Knock Knock and Call To Action double book review

Sep 8, 2005 16:51 · 514 words · 3 minute read

I’ve been meaning to write up a review of Call To Action by Bryan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Eisenberg for some time. Meanwhile, in between the time that I read Call To Action and today, Seth Godin has released his KnockKnock ebook for free. I decided to review the two at the same time, because there is a lot of overlap.

I discovered Call To Action through Seth Godin’s blog, and wrote an early opinion of it back in June. At 70 pages in, I was underwhelmed. Thankfully, the book picked up after that point and I really started to get into it. I even sent a note to Ian Landsman toward the end of June saying that the book was a must read.

Call To Action is all about conversion: getting the somewhat random people that show up at your site to do whatever it is you want them to do (buy something, read something, download something). They use many real life examples to talk about good strategies for doing this. One big takeaway I got was that relying on a site search engine is a bad idea. If someone resorts to the search engine, your primary navigation has failed them. And, once they’re at the search engine, there’s a good chance they’re going to end up leaving your site.

The Eisenbergs also stress the testing of your ideas to see what actually works. This is something that comes up in many areas (including software development). If it’s fairly easy to test, why just go on a hunch about what the problem is?

Call To Action is a fine book with important ideas, but you can get the same important ideas in the free and far more succinct Knock Knock.

Godin’s ebook weighs in a 41 pages, including unobtrusive ads, colorful screenshots and pleasantly easy-on-the-eyes text.

By the time you’ve hit page 300 of Call To Action, you’re starting to think “all right, all right, I get it. Now leave me to work.” Many business books seem to have a problem with repetition. It’s like they need to fill pages so that you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.

Sure, Knock Knock doesn’t go into some of the detail that Call To Action does. There are no references to stats and studies, for example. But, in my opinion, the most important thing from both of these books is the idea that you’ve got to get the people that come to your website to do something, and all of your efforts in site building should be focused on that.

Now that I’ve given the idea away, you don’t have to read either book. I’d still recommend reading Knock Knock, however. Being told something is not the same as seeing it for yourself. Godin’s text and examples do a good job in making the point, and Knock Knock is easy to read over lunch (that’s what I did).

In case it’s not clear by now, unless you’ve got a website that’s already converting 90% of visitors, I highly recommend reading Knock Knock by Seth Godin.