Adding To The Noise

A critical view of new media, new technology and new marketing.

Click Here: Digital Call To Actions

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Call to actions are ubiquitous with marketing, but many ads don’t have them. After a Google search and a search of my bookshelf I couldn’t find one reference that recommended not using one. I did find a quote from famous copywriter David Garfinkel about another one David Ogilvy, “David says ads without headlines are headless wonders. This is a tail-less wonder.” So why do so few ads have them? Click here for the Garfinkel article about Ogilvy in the World Copywriting newsletter.

The call to action debate continues today. A client will tell a marketing firm to put “Click Here” on the banner ad, but advertising people argue that consumers know to click for more information. What about in print? Do more people call phone numbers with the word “Call” in front of it versus just listing the number? I instinctively always write “call now” or “call today” with my phone numbers, but sometimes the art director wants to put the number by itself somewhere else. Click here for an article that says having the phrase “click here” on your banner will increase clickthroughs.

Online call to actions come in many shapes and colors. Recently a British design blog debated about designs for call to action buttons. You’ve seen them, but unless you are a web designer you probably never put much thought into how they look. Click here to see examples of 25 different call to action buttons. The article says, “As a designer, it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for visitors to achieve these tasks and call-to-action buttons are the most powerful tools at your disposal.”

Another web innovation is call to action domain names. One example I found about ViewMyHome.com. This becomes a simple and powerful message that doesn’t need any explaining. It’s easy to remember and it has a personal touch that you don’t receive with the regular company website. And you don’t have to build an entire new website. You could just do a landing page with a redirect. Click here for this reference about call to action domain names.

A survey by the Direct Marketing Association showed that the majority of companies that are investing in social media marketing are doing so to increase customer loyalty. So social media call to actions have become important. It is as easy as printing “Follow us on Twitter” on the bottom of a mailer, adding “’Like’ us on Facebook to receive up to the minute event information” to an email message and adding buttons to link to social media profiles or for customers to share information on your company on their social media pages. Click here for a link to the DMA social media survey.

The picture on the right is a mobile text message call to action. This happened during last year’s live broadcast of the Oscars as millions of eyes saw the director of Cove hold us his SMS call to action to get people to sign his online petition. Click here to sign it yourself.

About these ads

Author: Keith A. Quesenberry

I'm a professor in the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University. For 17 years I was an advertising professional as an associate creative director and copywriter working on marketing campaigns for large International Fortune 500 companies to small regional businesses. Here I lead and develop multiple communications and marketing courses from traditional to social media. I pull from my professional experience, teach theory, and use interactive methods to inspire and help prepare future leaders in today's fast paced innovation driven business environment. I am also active in academic research. I have published journal articles, lead workshops and presented at academic conferences including AAA and AEJMC.

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