Daniel Burstein

Marketing 101: What are beneficial buttons?

July 8th, 2020
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Marketing has a language all its own. This is our latest in a series of posts aimed at helping new marketers learn that language. What term do you find yourself explaining most often to new hires during onboarding? Let us know.

This article was originally published in the MarketingSherpa email newsletter.

A beneficial button is a call-to-action (CTA) button that explains a benefit the customer will receive by clicking on it. In other words, the button has a process-level value proposition.

This may sound obvious when you read the above sentences. If you’re asking the customer to take an action, of course, the button should have a benefit. However, I challenge you to navigate around the web right now and see how many buttons are truly beneficial.

Three categories of CTA buttons

There are three categories of CTA buttons:

  • Value-neutral buttons – These buttons don’t have a positive or negative value. For example, using the word “Submit” or “Go.”
  • Value-negative buttons – These buttons have a higher cost than value. For example, “Buy Now.”
  • Value-positive buttons – These are beneficial buttons. They show the customer the benefit of taking action. For example, “Download My Template.” By filling out the form and clicking the button, you will get the value of a template download.

You can see the full landing page yourself: Free Template to Help You Win Approval for Proposed Projects, Campaigns and Ideas

How to categorize your CTA buttons

Two marketers can see the same button and disagree on whether it’s a beneficial button.

For example, Kodak considered a “Subscribe” button to be a beneficial button for its email registration page while a “Submit” button was not. (From the case study List Growth Tactics: How Kodak added 33% more email subscribers and 53% more YouTube followers).

However, some people may consider “Subscribe” to also be value-neutral. A more value-positive example of an email registration button might be something like “Get Regular Updates.”

From the MarketingExperiments newsletter subscription page.

Testing beneficial buttons

Because the value level of a button can be a judgment call that can easily change from marketer to marketer, you should conduct A/B testing of your call-to-action button copy to measure customer response to your buttons.

As you become more cognizant of button value, you likely won’t test a beneficial button versus a value-neutral or value-negative button. You will likely be testing beneficial buttons against each other to discover which button communicates the most perceived value to customers. Here are some examples.

 

You can follow Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute, on Twitter @DanielBurstein.

If you are interested in beneficial buttons, you might also like …

CRO for CTAs: There is no perfect call-to-action, but these 6 checklists will help get your CTA pretty close

Call-to-Action Optimization: 132% increase in clickthrough from changing four simple words

The Most Effective Calls-to-Action: 5 principles discovered for increasing customer response

If you are interested in entry-level marketing content, you might also like …

The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing: 53 articles (and 1 video) to help with onboarding

Marketing 101: What are microsites? (plus 3 successful microsite examples and 2 missteps)

Marketing 101: What is funnel creation?

 

Daniel Burstein

About Daniel Burstein

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.

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