How do you Test your Call-to-Actions? (part 2)

How do you Test your Call-to-Actions? (part 2)


This article comes from a webinar by Carlos Del Rio (Director of Conversion, Analysis and Data Strategy at Unbounce). Del Rio had the presentation on how you can create awesome landing pages and the various factors you need to consider. Del Rio has also authored a book titled User Driven Change. Give Them What They Want, that talks about picking web traffic data and what visitors try to accomplish on your site. 

[Tweet “When it comes to testing call to action buttons, what your call to action buttons say is not enough in itself – no matter how inviting”]It’s good to experiment with different layouts on the page, and this does make a big difference. Test putting your call to action on the left versus putting it on the right. Test putting it right at the top of the page or at the bottom. The thing with these buttons is that even a slightly off call to action can be very powerful, when put in the place where people get drawn to it within the layout. We learned a lot from the first part of this article here, but now the bigger picture.

The Bigger Picture…

Make sure you’re always testing big. You are never going to make a million dollars by simply testing red button versus green button. You need to have colossal amounts of traffic to make that kind of minute change. Test things like images, test things like audio. Test things like multi-step forms versus single-step forms. The idea is to do things that have a genuine risk of going bad. And by so doing, you’ll also have a genuine possibility of doing really great.

You can also end your test quickly if you have something that clearly shows a winner or loser. And rather than pondering which one of two similar things does slightly better than the other, you can proceed to make things better. Take, for example, when you’re in the business of setting up software. Some of the things people will need to know is whether or not they can get updates. They also need to know how it’s going to be delivered. With regard to products, what kind of guarantees do you offer, what kind of shipping do you have, what kind of return policy you have – they need to know all this and it becomes an express value for the viewer.

4 call to action tips

Implied Values

However, there are also a lot of things that can be said to be implied values. Like what is your brand, or who uses it. Think about what is going to be most emotionally evocative for the person interacting with your website, with your content. To determine which of the multiple ways stands a better chance of how people engage with your content, here’s how you can go about it.

When you test things individually, it’s fine to have three different versions with each testing one major hypothesis. What if you’ve only two versions, and one of them is testing three different things all at once? You’re not really going to know what the net effect is, and you’re not going to know which one of the various test perimeters is making a real difference. So be straight about one major hypothesis and really make a bold move and you’ll continue to not only notice improvements, but you will indeed be experiencing improvement.

This only makes it easier to bring in someone fresh to work on it. So, if a junior person steps in and they need to know what it is you’re testing, they can’t just see it. Obviously that was a headline test, obviously that was a button test or image test. It’s going to take a lot more time for you to transfer over it. So you’ll have better time telling what it is you’ve already tested, and what hypothesis works and that that doesn’t. If you create distinct differences between pages, you can test one at a time for base to variation.


In closing there are specific things that you need to make sure you have when placing Calls to Action. To make it simpler here is a checklist of the most basic elements:

  1. Layouts and Placement
  2. Color and Size
  3. Implied values and Branding
  4. Test your CTAs

You can view the entire webinar in its entirety right here.

Originally published October 22, 2014 - Updated April 15, 2019
Dennis van der Heijden
Co-founder and CEO of, Dennis is a passionate community builder and out of the box thinker. He spends his time innovating to make Convert Experiences better. Learn about his journey as an entrepreneur and leader on the SaaS Club podcast.
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