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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
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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…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2009 at 10:19 am

Tests Indicate Ogilvy’s Old-School Layout Still a Winner

July 28th, 2009
Human nature hasn’t changed and neither have the priorities required for successfully conveying your message.

Ogilvy on Advertising-1Contrary to common opinion, David Ogilvy didn’t have a preference for long copy.

What he had was an overwhelming bias towards anything that had been proven to work (which included long copy).  Ogilvy’s real, professed preferences were for consumer testing, research-driven techniques, and performance-based advertising in the truest sense of the term.

Based on those things, the conclusion he came to was that messaging and relevance had…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Jun. 15, 2009 at 11:06 am

Will Google Judge You Guilty of SEO?

June 15th, 2009

SEO Blogger Lisa Barone recently posted “Google Openly Profiles SEOs As Criminals” and for many who do not follow the industry so closely, the main point of this post may be missed. What is the point?

Don’t do Search Engine Optimization!

At SMX last week Google’s Matt Cutts, basically explained that “Google does profile SEOs. They’re identified as “high risk” and so are all of their associated projects.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Matt’s comments are a pre-cursor of Google cleaning up…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jun. 11, 2009 at 11:07 am

How to Optimize Your Conversion Rate(s)

June 11th, 2009

Conversion rate = The number of people who take the action you want them to take divided by the total number of potential people who could have taken that action.

When you break that sentence down, you start to understand how to optimize your conversion rate.

Step 1 – Let’s understand “number of people

Who are these people? Are they all the same? Do they have different characteristics, needs, questions? Do all these people have the same amount of product/service knowledge that you do? Are they…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, May. 21, 2009 at 10:51 am

What Would Online Retailing Look Like in the Offline World

May 21st, 2009
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In my last post, I made use of a brick and mortar analogy to the current online behavior of some e-commerce Websites, and even recommended the use of those analogies when analyzing online persuasion strategies.

And since at least a few readers responded positively to the idea, I thought I’d share one of Get Elastic’s videos  dramatizing exactly one of those analogies, as well as sharing a link to their whole series.

So welcome to The Crazy, Messed-up World of E-commerce!


...continue to read "What Would Online Retailing Look Like in the Offline World"

FutureNow Post
Monday, May. 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Can Bad Assumptions Lead to “Gorilla Marketing”?

May 18th, 2009

In the offline world, have you ever been chased by retail staff because you opted not to buy something at their store?


You mean no one has ever blocked the exit and said something like, “Hey, I saw you put that bottle of wine in your cart, why didn’t you buy it?”

It sounds funny until you realize that most online remarketing services offer to do exactly that to your website visitors.  They’ll pester them with e-mails, pop-ups, and phone calls should…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, May. 6, 2009 at 8:50 am

You Can’t Edit Your Way Out of Negative Reviews

May 6th, 2009

Very simply, reviews increase conversion rates.  And several studies point to the fact that, yes, even negative reviews help.

It all boils down to credibility.  Customer reviews simply have more credibility than your sales copy, so they inspire more confidence in the buyer.  And negative reviews lend credibility to the review process itself, standing as visible proof that the reviews are not edited.

Makes sense right?  Sure it does, until you find yourself staring at the (perceived) ability…

...continue to read "You Can’t Edit Your Way Out of Negative Reviews"

FutureNow Post
Friday, Apr. 24, 2009 at 7:18 am

To Be or Not to Be Transparent?

April 24th, 2009

How far are you willing to go to convert a sale?

Would you be willing to lie? Cheat? Steal?

I didn’t think so. Most of us wouldn’t.

How about just ever so slightly burying a fact — one that’s essential and potentially harmful to your sales — at the bottom of the page?

Now you judge.

My Little Tale

One day several weeks ago, I noticed my Apple MacBook Pro laptop battery was driving toward a slow and painful death. As so often happens with those…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Apr. 20, 2009 at 11:23 am

Have You Spring Cleaned Your Email Marketing Yet?

April 20th, 2009

Many people have commented in past posts about’s incredible conversion rates. You’ll often see them with a conversion rate over 30%. However, most people won’t dedicate the necessary resources they need to achieve such success. Over at EM&C, they cover what’s behind’s incredible conversion rate by looking at their email marketing.

Here are a 7 things you can do to improve your email marketing performance:

1. Delete your entire email list! You might not need to be as drastic as this…

...continue to read "Have You Spring Cleaned Your Email Marketing Yet?"

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:

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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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