The Power of a Phone Number in Advertising


Last week, I tried to pay attention to all of the advertising that I was exposed to. Between the ads I saw on the subway to and from work, the ads I encountered on various websites and search engines, the billboards I saw walking around New York City, and the television commercials I saw because I still watch live TV from time to time, I realized that I’m exposed to lots of it. As are most people these days.

One thing that I noticed is that many of these ads were missing one key element – a phone number.

Sometimes there was a URL or a way to click on the ad. Sometimes there was a call to “search” something online. And sometimes there was no contact information given at all. And while I don’t necessarily think that every ad needs a phone number, more often than not a phone number will help you.

Having a phone number in your ads…

  • Instills confidence that a real person can answer my questions
  • Allows me to take action immediately if I’m on the go
  • Allows you to track calls coming from an ad

The bottom line is, if you want someone to take action when they see an ad, you had better include an easy way to do that. And the best option you have is, include a phone number.

5 Reasons Your Email Isn’t Generating Clicks


Welcome to another edition of the “5 Reasons” blog series. This will be a weekly blog series, with a fresh post every Monday. Last week’s topic was “Five Reasons to Start Using Google AdWords”.

This Week’s Topic = Five Reasons Your Email Isn’t Generating Clicks

On January 14th, I wrote about the 5 reasons your email is not getting opened. But maybe you’re problem is not getting opens. Maybe your open rate is strong, and rising. But what about clicks? A good open rate does not always translate to a good click-thru rate.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons your email isn’t getting enough clicks:

  1. Needs plain text. Too many HTML emails are sent as one large image file. While your designers might brag about beautiful your emails look, your subscribers might never even see them. When I get an email from you, I have to accept images. If I don’t, you’re not getting your message across.

  2. Needs more links. While logistically it might not make sense, I’ve seen time and time again that more links = more clicks. Placing several links to the same page within the content of your emails should make it more likely that someone clicks. Some people click on the first link they see, others read the whole email before clicking.

  3. Needs a stronger CTA. Just including a link in your email is not enough. Your Call to Action should give someone a clear reason to click. And it should tell them to click. Just because you think it’s obvious what the action a reader should take is, doesn’t mean they will.

  4. Needs a better offer. Your call to action might be clear and obvious, but if I’m not interested in what you’re offering, I still won’t click. Maybe your subscribers just don’t see the value in clicking through one of your emails. They either aren’t interested in the offer or don’t like the content. That’s a tougher problem to solve, but one you can diagnose with a simple survey.

  5. Needs to be delivered at a better time. If everything else looks right, you may just need to vary when you’re actually sending the email. If your emails land in a crowded inbox, you may get people to open your email, do a quick scan, and then quickly go for the delete button. See last week’s post on email timing.
As always, if you have your own tips, please include them in the comments below.