Unclear call to action copy and empty bonus input fields can create uncertainty

Ambiguity Bias

Definition:

The ambiguity effect is a cognitive bias where people avoid options with missing information because it makes the choice feel risky.  The effect suggests that people have a preference for options where there is a known probability of a favourable outcome.

In conversion this means that people may abandon a site or choice if they don’t understand the product/offer or are uncertain about the next step. People hate uncertainty and will avoid it at all costs.

Unclear call to action labels can result in this bias influencing conversion. Text such as “Submit” or copy that does not relate to the information being requested can cause confusion and friction in the user journey.

Image of submit call to action from Ladbrokes.com
Image source: Ladbrokes.com

Not having consistent messaging throughout a user journey may also create a lack of clarity. Here is a deposit user journey from Guts.com. The first screen after registration clearly indicates that a deposit bonus is available. However, once the customer selects their payment method (2) and lands in the cashier (3) there is no mention of a deposit bonus, but there is an empty “Enter bonus code” field.

Image of user journey with empty bonus code field which could suffer from ambiguity effect
Image source: Guts.com

This creates uncertainty about whether a bonus code needs to be entered or will the bonus be automatically allocated. This is unclear and could result in customers abandoning making a deposit as they go in search of a bonus code.

Resources:

Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.

Over 300 tools reviewed – Digital Marketing Toolbox.

A/B testing software – Which A/B testing tools should you choose?

Types of A/B tests – How to optimise your website’s performance using A/B testing.

Digital Marketing and Insight