Choosing the Right Sales Button for Your Site

January 5, 2011 by  
Filed under XsitePro

Copyright (c) 2008 Paul Smithson

It may be interesting to know that something as simple as the sales button you use on your order page can be responsible for massive changes in your conversions, but it actually can mean the difference between no sales and hundreds of sales. Even by just changing the color of your order button, or changing the text on the button, you can have a major impact on your sales.

The only way to really make sure you’ve chosen the right button is to split test, but there are a few things you can do to make sure that right from the start you are using a sales button that is most likely to have a higher than average conversion rate. In general, the color red can attract the users eye to the order button. A recent analysis of over one hundred of the top e-commerce websites showed that 15% of them use the color red for their sales buttons, so make sure that red is one of the options you test.

Other colors that often work well are blue, orange, and green so do run tests to see if any of these can help lift your response. It’s also worth testing rollovers for your buttons.

A rollover is when an image changes when a user hovers their mouse over it. Some studies have shown that changing a button’s color from red to green upon rollover can increase conversions. Again, this isn’t a hard and fast rule so there are no guarantees, but it’s well worth testing to see if this holds true for your site.

The text on the button is also crucial. You can often see a major change in conversions by doing something as simple as changing a single word on your button. For example, changing the text on the button from ‘Buy it now!’ to ‘Get it now!’ could make a big difference. Other wording you could try include ‘Order Here’, ‘Click Here to Order’, or just the single words ‘Buy’ or ‘Order’.

A word of caution though. Some marketers believe that a percentage of people have an aversion to the word ‘buy.’ Remember, testing is crucial, but you might want to avoid words that are often associated with spending money. Again, the golden rule is to keep testing.

Something else worth bearing in mind is the profile of your customers, or potential customers. For some people, particularly those who are not particularly online savvy, conversions can be increased by giving them clearer instructions. Instead of having a button that just says ‘Order’ you might want to tell people that they have to click the button to purchase the product. It may seem obvious to you and me, but to someone with little experience buying things online, it may not be so obvious. Putting the words ‘click here’ somewhere on your button has been known to increase conversions for some sites.

Other things to test are the addition of credit card icons to the button, animation to draw attention to your button, adding images around the button, and adding design elements such as arrows to draw the users eyes toward the button.

Remember, even if your order button is the last thing people see before placing their order, it is only a small part of the overall purchasing process. As well as running tests to see which order button works best don’t forget to test your headline, your call-to-action, your price points, your body copy, and pretty much anything else that makes up your web site or is part of your order process.

Paul Smithson is the founder of Intellimon and the driving force behind the best-selling XSitePro web site development tool ( Paul has set up five multi-million dollar companies, one of which is now owned by the BBC. His areas of expertise include business strategy, e-commerce, on-line and off-line marketing, software development, and maximizing the potential of on-line businesses.
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