10 Call to Action Case Studies with Examples from Real Button Tests

Call to Action Case Studies

When it comes to boosting conversion rate, your CTAs (Call to Action) buttons are the best tools to develop. Even minimal changes to button designs and texts can have a significant boost to the metric.

Here are examples from A/B tests I’ve performed, where I’ve tested with everything I’ve mentioned above.

10 Call to Action Case Studies with Examples from Real Button Tests

1 – 90% boost in conversion by replacing one word in the button text.

A colleague and I ran a split test on a pay per click landing page that pitches a free trial of a website landing page platform.

The only thing we did was to change one word in the copy – I changed the possessive determiner “You” to “My”. After running the test for weeks, the treatment button copy, “Start my free 30-day trial” had increased the number of trial sign-ups by 90%.

What you can learn:

The biggest change on the page doesn’t necessarily result in significant boosts in metrics.

Optimizing conversion rates really isn’t about web page optimization only – it’s about optimizing the decision making – and the page itself is where it all happens.

Mission critical elements like CTA buttons represent a small tweak on the page, however, they have a huge impact on the decisions of your potential visitors.

So, when you approach a CRO project, try not to think of how to optimize the page itself – instead focus on the goal of the page and how to accelerate the decision-making process of the potential customers.

Bonus case study:

One might be inclined to label the above-mentioned test a fluke because it seems so out of proportion that one word could have such a dramatic effect. But I’ve performed the same test on several other sites and consistently seen dramatic lifts by simply changing the possessive determiner “Your” to “My” in the CTA copy.

2 – 35.81% boost in conversion by tweaking button color on landing pages of products.

I’ve anonymized the client here, but we’re talking about a huge e-commerce site that sells hand-crafted art.

In this case, we could significantly increase sales via the product pages by 35.81% by changing the color of the CTA button.

What you can learn:

The color of your CTA button has a significant impact on your potential customers’ decisions – and thereby also your conversion rate.

Think of the button design or color as a visual sign that helps your potential visitors hone in on the button. In other words, it answers the question, “Where should I click?”

The trick is to make your button stand out from the rest of the page in such a way that it’s easy to spot and identify as a clickable button.

Unfortunately, there are no set rules for which colors work, and rules like, “Never use red – it’s a stop color” or, “Green is always best – it’s a positive color” are plain stupid. I’ve seen plenty of tests were red buttons have performed well, and if you have a mostly green website, a green button is most likely going to be very difficult to spot.

It’s all about finding out what works for your specific website, and the only way of doing that is through rigorous testing.

3 – 14.79% boost in conversions by adding significance to the Call to Action text.

This is a test I recently conducted on an international commercial real estate website through which businesses can find available or vacant offices for rent.

Once a prospect finds a suitable office, they must click the CTA to get all information on the office via e-mail. This means that clicking the button is the main goal, and every click potentially means money for the owner.

By changing the button text from, “Order Information and Prices” to, “Get information and Prices” we boosted conversions by 14.79%.

What you can learn:

The copy you use in your buttons has a major impact on your prospects’ decisions. Button color and designs are significant visual signs that tell the visitor where to click. But in the last important moment, the text itself is what really helps the visitors’ final decision. In other words, your CTA text answers the question, “Why should I click this button?”

The more value you can convey via your button copy, the more conversions you’ll get. The word “Order” emphasizes what you should do – instead of what you’re going to get. Whereas, “Get” conveys value as it emphasizes what you’re going to get – rather than what you must do to get it.

CTAs that begin with “Buy”, “Order”, “Click”, “Sign-up”, etc. inherently focus on what you must part with. Coming up with alternatives that start with, “Get” helps you focus on answering the prospects’ number one question, “What’s in it for me?”

Bonus case study:

Just in case you think this test is a fluke, here’s an example from a Danish sister website where the same exercise resulted in a lift of 38.26%. Yes, this technique also works in other languages than English.

4 –  213.16% boost in conversion by making the text more relevant.

The client here is Fitness World, a major chain of gyms in Scandinavia. The example here is taken from a PPC landing page, where the goal is to get potential customers to click through to the payment page where they can select a gym and sign up for a membership.

In this case changing the CTA text from, “Get Membership” to, “Find Your Gym & Get Membership” increased click through to the payment page by 213.16%.


What you can learn:

The control version is already good because it conveys value and focuses on what you’re going to get – not what you have to do to get it. Nevertheless, it is very generic, “Get membership” could pretty much apply to any situation that has something to do with a membership.

I did a little research and found out that the location is a very important factor when deciding on a membership. So, in this case, I could make the call-to-action more relevant to the specific conversion scenario and increase conversions by adding “Find gym” (Step 1 in the checkout flow features a complete list of gym locations).

5 – 18.01% decrease in conversion by tweaking the font color.

This is an example of a test I ran on the home page of a Danish portal through which you can buy and sell used cell phones.

Here I hypothesized that I could make the button stand out more and increase CTR by changing the font color in a green button from black to yellow. What a backfire! Changing the font color decreased click through by 18.01%.

What you can learn:

This simple case study illustrates that even minor tweaks to your button design can directly impact conversion. Moreover, it emphasizes the importance of testing whether your optimization efforts are in fact optimizing the performance of your website.

6 – 31.03% increase in conversion on a payment page by tweaking the button copy.

Here’s an example from a test I ran on the payment page for a subscription-based education website for college and university students.

In this case tweaking the button copy and adding the benefit, “Get started”, increased conversion by 31.03%. This is the very last step in the conversion funnel, and every single conversion means money in the bank.

What you can learn:

Adding a clear benefit to the CTA will boost both the value and relevance conveyed by the text or copy.

Customer analyses of the website’s target audience have shown that potential customers most often signup on the site when they are in a hurry to get started with their writing process. And previous tests I’ve conducted on the website have confirmed that adding a bit of urgency to the CTAs increase CTR on this website.

Therefore, the “Get started” part represents a tangible benefit to the potential customers (note that urgency doesn’t automatically have a positive impact).

7 – 10.56% decrease in conversion by making the button bigger.

Here’s another example from the previous website. This is a follow-up experiment I conducted on the payment page right after the above-mentioned copy test.

A good observer would have seen right away that adding text also increased the size of the button. So, one might come to think that the increase in size also influenced conversions going up.

To find out the effect of the button size had on conversions, I ran a follow-up experiment with Treatment B where I increased button size but used the same text in both variants.

I was quite surprised to find that Treatment B had a negative effect on conversions and reduced sales by 10.56%.

What you can learn:

When it comes to button size, bigger doesn’t always mean better.

8 – 17.18% boost in conversion by adding a text link CTA to product overview aspects.

This example is taken from a Danish e-commerce site that sells car care products. The site features bundles consisting of a variety of different products.

The product overview pages showing the bundle packages only feature an, “Add to Basket” button. This means that potential customers are being asked to add a product to the basket before they really know what the offer consists of.

Here adding a text link CTA with the copy, “View Bundle” increased conversion to sales by 17.18%.

What you can learn:

Ask for the right action at the right time. It’s natural that prospects need to have a look at what the offer consists of before they are ready to make the decision to add it to the basket.

Many websites feature super aggressive, “BUY NOW OR DIE” CTA copy by default. In most cases, however, it makes sense to find out where in the decision-making process the prospect and ask for an action that’s timely rather than pushy.

9 – 12.29% decrease in conversion by removing a design detail.

Here’s an example from a test I recently ran on a B2B website to isolate the effect of an white arrow on a green button.

In this case removing the white arrow detail from the green button decreased conversion by 12.29%.

What you can learn:

Small design details like an orange arrow can help emphasize your button and draw your prospects’ attention to it thus increasing conversion.

10 – How a Call to Action below the fold boosted the conversion up to 304%

So, we all know the rule that your call to action should always be positioned above the fold. Well, let’s bust that rule right away with this example from a test I ran on a B2C landing page.

In this case, the CTA placed way below the fold at the bottom of a landing page significantly outperformed the other with the CTA at the top. The increase was 304%.

There are several other things going on in here as well. So, the whole lift can’t be blamed entirely for moving the CTA below. But still, it remains a fact that the CTA way below the fold outclassed the normal variant – something that simply shouldn’t be possible if you follow the best practice rule that the CTA should ALWAYS be above the fold to convert.

What you can learn:

Above the fold is still the best position for your call to action. You should place your call to action where it really helps the decision-making process of your prospects.

I’ve seen many scenarios where the CTA has performed well above just like I’ve seen scenarios like this one where having the CTA below the fold has gotten the best results. My opinion and observation from a wide range of landing page tests are that there is a correlation between the product or offer and the best place for the CTA.

If the product or offer is complex, and the prospect must digest a lot of information to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA lower on the page generally works best.

Hence, if the product/offer is very simple, and the prospect hardly must do any thinking to make an informed decision, positioning the CTA above the fold generally works best.

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