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Read more.. or not?

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday September 20, 2007 )

Calls to action are a very important part of marketing. We need to tell people the type of action we’d like them to take rather than assume they’ll figure it out on their own – whether it’s “add to cart”, “buy now”, “join today”, “click here” or “read more”.

But, does “read more” actually encourage people to do so? It would appear not.

According to a very interesting article on Marketing Sherpa, it seems that “read more” is somewhat of a poison term rather than an effection call to action.

In testing they ran for their own newsletters, they tried a number of call to action terms to encourage people to click through to peruse the full article. Here are some of the results based on a comparison to their standard “”Continue here …” blurb.

“Click to continue”: +8.53%
“Continue to article”: +3.3%
“Read more”: -1.8%

Marketing Sherpa suggests that “read” is a chore term as people tend to scan and reading is seen as a task to be avoided. “Read more” is the anchor text I use on this blog for post snippets – well, it was until a minute ago :).

I’m also wondering if “learn” would have the same sort of negative results? “Learn more” is a call to action term I use in association with articles quite regularly.

All very interesting stuff – and definitely worthwhile testing out.

If you’d like to read the full Marketing Sherpa case study, you can read more here.. I mean, continue to article, umm, no.. click to continue!


A call to action – click! ;)


2 comments for Read more.. or not?
  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the link to that study. Everybody goes on about the importance of testing, but it’s rare for people to actually share results!

    Have you seen the study they did at MailChimp? They tracked the open rates of email by subject line, with some interesting results.

    I found them while researching an upcoming blog post…good stuff!

    Comment by Starr Horne — September 20, 2007 @ 8:20 am

  2. Hi Starr, thanks for that – MailChimp do release a lot of good info!

    Comment by Michael Bloch — September 21, 2007 @ 8:24 am

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