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FutureNow Article
Monday, Jun. 23, 2008

Do Women Respond to “Free Shipping” More Than Men?

June 23rd, 2008

free shipping at online storesIn test after test, it seems “Free Shipping” is still a great incentive for online shoppers. I know I’m a sucker for free shipping. It just feels like, well, like I’m getting real value in the transaction when the company is going to eat the shipping costs.

Call me mean, but I like that thought.

I’ve long held a theory that women are more sensitive to shipping costs than men. I have no proof of this theory. It’s mostly anecdotal. When I…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Jun. 20, 2008

The Interactive Marketer 2.0

June 20th, 2008

Last week, a friend was sharing war stories with me about an upcoming site launch. His highly recognizable site, which will remain anonymous in this column, rakes in billions. I congratulated him and asked how they’re going to optimize post-launch. He told me they’re pausing optimization for six months to collect enough “control” data.

Today’s interactive marketers face and make these types of decisions several times a day. At a glance, my bud’s decision seems sound. But does it hold up…

...continue to read "The Interactive Marketer 2.0"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jun. 19, 2008

See Like An Outsider In 3 Not-So-Easy (But Worth It) Steps

June 19th, 2008

inside the bottle website optimizationIf you’re already an insider, this won’t be easy. Once you’re “inside the bottle,” reading the label on the outside requires serious mental contortions.

Or an outsider to come and open the bottle for you. In fact, their outsider perspective is a huge part of any consultant’s or outside copywriter’s value – so long as they’re willing to call you to the carpet over your unseen assumptions and un-named elephants.

But if you can’t bring in an actual outsider, any attempt you…

...continue to read "See Like An Outsider In 3 Not-So-Easy (But Worth It) Steps"

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008

Firefox 3: How to Convert Seven Million Visitors in a Day

June 18th, 2008

firefox download day world recordOh, to have such problems…

If you’re hoping to download Firefox 3, it looks like it’s now safe to do so. But for nearly two hours yesterday, when the latest version of the popular Web browser first launched, so many people rushed the Firefox landing page that Mozilla’s servers crashed from the volume.

A round of applause for the marketing team at Mozilla. The pent up demand for their product combined with a brilliant “Firefox 3 Download Day” campaign to produce a perfect…

...continue to read "Firefox 3: How to Convert Seven Million Visitors in a Day"

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2008

3 Things Viral Videos Must Do to Make Money

June 17th, 2008

viral marketing best practicesDave Young’s post about Microsoft’s “Inspiration, anyone?” video, and your comments, inspired a few thoughts about how to get a proper return on investment with viral videos.

Viral videos are, by nature, non-targetable. The message can be targeted, but the delivery is meant to spread in an out-of-control and, well, viral manner. But that’s OK since optimizing the message (e.g., with persona-based messaging) is usually far more effective than trying to control who actually ends up seeing your viral video.

We also…

...continue to read "3 Things Viral Videos Must Do to Make Money"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jun. 12, 2008

iPhone 3G Shows How to Use Online Video to Sell Products

June 12th, 2008

iphone 3g enterprise videoThere are a lot of innovative ways to use video to sell products online. After sharing a few examples I recently found with colleagues, we agreed that the video for the new Apple iPhone 3G was one of the most persuasive uses of rich media on a website we’d ever seen.

But before we discuss how the iPhone team does it, I’d like to show you a few other examples that illustrate some of the dos and don’ts — mostly “dos” —…

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FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

Superhero Copywriting Tips: “Holy Persuasion, Batman!”

June 11th, 2008

future web copy superheroDo you have unique, untapped talents to show the world but find your efforts frustrated, either because you’re an outsider or because your own internal resistance gets in the way?

Would it surprise you to realize that most people self-identify with that description?

At some level, all of us feel alienated — from others, from ourselves, or both. We worry about not living up to our talents, so we gravitate toward things that allow us to feel empowered.

(iPhone 3G, anyone?)

Audiences love superheroes because…

...continue to read "Superhero Copywriting Tips: “Holy Persuasion, Batman!”"

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2008

“Green Marketing”? Save Some for the Fishes…

June 11th, 2008

Oceana and World Ocean Day are one example of Blue MarketingHere’s a great opportunity: The oceans are dying.

Seriously, the oceans are in horrible shape, and it’s your fault. You did it, Supply, Demand, Pollution and Overfishing. And if we don’t take ownership now, our brands, our children, and our collective appetite for seafood may never forgive us.

I’m not trying to bum you out, but the next time you feel the need to impress clients or co-workers with your sushi-ordering skills, you should at least know whether you’re eating sustainable fish.…

...continue to read "“Green Marketing”? Save Some for the Fishes…"

FutureNow Article
Friday, Jun. 6, 2008

The New Borders

June 6th, 2008

borders books launches online storeJune 1 marked the official launch of the new Borders.com. Prior to then, Borders had partnered with Amazon, using the e-commerce site to handle the heavy lifting and delivering Borders customers mostly an Amazon experience for about seven years.

Now that Borders has total command of its site and controls its customers’ online experiences, I have some questions:

What does it expect? What is it trying to do?

Of course, we can’t discuss selling books online without talking about Amazon’s dominance. Does Borders…

...continue to read "The New Borders"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jun. 5, 2008

What You Never Noticed About Google’s Homepage

June 5th, 2008

google split testing results

We all take the Google homepage for granted.

It’s so remarkably simple that (unless you’re, say, a blogger for a website optimization firm) it’s unremarkable; just a text box, two call to action buttons, and a few links that most humans don’t even look at, let alone use. That’s all.

But why? Why is it that the Google homepage has barely changed in the past decade? Are they obsessed with minimalism, or is there more to the story?

From its humble origins as…

...continue to read "What You Never Noticed About Google’s Homepage"

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