May 12, 2010

Driving Clicks: Getting Your Button Right The goal of the new website is engage customers and enter into an on-going conversation between the brand at their customers. The operational objective is to build a database by encouraging consumers to sign up. The offer, like so many, is so-so; information, news, tips and a plain vanilla e-newsletter. The big question is, what do we say to encourage opt-ins. How do we label the big red opt-in button for maximum action? You’d think that after all these years, there would be “best practices” that were tested again and again so that we could just plug-in tried and true verbiage and watch the forms fill themselves out. But no such luck. So I ran a one-question poll on LinkedIn (roughly the target demographic) to seek wisdom from our customer base. The question was “which button would prompt you to click?” The choices were : Learn More Join Now Sign Up Enroll Today Register I pinged roughly 2000 people using my links and my Twitter, Facebook and e-mail contacts. Over the course of a week I got 87 responses. Not a very impressive 0.04 response rate for asking 1 question to people who actually know me! I hope I didn't annoy too many of them. Nonetheless the answers were intriguing, enlightening but only partially definitive. LEARN MORE was the clear winner. Fifty-five percent of all responders said this would prompt at click. Among VP and C level responders, three-quarters chose this one. Two-thirds of the older responders (35-54) liked this one and women liked this much more than men – exactly 14% more. I suspect this wins because it requires the least investment or commitment. The offer is the next step – find out what all this is. But my hunch is that while this button will draw the most clicks, it will NOT prompt the most registrations because the same lack of intention will be applied. Once they find out more, they won’t be all that interested and then they’ll abandon the site. JOIN NOW came in second drawing two-thirds of the 18-24 responses. It is the transparent, straightforward choice. You are committing to something, you know there is an implied quid pro quo and you are going for it. I suspect that this button will yield the most actual opt-in registrations. SIGN-UP ranked third. Four times more men picked this choice and 17% of all manager-level responders preferred it. It, too, is very straightforward and almost imperative. You know that if you give up your information somebody will send you some stuff. Even in a nanosecond, it requires a conscious decision to want in. ENROLL TODAY with 4 percent and REGISTER with 2 percent seems like the losers. Maybe they are a bit old fashioned in terms of connotation or perhaps they feel too formal or academic. Maybe they imply much too much intention and commitment. Either way neither clear word seems to have any motivational amperage. So what did I learn? Five not-too-surprising things … Asking the customer always beats your best guess. Women and men have significantly different responses. Age and status impact response. Low commitment yields potentially more clicks. Now you can use this data to label your buttons.
4 Perspectives About Millenials Every younger generation knows better. Every younger generation wants to un-do, reject, fix or repair the mistakes made by their elders. Every younger generation brings its own POV to the party. Mr.Youth and Intrepid Consulting have put a bunch of US and UK millennials under the microscope by engaging them in projection exercises, surveying them and analyzing their digital ethnography to produce some insights into what they want, how they think and how to engage, manage or sell them. Titled Millennial Inc. – What Your Company Will Look Like When Millennials Call the Shots,” it gets you thinking about the younger people you work with and the target audiences you seek to influence and persuade. Consider four of the provocative notions discovered: Collaboration, shared responsibility and consensus rule. Millenials want to be taken seriously and have both a voice and vote. They expect to weigh-in on the key issues regardless of rank, tenure, status or skill set. They don’t want to be bossed around and expect to be included in every relevant decision. They reject hierarchy. “Seniority and tenure are dirty words.” They don’t want to be bored or have to work their way up along a well-trodden path. Maybe this is a presumption unique to this generation. Though, I doubt it. It feels like the same youthful enthusiasm that newbie’s have always brought to the party. The plea for immediate inclusion, access, status and respect is characteristic of people not yet burned by the system, circumstances or peers. Vaguely socialist, it’s a good but naïve starting point. They expect a personalized, customized, user-driven experience. Raised as digital natives and gamers, it’s all about the intuitive experience where there are always several ways to solve the puzzle and where the best idea always wins. They want cool design and easy navigation to deliver end user benefits. And they want to be able to adjust the level, the design, the content, the frequency or intensity according to personal preferences. These are different expectations from Boomers or other generations. Millenials gather and process information differently. They live out loud and freely share information among themselves. They embrace new technology and new devices instantly. Used to multi-media, non-linear data displays and multi-channel multi-tasking, they experience the world differently. As a result those seeking to communicate with them have to engage them on their own terms. This requires a different construction and parsing of content as well as a radically different approach toward fundamental concepts like reach, frequency, media channels and engagement. Eco-consciousness is not a driving factor. It’s a nice-to-have but not a cornerstone of their worldview. They assign the responsibility for saving the planet to business rather than to individuals. But as they better understand the trade-offs between business efficiency and ecology or humanitarian causes, they are willing to make fiscally friendly decisions. Evidently, the younger crowd isn’t much different from the rest of us in this regard. They are more than happy to pass on the consequences of our actions. It’s not the celebrity; it’s the character. Raised in a celebrity culture, Millennials reject direct endorsement and the cult of celebrity preferring instead to relate to the characters portrayed rather than actors portraying them. Maybe this is an avatar boomerang where kids used to selecting images and qualities to represent themselves reject the obviously manufactured personalities shoved down their throats by media and marketers. This doesn’t feel entirely true. Maybe its more about millennials demanding the right to anoint their own celebrities and esteem peers or personalities found worthy by crowdsourcing or by other more “democratic” ways. Stars are still stars for the younger crowd with all the volatility, vulnerability and hype that goes with it. Maybe this is where social networks, word-of-mouth communication and peer-to-peer recommendations play the biggest role rather than relying on traditional tastemakers or star-makers. The younger generation will inherit our jobs and our economy. Understanding their formative experiences, understanding their needs and perspectives and then calibrating our reaction to them will determine how successful they can be at digging us out of our economic troubles, re-inventing our business models or bringing about the revolution we all clamored for when we were their age.

Danny Flamberg

I am a veteran marketing consultant working with leading and emerging brands

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