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Improve Video CTA Click-Through Rates by Using the Right Words

Should you tell them what to do?

We have constant debates here at Wistia about how explicit we should be in guiding user behavior. These discussions surface in all sorts of places—new user onboarding in our app, CTAs in our videos, product pages, and beyond.

There are basically two schools of thought.

School #1 says:

"Let's make the design so simple and intuitive that no explicit instruction is needed. Those instructions are just a crutch making up for bad design."

School #2 says:

"There is no such thing as 'perfect' design, so almost every situation can be helped by directing people to take the desired action."

Well, when it comes to interactive elements in videos (e.g. calls to action and annotation links), the data proves that school #2 wins. Direct language yields higher click-through rates.

To "click" or not to "click" for video CTAs

First question: does including the text "click" or "click here" increase the click-through rate for calls to action in videos?

Well… in a word, yes.

According to data we pulled from across all Wistia-hosted videos using calls to action, the click-through rate for those that include the word "click" is the highest, at just over 15%, and "click here" comes in second, at around 11%. The average click-through rate for CTAs not using any form of "click" was just under 10%.

"The click-through rate for calls to action that include the word 'click' is the highest."

Annotation links are no exception to the rule

The difference is even more pronounced when using annotation links. Annotation links that included "click here" were about 4 times as effective as annotation links that didn't include the word "click." Using "click" was about 3 times as effective as not using the word at all.

As with any data finding, it's important to consider your context and your audience before making changes. In other words, don't revise all of your CTAs and annotation links solely because of this data. At Wistia, we're proponents of "data-informed," not "data-driven" marketing.

Stay tuned for more video data snacks and tidbits!

If you're curious to read more about how to craft an effective video CTA, we collected lots more data for our Guide to Calls to Action over in the Library.


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