Posting Date: September 06, 2002
Email This to a Friend (CHI-WEB) -- "But I did read the responses and was intrigued by the one that said having "email" in the phrase was critical -- the one thing the recommend-it buttons don't have. I changed the link to a text and graphic link -- the text saying "CLICK HERE to Email this site to a friend!" , the graphic being a customized version of a familiar mail icon. I made the change on Wednesday. Total recommends for last week (with standard traffic patterns)? Thirty-five. Total recommends for just yesterday? Fourteen." (Comments: Recommend WebWord or Click here to mail this site to a friend?
Personally, I like "recommend" better than "e-mail" because although you are using e-mail as the medium, you are basically recommending the site to a friend. Talk about the action, not the method.
Plus, if I were thinking of it as a newbie, I might be thinking "I don't want to e-mail my friend all these files, I just want to tell her about the site."
I prefer "recommend webword" over "mail this site to a friend," because I have no friends to tell. They abandoned me because I refused to stop spamming them with auto-emails from my favorite web sites.
Nah, actually, I never use these type of services. I am unhappy when my friends send me mail through them. Invariably it gets me on an unsolicited mailing list for a web site I've never visited before. I actually terminated one of my e-mail accounts after one web site owner refused to remove me from his daily joke mailing list. (You see, as a matter of principle, I refused to visit his web site to unsubscribe to a service I never requested. I told him to remove me. Thankfully, he had to change web hosts for violating his ISP's TOS after I complained).
"Recommend WebWord" gets to the point more quickly. I'm with Lydia -- the action is more important than the means.
BTW, the phrase "click here" should be abolished from the Web.
I think it is important to use the word email as it is setting up the users expectations in terms of what happens when I click on the test or graphic link. - especially if it spawns an email window.
I think Recommend Webword has a level of ambiguity in it that may make users pause...a pause is not a good thing.
I do subscribe to the treat everyone like idiots and there will be not more idiots philosophy.
It seems people here continue to prefer the previous wording "recommend..." instead of "email..." in the face of a sizable increase in the statistics. Why fight the results?
Apparently people, "email..." was better.
I congratulate the author for willingness to experiment.
I also have to laugh as the first two words of the message are "CLICK HERE". Isn't this phrase forbidden in the UI Design community? But it doesn't seem to have hurt usage? Maybe it helped?
Maybe he should use the same message but remove the words, "CLICK HERE". See if removing these two words make any difference. I bet it would REDUCE usage...
I have heard a lot of commentary about the use of click here and I, based on UI design principles did not include it at first.
When I was not getting the responses as per my expectations, I ended up sticking it in and saw an immediate and ongoing improvement on click throughs..... it is strange but maybe the UI community needs to relook at the is one.
Maybe it has something to so with call to actions be really obvious where a user does not expect to see a call to action?
I'm sort of with you, JB (except on the e-mail thing). I really don't like "click here" because too often that is ALL that gets highlighted, and scanning becomes difficult.
However, highlighted as part of a phrase such as "click here to communicate" this has a positive effect on click-through, at least in my observation. This is especially true for sites that change the link color from the default blue.
I'm bothered about this, because I really hate "click here" from an asthetic perspective. Plus it kind of "dumbs down" the page and makes the author sound like a newbie.
So, for me, it becomes a test: if comphrehension is of tantamount importance, use "click here" to be safe. But if it is even #2 on the list, bye-bye to "click here."
I've heard, but can't find the reference (possibly on a ClickZ story) that "click here" is on the list of spam indicators for some e-mail filtering solutions.
For now at least, I like it and tend to use it myself. It is a clear call to action, and it seems to increase follow through on our desired action.
I'm on a bit of a crusade at work to reduce usage of "Welcome to.." and "Click here".
"Click here" has its place (as has been pointed out, sometimes a positive call to action is helpful), but look at any page with several "Click here"s, particularly if that's the only text in the links, and it clearly grates. It adds unnecessary repetition and 'noise' to a page, can look amateurish/cheap/tacky, and sometimes isn't good for search engine optimisation or accessibility. Imagine if every link on the web was a "Click here".
We need to be a bit careful with results such as those mentioned. If I took a site and changed one of the links to something like an enormous graphical button in the middle of the screen I could improve click-through, but at the expense of the overall impression the site gives to visitors.
Using the word "email" seems like a good idea, in my experience users seem clearer about the purpose of the feature if it's used. Got no stats to back me up on that though.
Is there a guideline here:
Use 'click here' for actions (e.g. e-mail a site to a friend'(or use buttons)
Don't use 'click here' for links to information