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Archive for July, 2009

FutureNow Post
Friday, Jul. 31, 2009 at 9:21 am

Segment Your Way Out of Sadness

July 31st, 2009

shutterstock_market_analysisLast week, my team of analysts and I were discussing a client that wasn’t getting the types of results we had expected. This particular client was implementing changes well and clearly should have seen the conversion rate needle move based on those efforts. Instead, the numbers were flat. Something was clearly wrong.

We began to dig deeper. We learned that the client, an online software service, was pushing current customers through a key selling page we were optimizing. Because these customers…

...continue to read "Segment Your Way Out of Sadness"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jul. 30, 2009

A Copywriter’s Intro to Frame-switching and Nested Storytelling

July 30th, 2009

Here’s the first thing to remember about frame switching as it applies to copywriting:

All copywriting stories are “nested.”

Matryoshka+doll-1In writing copy you inevitably create – at a minimum – one frame of reference: the one between your authorial voice and the reader.

In fact, copywriting teachers often advise aspiring writers to “talk” onto the page as if they’re talking to a best friend, simply because that mental exercise animates that almost invisible frame of reference in the mind of the writer.* Writers who…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 29, 2009 at 11:34 am

Turning Web Analytics into Nonprofit Success

July 29th, 2009

Non-profit web analytics successI know, I know, you think I’ve gone crazy with the heat.  But today, we’re talking about how web analytics can set you up for success, even if your tax status is a bit different.

Sarah from Seattle tweeted Bryan the other week, asking for some advice on how to use web analytics, and specifically “goals,” to help her with a nonprofit website supporting the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.  We thought it would be good topic to explore…

...continue to read "Turning Web Analytics into Nonprofit Success"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner

July 28th, 2009
Human nature hasn’t changed and neither have the priorities required for successfully conveying your message.

Ogilvy on Advertising-1Contrary to common opinion, David Ogilvy didn’t have a preference for long copy.

What he had was an overwhelming bias towards anything that had been proven to work (which included long copy).  Ogilvy’s real, professed preferences were for consumer testing, research-driven techniques, and performance-based advertising in the truest sense of the term.

Based on those things, the conclusion he came to was that messaging and relevance had…

...continue to read "Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner"

FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009 at 11:55 am

Will Amazon Zap Zappos’s Innovative Culture?

July 23rd, 2009

shoesI just read a somewhat surprising story about Zappos.com being acquired by Amazon.com. The details were posted to Zappos’s blog yesterday in a very Zappos-esque transparent style, including an 8-minute video of Jeff Bezos talking about the alliance, along with some good stories about Amazon’s early days and foibles.  The surprise comes from the fact that Amazon spent lots of money developing the competitive Endless.com shoe-selling site a few years ago.  If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em?

My question to…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009 at 11:07 am

Turning Web Analytics Into A Money Making Machine

July 23rd, 2009

shutterstock_money_making_machineIn a few weeks, I’ll be headed to San Jose to the Search Engine Strategies conference. The post title is the same as one of the sessions I’ll be present. It was a session I am most looking forward to as I’ll be speaking with my good friends and web analytics luminaries Jim Sterne and Avinash Kaushik. Each of us are promising at least 3 actionable takeways from the session. Here is my first one:

To do web analytics correctly you have…

...continue to read "Turning Web Analytics Into A Money Making Machine"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 22, 2009 at 9:11 am

The Princess Bride, Frame Switching, and Kick-butt Ads

July 22nd, 2009

Do yourself a favor and DON’T watch all of this video right off the bat.

Just watch the first 20 seconds of this ad and then pause it (don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you).

YouTube Preview Image

Now, how do you feel.  How much emotional punch did the scene carry?

OK.  Now restart the video and watch it through to the end.

****Gratuitous space strategically placed so as to avoid any plot spoilers *****

**** Keep Scrolling *****

****More Gratuitous space  *****

****Almost there ****

So even…

...continue to read "The Princess Bride, Frame Switching, and Kick-butt Ads"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jul. 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

When We-We and SEO Copy Attack

July 21st, 2009

Perhaps I haven’t had enough coffee this morning…you know us Seattleites

But I just felt I had to call out an example of how poor copywriting and writing for search engine robots can ruin a decent Unique Value Proposition.

wewe.and.seo.copyI was referred to a site to look at their homepage design (see screenshot, highlighting is mine), and immediately noticed that they had a prominent Unique Value Proposition (UVP) statement, which was promising.

The UVP statement wasn’t the best I’ve read, but at least it…

...continue to read "When We-We and SEO Copy Attack"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Is Twitter ‘Digg’ing Their Own Ditch?

July 20th, 2009
So here’s the 5-step scenario I keep seeing repeated:

Twitter Ditch1) A new technology or application comes out.

2) It actually gives us a reliable signal. Something closely correlated with how things actually are.

3) The technology or application catches on and gradually becomes a social force of its own – or at least a social force amongst early adopters.

4) These next two happen more or less simultaneously:

It becomes the next big thing and the place where the cool kids hang out…

...continue to read "Is Twitter ‘Digg’ing Their Own Ditch?"

FutureNow Post
Friday, Jul. 17, 2009 at 8:26 am

What Social Media Can and Can’t Do for You

July 17th, 2009

social network courtesy of shutterstockUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need me to tell you that social media has legs. And it’s getting leggier by the minute.

Many companies don’t fully understand what to do with social media. They don’t see the path to benefit from it. Others have tried using it and walked away not seeing the value of social media. Others still don’t get it at all, and have left themselves completely to the mercy of the online mobs.

Most of…

...continue to read "What Social Media Can and Can’t Do for You"

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