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Deep Thoughts: The “No Call to Action” Call to Action

Dear fellow thinkers,

This evening I got my monthly email from Audible telling me what books are coming up, and what they’re so very excited about (I’m somewhat circumspect about that excitement – curious to know how much of it is margin driven versus taste).

From an execution perspective it was a simple email taking me to a more robust landing page that had a list of the books and a high level review of each one (10 in total).

I found this to be a very effective content marketing experience:

  1. The email was simple and straightforward, allowing me to fully understand what kind of adventure I was about to go on.
  2. The landing page was clean, with large images of the cover and a brief review.

The surprise?

There is no clear call to action. Which completely goes against what our friend Paul Boag tells us – a call to action is a clear response you want your users to complete and on the aforementioned landing page, there is no such call to action.

You actually have to interact with the image, just mouse over it to see additional information and then click it to go to the product detail page.

What I like about this approach is that it’s not invasive. The page makes you feel like these reviews are being shared with you by close friends (their names and a link to their Audible.com profiles end each review).

Are we at the point where users are so savvy now that we don’t even have to tell them that the picture is clickable? Or that text that is a different color is actually a link? I love this. It takes the “stupid” out of marketing. Audible’s clientele obviously knows how the world works… should other marketers take a similar approach? Could you imagine going to GAP.com and not clicking a “Buy Now” button? Just click the sweater to add it to your cart, or open a modal to make your selections THEN add it to your cart? That’s pretty cool and could unclutter the page giving marketers and merchandisers more opportunity to SHOW rather than TELL. If there’s one thing I hate it’s going to a product detail page and having to read fifty bullet points, or (Gods forbid) a paragraph of text about the details of an item. SHOW me the details.

Moving the transactional stuff behind the digital curtain could be an interesting move for other industries. Hopefully Craig Brommers (CMO of Gap) is reading this, in fact I double dog dare you to run an A/B test on this – I want brownie points if it wins!


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