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Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

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As a direct marketing agency, we pride ourselves on having many tricks up our sleeve. These nifty little sleights of hand (or keyboard) help us help clients generate response and results. And, that's why we're all here.

For example, the Johnson Box. That's the short paragraph that appears in the empty space above letter copy. It's a great place to call out some important part of the letter that the recipient might otherwise miss. Did you kow it's named after a real person? Direct marketer Frank Johnson invented it in a letter for American Heritage magazine in 1941. Nearly 80 years later, it still works. (But today, your Johnson Box can sit in a box or not.)

Asymmetry. Humans crave order. If you give them something that's imbalanced or lopsided AND give them a way to correct that fact, they will take a moment or two to do so. That's why pistol- or L-shaped BRCs work so well. Diecut the business reply card with a section that perfs off, turning your aymmetrical L into two separate, comfortably symmetrical rectangles. This gets your audience interacting with arguably the most important part of your mail piece: the response mechanism. Once they've bothered to tear the card, they might as well mail it back.

Bullet points. Most people are natural scanners. Unless they're English Lit majors, they really don't savor every ... single ... word ... of ... every ... single ... paragraph. We always try to serve up copy in small, digestible chunks. Bullets are a great way to attract attention, make sure that your most important messages get through, and break up the layout. They are especially important in the digital age when more than 50% of website visitors spend just ten seconds or less on a page.

And, speaking of digital, how about email buttons? These are dressed-up links that transport the email recipient out of your email and off to a landing page, registration form, or any other content that you want them to encounter. Buttons catch the eye and (the best ones) tell the prospect what you want them to do.

You'll want to bullet-proof your buttons, making sure that they can be seen — and clicked on — even if images are off. You should also repeat any buttons with links built into the copy itself.

How should you label buttons? "Learn more" seems to be the go-to for content offers. But, it doesn't hurt to get creative. Here are some other options:

  • Read more
  • Find out more
  • Explore more
  • Show me more
  • Curious? Read on
  • Dig deeper
  • Sounds good? Keep reading
  • Read the full story
  • Get started now
  • Is <product or service> right for you?
  • How can we help you?

No matter what your button says or how it's produced, remember that repetition is your friend. Just because you already know there's a button at the end of your email, doesn't mean your target audience will know — or notice. We've had good luck including a button in the first half of the email, midway, and at the end.

Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be a good thing.

 

 

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