Offline, the best calls to action are text calls to action

This is a tricky idea to get data on, but every time I’ve seen data, it’s been pretty amazing.

Links work really well on web pages, but that’s the only place they work. The more I’ve thought about it, the stranger it seems to promote a URL on TV, radio, podcasts, or (the worst) at a live event.

Let’s say I do stop what I’m doing and go to the URL. What are the chances that I’m going to click around (probably on my phone) and then convert - like fill out the webform. It’s probably nil. If anything, I’ll remember the brand name and google it when I have free time or get back to my computer. I will assume you have a website, I won’t remember the URL.

But promoting a website, offline, is just the default.

Asking users to text in forces a stronger call to action and just blows away the URL results.

First and foremost, users don’t need to shift modes in order to send a text. They can continue to pay attention to what’s happening and still fire off that text. This isn’t true of navigating a site.

More importantly a text call to action doesn’t allow for laziness. Users will need a real reason to text in, and the promoter will usually create a reason and stay away from the dreaded “For more info” call to action.

The results are usually great. In this case study from Upland Mobile Messaging, a text call to action resulted in much better results than asking event attendees to fill out a contact card. Of course the numbers are still low (so the percentages are really high!), but I imagine it’s a smaller audience as well.

I mentioned this is really hard to test and get data on. Why is this so hard to test?

If an organization wants to test SMS call to action vs URL call to action side by side, they need to promote a unique URL, not the home page. Promoting unique URLs offline is usually too big an ask for the event and media promoters.



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