What’s the one thing all digital marketers have in common?
If you said, “All digital marketers want to figure out ways to improve their click-through rate,” then you have the right answer. After all, whether you’re an ecommerce business, a bricks-and-mortar retailer, or simply a blogger sending out a newsletter, you live and breathe by how many clicks you get on your campaigns.
What are some of the best ways to improve your average click-through rate (CTR)? Let’s take a look at what time-tested research tells us about getting people to respond to your marketing programs.
For more information on this topic, check out this article on other clever ways to increase your email CTR.
Make sure your site loads quickly
MDG Advertising conducted research showing that 75% of those surveyed will leave an ecommerce website if it’s too slow to load. 47% of them say that usability and responsiveness are the most important elements of an ecommerce site. And 77% of the 18 to 29-year-olds in the survey said they make purchases via their mobile devices, so be sure your mobile site loads as quickly as your desktop site. (Pro tip: Want to test your website speed? Check out this speed test from Pingdom or this one from GT Metrix.)
Question your assumptions
Take a look at the image below from a study conducted by Optimizely. Conventional wisdom holds that large graphics like the one on the left will outperform smaller graphics like the ones on the right.
Which landing page actually won? Do you think it would be the control on the left, or the variation on the right? If you ask me, the control would win hands down… but that’s why I’m a big fan of questioning my assumptions, because the truth is that the variation on the right had a 43% increase in checkouts when compared to the one on the left. 43%! So, don’t simply assume your hunch is correct. Instead, question your assumptions and test your way to success.
Measure every detail
There are no details that are too insignificant to test. Optimizely shared the results of another study where they changed one word to see the impact it had on their conversion rate. Check out the image below and see if you can tell which button won – the one with “Buy Now” in it, or the one with “Shop Now” in it.
Ready for the answer? The button with “Buy Now” improved conversion rates by 17%. Imagine growing your revenues by 17% just by changing one word of copy – it’s mind-boggling, but it’s true. So next time you think that changing one word of copy won’t have an impact on your CTR, remember what you learned here and perhaps you’ll change your mind.
Make your call to action time-sensitive
We all know that testing your subject lines is a great way to improve your CTR. Over the course of time, your tests will help you understand what your audience responds to. Have you ever tested a subject line that was time-sensitive? Studies show that a subject line like, “48 Hours to Save 25%” should outperform a subject line that says, “Save 25%.” Give it a shot and see if you get the same kind of results.
Use time-tested power words
Studies have shown that the words “Free,” “Save,” “Guarantee,” and “Proven” are some of the most powerful words you can use in marketing. For over 50 years, the direct response community has been testing words like these to see which ones perform the best. (For a longer list of most powerful words in marketing, check out this post which includes an additional 10 power words.) But remember the second tip in this blog post? It was “Question your assumptions.” So, don’t assume that the words on any list are going to perform as well with your audience as they have with other audiences – instead, use these words as a starting point and test some variables against them to see if you can get better results.
Test how images perform vs. text
What does your audience respond best to – images, or text? There’s no way to know for sure until you’ve tested both by doing an A/B split test with your subscribers. My hunch is that you’ll find that images outperform text links, but that’s just a hunch. So be sure to see how your audience responds to images by running a test of your own.
The final tip: Take action
If you’ve read any of my posts before, you know that I always encourage people to take what they’ve learned here and put it into action. After all, there’s no point in learning something new unless you’re going to try it out for yourself, right?