Ah, the holidays.
It’s the time of year when we find ourselves in one of two roles. Are you a visitor or host this season?
Luckily, I get to be a host. Mainly because my wife and I established a rule in our household early on that our kids will always wake up Christmas Day in their beds and run downstairs to rip open presents. Probably because those are some the best memories from my own childhood.
Visitor or Host?
An important difference — especially in online marketing.
Why am I going on this little tangent? Because I absolutely cringe when I see the call to action (CTA), “Visit us online at www.website.com” in offline communications.
As it’s time to make holiday wishes, I wish for the phrase “visit us” to be banned.
“Visit us” is something you want your great Aunt Wanda to do during the holidays. Not something you want folks to do with your client’s Web site. Sure, in the early days of the Web, there was a lot of brochureware and not a lot of features and functionality. Asking for a visit quickly became the equivalent of “call us” for telephone calls.
Today, you can do or buy just about anything on the planet with the Internet. Shouldn’t your CTA take advantage of the inherent features of the target site?
I’d love to see CTAs like these:
- Get control of your finances at www.bankofamerica.com.
- Make your neighbors really jealous by finding your next ride at www.mercedes.com.
- Save Christmas by wiring cash to bail out Uncle Ed at www.westernunion.com.
I think you get the picture.
It’s easy to follow some graphics guidelines manual and quickly slap in the standard CTA. But next time you’re developing or reviewing offline work with a Web CTA, ask yourself what you really want the targeted audience to think or feel. Do that, and you’ll hit on a meaningful response.
As we start the new year, let’s collectively ban the phrase “visit us” and make our online efforts work that much harder.
I’d love to hear your feedback. Express yourself and vent a little at email@example.com right now!
To All, a Great Holiday
As this column hits just two days before Christmas, I’ll take the liberty to share one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes:
Hope the Whos that you love,
From the West and the East,
All sit down this Christmas
When you carve the roast beast.
Hope they’ll sing, hope they’ll laugh,
And then after the feast
May you have roast beast sandwiches
For two weeks, at least!
Hope you all have a good one.
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