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Cause Marketing That’s Asleep at the HTML Wheel

Bought a book today at Overstock.com and there waiting for me in the checkout window was an invitation to donate $1 or more to the Wounded Warrior Project. Great idea. A pity Overstock did it so carelessly.

Currently, consumers tell marketing researchers they are mostly likely to respond to cause marketing appeals from military veteran’s causes like the Wounded Warrior Project. Gallup says that the military is the most-confidence inspiring institution in modern American society, polling out 14 points higher than the second place finisher, small business.

In other words, in picking a veteran’s cause like Wounded Warrior to partner with Overstock put its finger on the beating pulse of the American zeitgeist.

They just didn’t quite get it right.

Read the call to action and you’ll know what I mean: “Donate to a Good Cause,” it reads. Wounded Warrior’s evocative logo is there. So too are the words “Learn More” with a link to some explication. But the call to action is the bloodless, “Donate to a Good Cause.”

I’ll bet Overstock has hundreds of SEO/SEM types whose job its is to come up with descriptions that are meant to make people take specific actions. No doubt Overstock picked Wounded Warrior as a charity partner for several specific reasons, but the least compelling of all was that Wounded Warrior Project is a good cause. It is, but so too are tens of thousands of other causes in the United States.

Someone at Overstock, and probably more than one someone, was asleep at the HTML wheel when they posted this to their checkout page.

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