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Brain science is all the rage in marketing today. Why? As humans, we're naturally intrigued by the way our minds work. And as marketers, we're always intrigued by ways to better connect with our fellow humans.

Brain science can be deployed at several points in the marketing funnel, but it's especially effective when optimizing a call-to-action (CTA). By using what we know about neuroscience, emotion, and human behavior, modern marketers can make small but strategic changes to their CTAs that drive more sales, make new connections, and boost their company's bottom line.

Here are three brain-based click boosters that will take your conversion rates to the next level.

Click Booster #1: Pick the right color

Human beings are hardwired to be visual creatures: 90% of the information that comes to the brain arrives via our optic nerve, and that visual data is processed thousands of times faster than what our brain receives in text form. Subconscious judgments are made in a split second, and up to 90% of those judgments are based on color.

So, what color is right for your CTA button? It largely depends on what action you want visitors to take.

Here's a quick breakdown of how our brains react to five major colors (we'll cover mauve and burnt sienna next time):

  • Orange encourages immediate action. Consider orange if you want people to sign up, buy, or join right away. It's also the color most associated with cheap or inexpensive things.
  • Red increases energy and creates a sense of urgency. Try red if you're running a sale, promoting a limited-time offer, or selling tickets to an event close to selling out.
  • Yellow gets attention and creates low-level anxiety. It both promotes positive feelings and causes just enough anxiety to move people to action without stopping them in their tracks.
  • Blue builds trust and security. It's the most popular favorite color in the world and is the choice for brands that want their customers to feel safe and secure. (Look at your bank's logo. There's a good chance it features lots of blue.)
  • Green promotes growth and relaxation. We all know green means go, which is pretty handy for CTAs. It's also easiest for the eyes to process, so it's often used to relax the mind.

And if you're not sure which button color to choose, test it! A simple A/B test will help you see which one converts better for your audience.

Click Booster #2: Put your button copy to work

This isn't the time to be vague or lazy with your CTA button copy. You want your visitors to take a specific action, right? So provide a specific CTA.

One recent study found that adding just one word after the word "submit" can boost conversion rates by as much as 320%. But it’s still important to keep it short. The top 10 converting buttons in the report all contained two words or less.

A few other brain-based button copy facts:

  • You could enjoy a 90% better conversion rate by using first person. For example, "Start my free trial" converts better than "Start your free trial."
  • Go figure: Active verbs motivate users to take action! Try words like "Download," "Get," or "Start." Passive words create computer couch potatoes.
  • Choose words that create a sense of urgency. Simply adding "now" to your button copy can boost conversions. Make it clear that your offer won't be around forever and watch click rates soar!
  • Go with all caps. It's more pleasing to the eye within the confines of a button because it balances letter height by eliminating ascenders and descenders from your text.

Click Booster #3: Use images to point visitors in the right direction

Our brains light up in reaction to images, especially images of people and faces. We can't resist them. If you use images of people on your landing page or email, it stimulates the amygdala (our primitive "lizard brain") and immediately grabs the viewers' attention.

Take advantage of this instinct by using images that visually direct the reader to your CTA. For example, add an image of an attractive smiling face looking in the direction of your CTA button. Eye-tracking studies show people will look where the image is looking.

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Those three click boosters are just the beginning. There's a whole slew of exciting ways that you can use brain science to improve your conversion rates, so test a few of these out in your next campaign. You'll learn a ton about your audience, and if you're a marketing geek like me, have a ton of fun in the process.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Christopher Lester

Christopher Lester is vice-president of sales at email marketing software and service provider Emma, where he leads the team of experts who provide strategic and tactical services to all Emma clients and specialized support to large senders and significant brands.

Twitter: @ChristophLester

LinkedIn: Christopher Lester