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Case Study: A/B Testing on Call to Action Button Placement

post_applebeesTo optimize an email campaign, restaurant marketers must understand how all the components – the subject line, the content, every word and image – impact engagement.  The only way to develop this knowledge is to conduct systematic  A/B testing.  For this casual chain, the challenge was to increase engagement on their non-offer based promotions.  The client builds its promotions around menu items and pricing, not around discounts. How could they get more guests to respond to their mailings and come into their stores?

Knowing the importance of the Call to Action in an email, Fishbowl’s Managing Consultant Liz Friscino proposed a test of the CTA button to learn whether placement within the mailing made a difference in guest click through rates.  She and her team designed an A/B test with the following details:

  • Two versions of the email were deployed, with subject line and copy the same in both versions.
  • Each email had two CTA buttons; the buttons had different copy.
  • One of the buttons stayed in the same place in each email.  The second button was placed differently in each email – either near the top of the mailing copy or just below the main text. 

caseStudy_applebeesThe results were striking.  Overall, the click through rates within the email itself weren’t significantly different based on location. The more engaged guests were apparently willing to scroll down to the end of the message.  But what Liz and her team learned was that it’s not the placement of the CTA, but rather the wording, that has an impact on engagement.  The better performing CTA button saw a 66% increase in click activity over the period of the campaign.

This test was interesting for Liz and team because it disproved their initial hypothesis, while adding an important new insight about how to optimize email campaigns.  For future campaigns, the client knows to think carefully about the wording of the Call to Action – and particularly to test different options to maximize results.