Win Report: How a “sticky” call to action increased sales by 25%

Published: November 2023

The following is part of our Win Reports series, providing an “under the hood” look at how we apply the CRE methodology™ to grow our clients’ businesses—revealing the research we conduct, ideas we create, tests we run, and insights we provide.

In the next four minutes, we’ll show you how a “sticky” call to action increased sales by 25% for a client in a complex market.
A side by side view of control and the winning variation from the test.

Research: Opportunities to improve a long product page

The client manufactures high-price products for discerning users. Selling the products online is challenging because customers have personal preferences and are often nervous about committing to something they haven’t tried. (In our research, the inability to experience the product firsthand was the single biggest objection to buying online.)

As a result, the product page contained a good deal of carefully curated content. Long sales pages are often necessary for complex sales (see our GoHenry case study). However, our initial research—including user tests, surveys, and heatmaps—uncovered two early insights ripe for testing:

  1. Visitors who read deep into the page struggled to know how to progress their purchase—even as the counterobjections addressed their concerns. The sales form was “hidden” way off-screen.
  2. Some visitors felt the “Add to Cart” call to action was too much of a commitment.

The original page (or control)

The client’s page was long—containing lots of strong persuasive content—but once someone scrolled down from the top, the call to action was “lost” off-screen. The following wireframe illustrates the issue.

A wireframe of the control showing that once you’ve scrolled, you’ll no longer see the call to action.
The Control: Persuasive content. No call to action.

The tested pages (or variations)

After discussions with the client, we created four variations:

  1. In each variation, we added a “sticky” button to the bottom of the mobile screen: The button appeared once the user had scrolled past the existing sales form. Tapping the button scrolled the user back to the form. (This was a “smooth” scroll so they could see and understand what was happening.)

  2. For three of the variations, we experimented with different calls to action: Adding the sticky button allowed us to test multiple messages. For Variation 1, we duplicated the existing call to action (“Add to Cart”) to isolate the button’s effect. We then created three further variations to test different levels of perceived commitment. Here’s the full list:

    1. Add to Cart (the “button-only” version)
    2. Choose Size & Color (low commitment call to action)
    3. Start Your Risk-Free Trial (low commitment call to action)
    4. Order Now (high commitment call to action)

And here are wireframes of the four variations we tested:

Four wireframes, each displaying a new fixed bar with a call to action in each.

The four variations. The green button “sticks” to the bottom of the window as the user scrolls down the page.

Result: Sales increased by 25%

Every variation beat the no-button control by at least 8%. “Start Your Risk-Free Trial” won the test, delivering a 25% increase in sales and a 22% increase in Revenue Per Visitor (RPV).

Here’s what we learned:

  • The sticky button consistently increased conversion on the long webpage, even when we used the same call to action as the control. The minimum conversion lift from adding the button was 8%.
  • “Choose Size & Color”—the lowest commitment call to action—received more clicks than any other variation but led to fewer sales.
  • “Start Your Risk-Free Trial”—the winning variation—increased sales by 25%, which backed up our research that visitors weren’t confident buying online without trying it first. (See our article, How to sell complex products and services (Part 1), for more on deferring commitment.)

What next?

Based on the success of this test, we leveraged the risk-free trial across other pages and delivered more wins. As usual, we also added the test to our proprietary Wins Database and then looked for ways to apply its lessons to other clients.

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