submit button_2Here’s a tip that will help you increase the percentage of visitors to your website who sign up for your mailing list.

The text in your ‘submit’ button should always relate directly to the incentive that you’re offering. So if you’re offering a free download to attract visitors to sign up for your mailing list, then you’re submit button should say something like ‘Free Download’ or ‘Instant Download’.

What you want to avoid doing is emphasizing something that sounds like ‘more email’ or some kind of long-term commitment. That would be like meeting someone for the first time and trying to convince them that they should consider a long-term relationship. You’d probably stand a much better chance of ending up in a long-term relationship by first convincing them that it would be fun to go out on a date.

Dr. Flint McGlaughlin of has overseen more research in this area than probably anyone else on the planet. He evaluates submit buttons by dividing them into three categories:

  • Value Positive = Emphasis on something valuable to the prospect. Ex. ‘Free Download’
  • Value Neutral = Simple instruction or anything that is not attached to a perceived value. Ex. ‘Click Here’
  • Value Negative = Emphasis on something that adds friction in the visitors mind, such as a larger commitment. Ex. ‘Sign Up for the Newsletter’ (unless a. – your newsletter itself is the incentive for signing up and b. – you’ve effectively convinced the visitor that your newsletter will be especially valuable to them).

Which category your button fits into is one of the most important factors in how well your signup form performs.

  • One particular word to avoid, according to Dr. McGlaughlin is ‘submit’, which lowers conversion rates due to the unconscious connotation of ‘submission’.

So to summarize, you’ll want a submit button with text that emphasizes something valuable and attractive to your website visitors.

Questions or comments? ↓

Scott James
Scott James

Scott James is a guitar player with a background in sales and web design. His clients have included Ritchie Kotzen, Kenny Lee Lewis of the Steve Miller Band and hit songwriter Jeff Silbar. Recent project include the Viral Music Player which he programmed and co-created with fellow blogger/marketer John Oszajca. Scott began blogging on his site in 2009 and has since written some of the most popular posts for CD Baby’s DIY Musician and Disc Makers’ Echoes blog. Scott has studied guitar and music theory with Chris Broderick of Megadeth. He has also received a diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming from Dr. Wyatt Woodsmall and is currently in training for Myers-Briggs profiling certification with Antonia Dodge and Camronn Huff as well as studying entrepreneurship, personal development and various personality profiling systems under the guidance of mentor Giovanni Cavalieri.

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