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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

What Makes a Product Review Great? 7 Tips That Count

February 10th, 2010

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m passionate about my job.  I get to be an investigative reporter, go undercover by transforming myself to think like various different personas to analyze my client’s online performance, and help them make changes that ultimately lead to higher sales and/or leads. That doesn’t seem like a “job,” right? I feel like I’m solving mysteries every day for my clients, and uncovering tremendous opportunities at the same time.  I think I should get…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010 at 8:01 am

How To Loosen Up the Tone of Marketing Emails

January 6th, 2010

My inbox is a battlefield.  It’s where the chosen few companies/brands that I allow into my consciousness battle it out for my attention, my clicks, my time, and my credit card.

I scan the list of unread messages in waves: First, I pick off the obvious junk messages.  Then, I scan the “From” fields and subject lines to make sure I at least recognize who these messages are from and that they’re “legitimate.”  If anything looks questionable, it’s…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 at 8:03 am

The Highs and Lows of a Holiday Gift Card Conversion

December 23rd, 2009
Figure 1

Figure 1

The Holiday (online) gift shopping saga continues!  First, I was buying water bottles, and now I’m shopping for a gift card to send to some relatives.

Instead of taking you through the somewhat exhausting 11-step purchase process I went through for the sake of “convenience,” this post will just call out a few of the interesting high points and low points (with suggested optimizations) on the emotional roller coaster that is online shopping.  While the theme is a…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 at 8:02 am

Twilight New Moon Online Persuasion Examined

December 16th, 2009

This is a story about Christmas shopping of the worst kind a male can possibly imagine: buying a ‘teen heart-throb’ gift for a younger, female family member.  Well, I guess it could be worse, this gift could have been requested by my wife ;)

I have a certain younger sister-in-law who is a freak for the actor who plays “Edward” in the Twilight movie saga.  I undertook the mission to buy the “Edward” water bottle that was sold through…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at 7:00 am

Who Is REALLY Ready for the Online Black Friday?

November 27th, 2009

Well, Grokkers, the Holiday Season is officially upon us–Happy Black Friday! Most of FutureNow’s good advice about optimizing for the Holidays has already been given, and hopefully you’ve been busy acting on it.  Many merchants are about to lock their sites down so no major code changes will put their Holiday transactions at risk.

Amazon.comStaying in a mediocre hotel in Albany, NY (with mediocre WiFi) got me thinking about another optimization tactic that we forgot to post about this year: SITE PERFORMANCE.

[Note:…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 at 9:01 am

Shopping Cart Optimization: Canned vs. Custom

November 6th, 2009

If you’re selling online, and you’re interested in Optimization, it simply makes sense to spend some time focusing on your shopping cart. It’s a key area of focus for a few reasons:

It’s often where “low-hanging fruit” grows. Conversion obstacles can often be removed quickly, leading to large gains in a short period of time. It’s an area where you’ve already succeeded in persuading the prospect. They are in the Late Stage of their buying process, so a relatively low investment can give you…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 at 8:00 am

Let Them Build Before They Buy

October 23rd, 2009

Us Grokkers are continuing to focus on what types of things eRetailers can work on to make Holiday Shopping more enjoyable (and persuasive) for their prospects.

Enter the “Product Configurator.” While it sounds a bit like an evil robot out of control, what we’re talking about today is simply an online application to allow prospects to customize a product on their way to buying it. This can be a lot of fun for online shoppers if done well, and lead to…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Oct. 19, 2009 at 9:00 am

How Much Pre-Holiday Optimization is Enough?

October 19th, 2009

Lots of our clients and prospects are asking questions along the lines of: I want to optimize before the Holiday rush, but I don’t want to introduce too much change at such a critical time.

A valid question/concern, to be sure.  Our answer is, of course, “It depends.”  However, here are a few approaches that we’ve seen work:

Extreme Effort Until a Certain Datedecision

Look at your previous year’s analytics and the upward trend of conversions closer to the holidays.  …

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

Keep Them In the Cart this Christmas

October 6th, 2009

OK, Grok faithful, we all know that the Holiday Season is coming fast. Last year was “make or break” for a holidayslot of eTailers, and this season will be critical for many more.

The ones who make it through will be those who are passionate about the customer experience, AND who are able to prioritize their work between now and the “Holiday Crunch” so that the hours expended actually impact the number of sales they make.

Where do you start if you want your…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2009 at 10:39 am

Website Redesign Roundup

September 23rd, 2009

Lots of talk about redesigning websites lately. Maybe it’s because summer is ending, and the Holidays are right around the corner (for e-Tailers, that is)?

needchangeFirst, there was Jeff Sexton‘s post about asking the right Persuasion Architecture questions before redesigning, which was inspired by a Seth Godin post. Then, Jakob Nielson had some good thoughts from the Usability camp about redesigns and how radical they should be.

Mr. Nielson’s thoughts resonated with me given that our OnTarget product is generally focused on incremental improvement of clients’…

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