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Posts by Jeff Sexton

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2009

Can your Website Handle the Complexity of your Sale?

April 21st, 2009

As weird as it sounds, it’s the norm for businesses with sales cycles that might be as long as several months to a year and that might involve multiple decision makers and influencers to utterly fail to take these factors into consideration when constructing their website or selecting an analytics package.

In fact, whenever I work with B2B and complex sales clients it’s a sure bet their website won’t:

1) Adequately address the multiple decision-makers and influencers involved in securing the lead…

...continue to read "Can your Website Handle the Complexity of your Sale?"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Marketing in the age of the “strategic minimum wage worker”

April 15th, 2009

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to check out this YouTube video of two (former) Domino’s employees:

YouTube Preview Image

So, do you think that might have some rather profound effects on Domino’s marketing efforts?  Think you’ll be eating at Domino’s anytime soon?

What’s interesting is that the basic principle behind this was predicted not by some far-seeing futurist working in the technology field, but by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Charles C. Krulak.

Gen. Krulak coined the term “strategic corporal” to refer to the…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 8:01 am

Comments on 8 Useful Conversion Tips

April 15th, 2009

I couldn’t help but write down a few comments and links in response to a recent Smashing Magazine post.  Designed to Sell: 8 Useful Tips to Help Your Website Convert kicks major butt, and I thought you’d both enjoy the article and a few comments/additions thrown in for each of the 8 tips:

Tip 1: Subiminal Suggestion

Basically, make sure your design elements – and most especially your pictures – enhance your credibility and put visitors in the right emotional frame…

...continue to read "Comments on 8 Useful Conversion Tips"

FutureNow Article
Monday, Apr. 13, 2009

How to Think About Long vs. Short Copy

April 13th, 2009

Long and short are linear terms (they refer to length, right?).  So they work fine to categorize or describe copy found in a sales letters or print advertisements.

But (most) websites aren’t linear because hyperlinks break linearity (aka subvert hierarchy).

People don’t read (most) Websites one full page at a time in a numbered order; they read/scan/move from one link that interests them to the next link that interests them, often entering or starting on something other than page #1 (what bad web…

...continue to read "How to Think About Long vs. Short Copy"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 8, 2009 at 7:10 am

Doesn’t Graphic Design/Layout Affect Scanning Patterns?

April 8th, 2009

Jakob Nielsen’s new post regarding how to optimize for online visitor’s F-patterned scanning is a must read.  There’s a lot of sound advice there, many of it confirming or aligning with Future Now recommendations.  Stuff like:

Don’t waste hyperlink words on non-descriptive or generic words.  Make links keyword rich and ensure that customers can predict where the link will take them.  Plan and link for maximum “scent” Use plain language.  In other words, talk to the dog in…

...continue to read "Doesn’t Graphic Design/Layout Affect Scanning Patterns?"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2009 at 6:54 am

Want Me to Show You the Money? Show Me the Pics!

April 1st, 2009

Pears Example BHolly Buchanan taught me that reviews help sales not only by offering more credible information (than the biased marketing copy), but also by answering questions that the copy fails to address.

Her favorite example is a review on a pair of Reef’s Fanning flip flops.  Holly needed to know if the bottle opener was sunk far enough into the sole to prevent it scratching floors, boat decks, etc.  The website copy had nothing on this, but one customers review…

...continue to read "Want Me to Show You the Money? Show Me the Pics!"

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2009

Does Online Browsing Bend the Laws of Scent and Relevance?

March 31st, 2009

So your friend shows you this book he can’t stop raving about. After giving it the old dust-cover/random-flip-through examination, you pretty much decide to buy it. Now, when you arrive at amazon.com, my question is: are you at all interested in the book recommendations that Amazon has for you?

Absolutely not, right?  Or at least not yet.

You came to buy a specific book.  You’ve already got a task in mind and browsing random books aint it.  You’ll likely…

...continue to read "Does Online Browsing Bend the Laws of Scent and Relevance?"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Mar. 30, 2009 at 9:10 am

UVP or Tagline?

March 30th, 2009

Bryan Eisenberg was recently asked the following question via e-mail:

“I know you are very busy, but I would like your help. I have read your blog(s) about Unique Value Proposition over and over (and others too).  I am perplexed.  How do you distinguish between a Unique Value Propostion and tag line. For example Fedex, ‘When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight’ – tagline or UVP? Your site ‘Keep Your Goals On Target: Increase Conversions, Get More…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Mar. 20, 2009 at 9:08 am

Personality Secrets of American Idol’s Judges

March 20th, 2009

Is American Idol’s newest judge an attempt to cover all 4 temperaments and create the natural dynamic that comes with that?

According to the American Idol Website:

“We had originally intended for American Idol to have four judges,” said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “We’ve seen from our international series that having a fourth judge creates a dynamic that benefits both the contestants and the viewers.”

Of course, this just means they wanted 4 judges, and not necessarily that they wanted the judges to line…

...continue to read "Personality Secrets of American Idol’s Judges"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

3-Steps for Writing (and testing) Great Headlines

March 11th, 2009

According to copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz, a headline’s main job isn’t to sell; it’s to gain the readers attention and compel them to read the ad.  And this is sound advice, but the Internet also requires one other thing in today’s web 2.0 copy world Step 1. Scent: Web copy adds the requirement of scent.  Your headlines and sub headlines have to assure visitors that they’re in the right place.  A compelling headline that doesn’t orient readers…

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