It’s 2011. There is a new day and age in technology, in how we do business, and in how we interact with others on a macro and micro scale. Yet, here we are, recycling the same old marketing schemes over and over again.
I’m referring to the phrase “Click Here.” I wrote a marketing article a couple of years ago emphasizing our need to back away from our usage of that 1999 phrase and be more proactive in our call-to-action messages and methods of cultivating customer relationships. Sadly, that proactive emphasis has gone to deaf ears, as I still continue to see such unattractive and non-engaging verbiage in many sites and many campaigns.
Why Do We Still Use It?
That’s exactly what comes up to my head every time I see it. Why do we still use it? Why, as marketers, do we continually use archaic verbiage to engage in online relationships with our audience? Have we not learned yet on how to become more assertive in our marketing, or are we still in our passive-aggressive ways? Why, oh why, oh why…
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s just me that thinks that phrase does a disservice to how we should interact with our audience. Maybe it’s the way that [us] marketers tend to think that the audience is not as sharp as them, or that the audience isn’t as capable of being with the times as we may think.
Whatever the reason, it still does not answer the question. Why? If technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and if our methods, tactics and strategies of engaging are evolving with it, then why shouldn’t our verbiage, diction, and syntax change with the times?
Actions Speak Louder than, um, Words like “Click Here”
Our ways of engaging our audience should be action-oriented, delivered in a more assertive tone than a passive tone. As I mentioned in my previous article, phrases like “click here to [do something]” are of a very passive tone, and makes the messages that we are trying to convey more wishy-washy. Does “Click here to register” do any better than say “Register Now” or “Register for [insert target]?” I think not.
We need to have a more action-oriented, assertive stance on how we engage our audience and deliver our messages. If we consider the thought of being passive in our delivery, we will never have the chance to convert our potential market audience into what we are trying to achieve.
Deliver Us From this Evil
I’m calling out all the marketers out there who use this tactic. You know who you are: baby boomers, print marketers, traditional marketers, “online” marketers, social media “experts,” search marketing “experts” … I’m calling you out as of now. I subscribe to your emails and feeds and see that your contents are good, but your voice is awful. The body of your message delivers well but your “click here” messages makes me forget everything you just said. For some of you, your contents are fabulous; however, I cry when I see your call to action techniques because you don’t seem to use the examples you’ve stated in your content towards your engagement tactics.
If I am speaking to you, or you feel convicted that this message is towards you, then take action. If you don’t know what to do to alleviate the issue, research it online to find out best practices on how to engage without using passive verbiage. Be deliberate and intentional about your research. Educate yourself and make yourself better. Most importantly, don’t be prideful thinking you know everything (I’m talking to mostly baby boomers and Senior/C-level execs).
Marketers: this is a call for us to step out of the backwoods version of marketing and actually get integrated with the new mediums of today. We need to be prepared for what technology and business will bring in the future, and our marketing content, including (and especially) our verbiage, needs to be integrated along with it. We cannot be relaxed on how we choose our words because marketing is derived upon the words we say. In fact, business is derived upon what we say and how we say it.
Let’s step it up a notch (or three) and see how rephrasing this awful phrase can deliver us from bad marketing.