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The New Rule of Thumb: Adjust Your Marketing for a Mobile World

News & Blog

by Julie Niehoff

Our thumbs separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom. And never has that been more evident than today, with mobile technology in almost every hand. Clearly, the ways that customers, clients and donors interact with any organization have changed. It’s past time to adjust your marketing, but you’re not too late. Read on.

  • More than half of the people that visit your company website are viewing it on a mobile device.
    Source: Mobile Day
  • Way more than half of all email — a full 65 percent — is now accessed via mobile device in the U.S.
    Source: Venture Beat

The New Rule of Thumb

The new rule of thumb is a simple concept designed to help anyone get more from their marketing message or campaign today. The rule? Make sure your call-to-action – that ONE most important button or link you really want someone to click – make sure it is really, really, really easy to click on with a thumb. That’s it. That’s the new rule of thumb.

Put your call-to-action all by itself. Don’t make it basic text in the middle of a paragraph or near other links. If you cannot easily tap it with your fattest finger, you are probably losing much of the value of your effort.

Also, don’t place your call-to-action to the right or left of a block of text or a picture. Right or left are not helpful in a mobile world. Center it or left align. Everything should be in one column, one simple scroll – down, not side to side.

Arrange your call-to-action so that there is a little bit of space around it. You can break a paragraph, add the link and then continue the paragraph. Just make it as easy as possible for the reader to click.

Difficult to find the button? People click less.
Confusion around which button to click? Even less clicking.
People accidentally clicking the wrong thing and ending up on the wrong page and having to go back to get to the right click? Almost never happens.

Think about your own habits. Do you go back and redo your clicks? Or do you get distracted by another text on your phone or an email notice from your boss or whatever? You’ve got one shot, maybe two. Don’t blow it by putting that all important link near other stuff.

Sounds obvious, but take a look in your email inbox from your phone. Look at the newsletters, coupons, sales offers and educational emails you get and notice how few actually have one, very clear call-to-action. (Also a good idea, narrow the choices, but that’s a whole different article).

Follow the new rule of thumb with your own marketing and you are likely to see improved results. And make sure that call-to-action isn’t too far down on the page either.

Sub-rule of the new rule of thumb: don’t make people scroll too far down to get to the decision. If your message is long or the information is just that good and people want (or need) to scroll, then you should put a link near the top and another near the end. That way, if you get their full attention enough to have them scrolling for more, they will not have to completely change directions and scroll back up to take action.

In today’s world, they’re more likely than ever to abandon the whole thing rather than scroll the opposite direction. It’s not just me or you, it’s pretty much everyone.

It’s so simple, seems obvious, and yet – not a lot of your competitors are doing it. Humans have been leveraging the advantage of having thumbs for thousands of years. Now it’s your turn to make the most of it.

Follow the new rule of thumb and get more our of your marketing efforts.
Don’t just take my word for it, go try it. #YouCanDoThis

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