Submit is not the safe word - Showtime Digital

Submit is not the safe word

12 August 2016 Read 2051 times

Attention all business owners and marketing people.

I invite you to unite to make the online world a better place by sharing this post with CEO’s, marketing managers and web developers. Let’s make a promise to eliminate the word ‘Submit’ on webpages and landing pages internationally.


Let’s make this ‘International Unsubmit Day’.

But before you send this on to someone else you better make sure it’s not on your own page. So let’s do this right now...

Step 1 - Load your homepage or landing page.

Step 2 - Press (Ctrl F).

Step 3 - Type in the little box ‘submit’.

If this word is on your page it will be highlighted. Eliminate it immediately.

You could use anyone of these terms. Start here, Send eBook now, Download, Get started, Contact me, anything is better than the use of the word Submit.

In the landing page optimisation space it is the equivalent of the Scottish play whose name shall not be mentioned.


The reason we hate this word so much is because no one should have to submit. It’s derogatory and it’s also very company centric. When you ask consumer’s to ‘submit’ a form you imply the consumer is the lesser part of the relationship and they are subservient to your offer rather than the consumer being of equal value to the relationship.

Ask yourself is the consumer submitting themselves to you or are they gladly giving their details to you in exchange for something of equal value?

The root of the issue is the default text on a Call to Action button within a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla is ‘Submit’. I want to know the guy who thought this was OK to use. Like most things techy the language of websites (code) is determined by a person who finds it difficult to communicate with other humans. The real issue is web developers today still see the word ‘Submit’ as the best option above all others. Ironically, they’ve submitted to the default option.

Most of us must know a web developer; statistically 34.2% of websites are made by the boss’s nephew in the confines of his bedroom at his PC. I’ve never personally met any of these nephews so I’ve concluded they’re very secretive people who live in dark rooms away from the norms of society.

But these same people create websites for people who believe they’re dealing with professionals. They’re not. They just found a job where they don’t have to communicate with others and can dominate the world by playing Magic: The Gathering.

This terrible word (______) is used in too many instances and in so many industries. After some investigation I found the worst culprits.

Here are some finance examples: 11 times!! 5 times 5 times 3 times 3 times 5 times


The least appropriate environment to use the term would be in the Not for Profit sector but they’re awful at it: 5 times (there were 20 in June 2016) 11 times!! 4 times

Even the cool kids get it wrong - 13 times!!

Companies in our industry even get it wrong. Tsk, tsk, tsk!

We’re not here to make judgements about what people do in the confines of their own home and behind closed doors but if the person creating your website needs to use a safe word please refrain from using ‘submit’. Giraffe or Venice is OK.

So get creative, treat consumers like you would like to be treated, with respect.

I’ve made it to the end of the post and not mentioned ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ but I am concerned about the 15 times the word ‘Submit’ (now 16 times) is used and what Google’s algorithm thinks this post is about. Maybe it will believe it’s a Not for Profit could be worse.

Happy International Unsubmit Day everyone.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.