevant information is key for user engagement. As digital marketers, we have the responsibility to deliver a holistic experience that includes providing meaningful content across all copy levels—especially in calls to action. However, despite all the tools and data at our fingertips that prove the effectiveness of contextual CTAs, use of passive CTAs like “learn more” is still pervasive.
There are times when I feel like I have a master’s degree in learn more. And I know I’m not the only one. If I’m familiar with a brand and have visited their site before, what more do I need to learn? They know I’ve been there. Instead, I want to be enticed to do more.
So why continue to fall back on an overused and tired phrase that makes the next step in an otherwise awesome journey seem ho-hum? With the amount of effort put into making all the other aspects of a site sing, CTAs shouldn’t be treated as a vague afterthought. If the intent and expectation is for people to engage, we must put ourselves in the user’s shoes and ask: What’s going to compel me to click through?
Quite simply, it’s the language.
CTA copy should be as explicit as possible given the space available. We need to ensure that users have their expectations met, and that they can get to the destination page as informed as possible. Learn more can be misleading, not to mention it could lead to an infinite number of results—none of which are implied by the copy. By using something more directive such as “watch video” or “read product specifications,” the user can be confident in knowing what they’ll get upon clicking.
With the technology, deep insights into user behavior and demographic data that agencies have access to today, there’s no reason to use generic CTAs. We can communicate with the user better than ever before—and that can lead to a more personal and successful experience for both parties.
The bottom line? Being transparent is good for business. Contextual CTAs are more effective and produce better results, and it doesn’t take long to see a change in user behavior.
Putting this to the test for several of Mirum’s clients’ brands increased user engagement within just a few weeks:
- Changing “read more” to “read report” for the CTA on a digital banner for a commercial real estate company increased click-through rates by 44.5 percent.
- Making an often-appearing but somewhat generic “get a quote” CTA more specific by changing it to “request price now” throughout an auto manufacturer’s website led to a 15.43 percent increase in form submissions.
- Modifying “view processor” to “view processor specs” or “view modem” to “view modem specs” on a series of recently completed site pages for a technology company resulted in a CTR increase from 14 percent to 18 percent. Modifying “view specs” to a more specific “view (product name) specs” resulted in a CTR increase from 12 percent to 15 percent.
In this age of authenticity and transparency, the timing couldn’t be better for brands to state their true intentions to their online audience, which is undoubtedly much more than just asking users to “learn.” So why not give people something more interesting to chew on and tell them exactly what we want them to do next?
Peri Silverman is a senior copywriter at digital agency Mirum.