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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2009 at 2:39 pm

How to Handle Jargon and Acronyms

August 13th, 2009

JargonHere’s an issue/question that arrived in a comment to my post on Playing an Idiot Online [emphasis mine]:

“Brilliant post. We get this all the time, when designing websites for our clients……..But our clients will often use the line “but my customer understands this terminology, these acronyms, my customer is from a particular niche and they all use this terminology”…….It can be hard to argue this point, the client knows their customer better than us…… Yes usability tests would be a good…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Aug. 7, 2009

I’m not an idiot, but I play one online – and so should you!

August 7th, 2009
YouTube Preview Image

Sorry about the headline – the 80s flashbacks are getting to me.  Still, I really do “play stupid” as a Website optimizer and online copywriter.  Or at least I play ignorant.

Why?  Because all those terms and concepts you think everyone understands about your business and what you’re selling – well, you’re wrong about them!  Wrong about both the terms themselves and your potential audience.  If you think I’m mistaken, go back and watch the video…

...continue to read "I’m not an idiot, but I play one online – and so should you!"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009 at 9:50 am

On Target Copywriting and the next “Buns of Steel”

August 5th, 2009
You probably won’t like the website I’m about to show you.

Lou vs BradIn fact, you may not like the product, either, simply because you’re probably not part of their targeted audience.  So make up your mind now to look past that in order to see the marketing decisions behind both the product and the site.

Let’s start by imagining that you’ve just been challenged to enter the fitness category. Not to sell some machine or piece of equipment, but to sell…

...continue to read "On Target Copywriting and the next “Buns of Steel”"

FutureNow Post
Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 at 9:29 am

Ogilvy’s Famous Rolls Royce Ad – Another Look

August 3rd, 2009

Did you know that Ogilvy was not the first to use the “electric clock” comparison in a headline?

Pierce Rolls ComparisonI came across this bit o’ trivia while writing my post on Ogilvy’s preferred ad layout.  I found it written up by Robert Rosenthal at Freaking Marketing, who had done the detective work to find and scan in this Pierce-Arrow ad that ran about 25 years before Ogilvy’s Rolls Royce campaign.

If you consider yourself a student of advertising, you’ll want to read…

...continue to read "Ogilvy’s Famous Rolls Royce Ad – Another Look"

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
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. 13, 2009 at 8:24 am

Can Copy Create (added) Value On Its Own?

July 13th, 2009

ebay_pokemon_cards_bidIf a pack of Pokemon cards cost under $7 new, how much do you think an unopened pack would go for on e-bay?

What if the seller told an amusing story about that particular pack of Pokemon cards in the product description – would you bid more based on that?  Do you think others might?

Sounds silly, but based on a real-life incident, one mother collected $103.50 from the top bid (out of 44 other bids) on her pack of Pokemon…

...continue to read "Can Copy Create (added) Value On Its Own?"

FutureNow Post
Friday, May. 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process

May 22nd, 2009

“Talk to the dog in the language of the dog about what matters to the dog.” Roy H Williams

This past month, I shared my 10 step process for optimizing copy for websites or landing pages on my Market Motive training call. I was able to convince my friends at Market Motive to let me share the full presentation video with you (normally they only share the first few chapters unless you are a paid member). Unfortunately, it will only be available to be…

...continue to read "Optimizing Website & Landing Page Copy – A 10 Step Process"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Precipitating Events and B2B Web Copy

April 22nd, 2009

A lot of us know we ought to do certain things but never get past preliminary research on it until something jars us into action.  I know exactly what type of exercise plan I should be doing.  I’ve researched my options, bought and read some books, and…sat on my increasingly fat ass.  And if you don’t think the same thing happens with organizations, you’re nuts; institutions generally have MORE neurosis than individuals, not less.

Here’s a few business…

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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"

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