Jennifer Gale is a woman who loves buttons. Website buttons, to be precise. As a web content writer, I’ve learned a bit about buttons. Or so I thought.
In my chat with Jennifer, I learned what makes a good button, what to write on buttons and how to use buttons to make your website sell more stuff.
Jennifer is a digital marketing expert specialising in membership sites, email sequences and landing pages. Plus she’s the founder of Fit ‘N Fifty Plus and she is also a leadership coach for executives in the health industry.
Kate: Jennifer, why do you love buttons?
Jennifer: Buttons make a huge difference to a website. Without buttons, your customers can’t click to buy or book or contact you. Website buttons are often overlooked as part of the user experience. They are little things but they mean so much to people’s websites. The money is made in the buttons.
Kate: What do you write on buttons? I use the ‘I want to’ formula, which I learned from Kate Toon.
Jennifer: Yes, that’s a good approach. The idea is to complete the sentence ‘I want to…’ So you could have:
- see how it works
- book a call
- try it free
Succinct verbs like get, learn, see and join are good. ‘Show me how’ works well too.
I hate the word ‘submit’. It’s often used for newsletter sign ups. Such a missed opportunity. It could be ‘get my free download’ or ‘join the VIP list’ which is more persuasive.
Kate: The button should be clear about where the customer is headed when they click it.
Jennifer: Yes, the button text needs to explain what’s coming next. A button is like a closed door. People don’t like opening a door when they don’t know what’s behind it. People feel anxious, or unsure about what’s next. For example, if you’re offering a free trial, people worry about having to give credit card details. You could make it clear that no credit info is needed in the button to counter that objection.
Kate: I’m quite button-happy when I write website pages – can you have too many buttons?
Jennifer: Most sites don’t have enough buttons. Leaving it to the bottom of the page is risky, because not every browser makes it there. Having strong buttons throughout your website gives people a chance to proceed further. And the deeper they get into your site the more likely they’ll buy, or sign up for a discount code or download your freebie.
Kate: What’s your tips in terms of button design?
The button needs to be bright using an accent colour so it draws the eye. You can give people options by having two buttons side-by-side. One button gives more info, and the other is a ‘buy now’ option. This gives people who aren’t sure an avenue to learn more and be convinced. You make the purchase-driven button a brighter colour, to encourage clicks on the more desired action. You’d rather clicks on ‘buy now’ than ‘learn more’ for example. One of them is a call to action button, the other is a call to value button.
Kate: What else should people consider about buttons?
Think about where the button sends your audience. Does the button take them to the right place? Have they clicked all the buttons on their site to make sure they go where they’re meant to? People have expectations now about the functionality of sites, especially e-commerce. They’re expecting a good online sales process, so you have to deliver with buttons. Making it easy to add items to cart, remove them, checkout and pay.
Kate: Is it worthwhile testing your buttons? I heard that changing the colour can increase in clicks.
Yes, testing is the only way to know if your buttons are working. Test the colours and phrasing and there can be huge differences. It could be as simple as using one colour for a month, and another for a second month. What works for one audience may not work for another. So you can’t copy what works on other websites. The only way to find out what works for your target market is to test. If you can, heat mapping tests are useful, to see how people navigate your site and where they get stuck or confused.
Kate: How do you encourage people to click on the button? Any tips?
Giving button space so it stands out is a good start. Your text leading towards the button counts for plenty too. A testimonial alongside a button is a great idea. Think of the potential objections and counter those arguments. For example, you could talk about how affordable, easy or quick a process is. I put plenty of time into crafting my buttons—about half an hour per button—it’s that important.
You want to reduce hesitation, don’t give people a chance to delay. If it’s clear and compelling, you give reasons to click (or tap) to proceed. Make it easy to see and click the buttons. Buttons on mobile need to be easily tapped. If they’re too small on mobile and the site is not responsive people won’t be able to tap and they’re gone, you’ve lost them. Don’t make them work hard to find the info they want.
Kate: What about buttons on sales pages, how do they work?
Well a sales page is a single page, so you don’t want people to navigate away. So, you need to use buttons strategically. Buttons help navigate customers to the right sections of the page. This gives people a chance to quickly click to the info they want on a sales page. Most people want to know price, so have buttons that take them right to the pricing table. On sales pages, you put the buttons with the benefits. You can use scarcity on sales pages to encourage people to click now. For example if your course closes soon or offers an early bird discount, the buttons can highlight those persuasive elements that encourage people not to think about it—now’s the time to buy. Don’t force them to scroll to the bottom to sign up, the buttons should be scattered liberally across a sales page.
Kate: What’s some examples of good button use?
Stationery retailer Miligram uses buttons well. The intro text is persuasive, and the button text is clever. But they could use a stronger colour in their buttons to make them brighter on the page.
Amy Porterfield uses buttons well. She writes in the first person, and uses casual language that resonates with her customers. The dark colour contrasts well, drawing the eye.
Basecamp has good buttons, they use social proof in text very close to its button, to give people confidence that they’re in the right company. They use a combination of hyperlinks for those wanting more information, but the bright yellow button encourages trials (the desired action).
Here’s one that Jennifer created for her client Equine Care Clinic.
On the freebie page, each button reminds customers what they’re getting.
Thank you Jennifer for your tips on buttons. Hope you found it valuable.