To click or not to click
I work in online marketing so I’m guilty of over scrutinising every email which comes to my inbox. But analyse them I do, whether it’s Betfair trying to win me back or a mate sending a you tube link, I always think ‘can I be arsed to click the link’. Whilst an email from a mate will have a higher open rate than the one from Betfair, actually Betfair’s email is more likely to get a click.
The reason is the laziness familiarly affords. For a time, I used to work at Betfair as a consultant and I can tell you their CRM department was packed with bright young marketing grads continually optimising creative, A-B testing, automating and dynamically populating offers based on recency, frequency, monetary value etc, etc. All that equals a lot of effort and the results, whilst they would vary from campaign to campaign, were impressive.
‘Amazing, check this out!’ accompanied by a you tube link equals nearly zero effort from a pal. And because of that I almost always don’t bother clicking until others on the initial email list start commenting and the thread builds intrigue. And still, there’s a likelihood I’ll not participate. There are a number of factors, not least that my IE is very slow and that’s the browser my gmail comes to (my work stuff is all done in Chrome)…but it shows that no longer is only relevance key to generating the click(the metric all marketers used to evangelise about), but that buzz is becoming more and more important. We know how important peer group recommendation is for online conversion but in general banter, we want to be involved more when others are talking about it. And that’s why I’ll click a trending topic quicker than a link in an email from a mate. Ridiculous when you think about it – to click on something total strangers are harping on about than a hyper personal recommendation from a trusted friend.
I heard a quote somewhere which said ‘Facebook is where you share less and less honestly with your friends, whereas Twitter is where you’ll bear your soul to complete strangers’. I like that, it shows that something which ‘trends’ is doing so genuinely, or nearly so, and because of that it’s more likely to be trusted.
And it goes deeper. Jeremy Clarkson was trending this morning and, although I saw it at number 10, I didn’t click until he was at number five, which is the equivalent of the example above. And only then because I thought, perhaps he died. I didn’t click until the discussion got deeper and more widespread. It just proves cutting through will get more and more difficult, with testing more and more important. A strong offer won’t cut it anymore, to get clicks you’ll need a combination of personalisation, recommendation, buzz and some luck but there’s still no guarantees.