8 June 2017
Three digits. That’s all it took last week for me to see a 81% decrease in click-throughs.
Last week when I was writing the Stonemaier monthly e-newsletter (here’s the web version of the June edition), I made a mistake. Somehow I added “%20” to the beginning of an important URL linking our readers to our 2016 stakeholder report, which took people to an error page instead of the post.
However, it was due to this mistake that I gained some really invaluable data about how the smallest barrier to entry can absolutely destroy conversion (i.e., the number of people who click to read the thing you want them to read).
Despite how easy it was for people to edit the URL to remove “%20” (or let Google take them to the correct post), only 119 people found their way to the correct post. Compare that to the 629 people who viewed a similarly appealing post that was linked much further down on the e-newsletter.
Why does this matter? It was a reminder to me that making content easy for people to access is extremely important. I wanted our e-newsletter subscribers to view the shareholder report, but because of the typo, very few of them did.
This opens into a bigger topic of when creators should ask for followers to click, share, and like content.
I recently read an article on the Signal v Noise blog by Nathan Kontny about how it’s okay for creators to frequently make calls to action. Here’s how Nathan says it:
“I think far too many people feel embarrassed to ask for action. They don’t want to “put people out”. But what’s really happening is that most people watching content, reading your articles, trying out your stuff, might like to subscribe or share, but don’t realize that’s important to you until you ask.”
I can certainly relate to the first part. I’ve also been a backer of Kickstarter campaigns where the creators are constantly pushing backers to share the project, which ends up feeling like we’re being asked to do their job. So as a creator myself, I rarely ask people to subscribe, like, share, etc.
But I think Nathan has a good point: People–including myself–often don’t think about how much a click, like, retweet, subscription, or share can matter. That’s how content spreads. That’s how creators survive and thrive. So it’s okay to remind your followers how they can help you as long as you’re not annoying about it.
YouTubers in particular do this quite well. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a YouTuber say at the end of a video, “If you enjoyed this, like it here.” I’ll already be moving my mouse to close the window when I hear this and realize, “Hey, I actually do really like this!” Then I’ll click the thumb.
Here are the two main takeaways from all this:
- It’s okay to ask your audience on a regular basis in a non-annoying way to click, share, like, etc.
- Make it really easy for your audience to execute the call to action. Even the slightest roadblock (like a link that is broken or unavailable) will drastically decrease your conversion rate.
What’s the last time you listened to a call to action from a content creator? Did you find it annoying for them to ask?