When Barack Obama initially ran for president in 2008, he had a small following and little-to-no name recognition. Just to jog your memory Obama was running against John McCain a United States Navy officer and there had never been a black US president before. Because of this, he had to promote himself using more innovative methods compared to other candidates.
Obama’s team placed a lot of emphasis on raising money online. Using digital channels like his Obama 2008 campaign website (pictured below) he was able to gauge the effectiveness of each advertising/marketing strategy more effectively than his competitors who were going through more traditional media channels.
Using various tests Obama’s team optimized every aspect of the website to increase donations. One of those tests was for which button copy (text) lead to more donations.
The results of the button copy tests are displayed in the table below. These variations are particularly intriguing as the winning copy was dependant on the users segment not just on the text. 3 different segments were used as part of this experiment. These segments were created using the actions that the user had previously taken.
- For those who had never signed up, a more value driven “Donate And Get A Gift” was the most successful copy. This makes sense as it focuses on what the person receives, giving them an incentive to make the action.
- For people who had signed up and didn’t donate responded best to “Please Donate”.
- People who had previously donated responded best to “Contribute”. These people had already sunk cost into the Obama campaign. They were committed so overselling could be a turn off and a more passive voice ended up performing best.
As you can see, something as simple button text can make a huge difference to your conversion rate. It’s important to segment your users and run tests to see which copy resonates the most with that segment.