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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 at 11:59 am

The Fast Way to Optimize Your Site for Scent

July 19th, 2010

The “scent of information” is an important concept for anyone who wants to optimize their online conversion rate. It’s important enough that we’ve been writing about scent on this blog since at least 2006! We recognize, however, that optimizing for scent isn’t easy to do. It involves web analytics data, psychology, copywriting, and web design at a bare minimum. But, the payoff can be huge in terms of more sales, more leads, or more subscriptions from those who come to your…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, May. 14, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Conversion Optimization: How Being Wrong Can Lead to Good Insights

May 14th, 2010

Google Image Result for http___schools.evergreenps.org_199420611231125463_lib_199420611231125463_dumbteacher.gifI had an interesting testing experience with one of my clients recently.  After looking closely at the data, I formed my hypothesis, and made a recommendation for a variation to test…and it underperformed the original version!  I was WRONG!

Now, I don’t expect to be right with every test (in fact, that’s WHY testing is so important), but my hypotheses are based on real data with a strong analysis behind them…and I have never been THIS wrong.  Was…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Mar. 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

Credibility: Yours to Loose

March 5th, 2010

sotpShow of hands: How many people noticed the typo in the title?  My guess is that those who did were ready to jump all over my mistake.  It was done intentionally to help prove my point: Visitors notice typos. (For those who are still confused: loose = free or released from fastening or attachment; lose = to come to be without.)

These days, most people are less skeptical about the internet.  We think little of viewing bank statements, paying utility…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Feb. 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Good Cart Design vs. Costly Credibility Indicators

February 26th, 2010

I love to analyze shopping carts because of the immense variety of designs and design elements that different companies and clients employ to try to “get the cash.”  Some elements work better than others, and proper testing can lead the way to optimization.

But, I believe that conversion is cumulative, and every pixel of design you employ in your shopping cart contributes to the semi-conscious feelings of comfort and confidence that prospects get when they decide that your cart is safe…

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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
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 at 9:00 am

“Click Here” Makes Me Rip My Hair Out

November 20th, 2009

"click here" makes me rip my hair outEvery time I see a button or text link that includes or says “click here,” I pull 10 hairs out of my head.  I have a lot of hair, so the good news is that I won’t go bald anytime soon.  It’s troubling to see that so many sites are still using this language within their calls to action. Using this flimsy phrase makes the call to action weak!

If the call to action is underlined copy, visitors realize…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Sep. 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Nobody wants to read your sh**!

September 21st, 2009

Stop TalkingMost valuable writing lesson ever. Or so says Steven Pressfield in this blog post on how his first professional job as an advertising copywriter indelibly carved this truth on his psyche:

“Nobody wants to read your shit.

Let me repeat that. Nobody–not even your dog or your mother–has the slightest interest in your commercial for Rice Krispies or Delco batteries or Preparation H. Nor does anybody care about your one-act play, your Facebook page or your new sesame chicken joint at Canal and…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Just Say The Thing – Why Relevance Always Wins

September 2nd, 2009

Hemingway Quote

My friend and brilliant copywriter, Chris Maddock, frequently exhorts his writing students to “Just say the thing.”  This advice is based upon Chris’s extensive experience in what’s working right now for radio ads – and just as importantly,  what’s no longer working for any type of copywriting.

Google and the Internet have trained us to ruthlessly sort for relevance, and we now demand messaging formatted for, and adapted to, rapid sorting.  If visitors can’t get on your website,…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Six Ways to Sell Your Expertise Online

August 19th, 2009

expertMany of our clients are in the business of being Experts. Some are consultants, some are advisors, some highly-skilled professionals within their field. The challenge with using the Web to market one’s expertise is that the online world is full of charlatans, and most people who’ve hired a few “experts” have had at least one of them not live up to their claims and produce poor results.

Selling expertise face-to-face is quite bit easier. The true Expert’s skills come across in their…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

FAQ Page = A Sign Warning Drivers of Potholes

August 18th, 2009

Unanswered QuestionsThink about it: if those questions really are FREQUENTLY ASKED, why the heck isn’t your regular copy answering your visitors’ questions?

Unanswered questions keep visitors from buying/converting — that’s not theory; it’s a fact!

So why, oh why, would you knowingly allow your persuasive copy to ignore a frequently asked question?  Why would you possibly be content with hiding the answers to your prospective customers’ questions in an FAQ page?  Are you trying to weed out all but the most…

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