When we interviewed founder and CEO of Lately, Kate Bradley Chernis in our Backstage Q&A, she asked us to chuck the term ‘check out’ as a call to action into the Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool. But, why stop there?


Rock stars have a reputation for chucking things in swimming pools, and our rock stars are no different. However, the Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool is a portal to hell for all the crap, bullshit acronyms, empty fads and snake oil of marketing.

In this issue, we are joined at the penthouse balcony by founder and CEO of Lately, Kate Bradley Chernis, looking down at the watery abyss as during our backstage Q&A she asked us to chuck the phrase ‘check out’ into the pool:

The phrase ‘check out’ which is the most vapid, lazy, call-to-action ever invented. STOP IT. Verbs are your friends, people! Think about it: when’s the last time you ever checked out anything anyone ever told you to check out? Never? Exactly.

Kate makes a great point, if your call to action merely asks someone to check something out, you are lacking a compelling reason why. If it’s worth checking out, surely you would say so.

Does it save me money?

Does it satisfy my immediate need?

Does it solve my problem?

There are parallels with the best practice in effective email subject lines, blog post titles or social updates, you find an energetic bunch of verbs that attract the attention.

Visually we already design our CTAs to stand out as we recognize that most readers are skimming, so why bury the reason why the reader should click that button in the text?

If it gives access to the good stuff, say so!

It’s the same with buttons like ‘submit’ or ‘enter’ on forms, we can’t assume that someone will click on it without a bit of encouragement. If the CTA leads to something very specific, why be shy about saying that. For example ‘Request a demo’, ‘Try it now’ or ‘Book your place’ convert way higher.

When Kate mentioned chucking ‘check out’ into the pool, I was thinking of chucking all the business bullshit speech in.

Why stop at ‘check out’? What about ‘touch base’, ‘circle back’ or ‘wheelhouse’? TrustRadius did some actual research on the business jargon, clichés, and buzzwords that are most often used and annoy folks the most, and ‘synergy’ won for them.

But I fear that such a massive influx of BS might overload the pool guy, so, we’ve stayed focused on lazy CTAs.

So, lazy CTAs, ‘check out’ the splash 🙂

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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