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Online Persuasion

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!

And…

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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?

Never?

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…

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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2009

Can your Website Handle the Complexity of your Sale?

April 21st, 2009

As weird as it sounds, it’s the norm for businesses with sales cycles that might be as long as several months to a year and that might involve multiple decision makers and influencers to utterly fail to take these factors into consideration when constructing their website or selecting an analytics package.

In fact, whenever I work with B2B and complex sales clients it’s a sure bet their website won’t:

1) Adequately address the multiple decision-makers and influencers involved in securing the lead…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Apr. 15, 2009 at 8:01 am

Comments on 8 Useful Conversion Tips

April 15th, 2009

I couldn’t help but write down a few comments and links in response to a recent Smashing Magazine post.  Designed to Sell: 8 Useful Tips to Help Your Website Convert kicks major butt, and I thought you’d both enjoy the article and a few comments/additions thrown in for each of the 8 tips:

Tip 1: Subiminal Suggestion

Basically, make sure your design elements – and most especially your pictures – enhance your credibility and put visitors in the right emotional frame…

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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"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Mar. 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

3-Steps for Writing (and testing) Great Headlines

March 11th, 2009

According to copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz, a headline’s main job isn’t to sell; it’s to gain the readers attention and compel them to read the ad.  And this is sound advice, but the Internet also requires one other thing in today’s web 2.0 copy world Step 1. Scent: Web copy adds the requirement of scent.  Your headlines and sub headlines have to assure visitors that they’re in the right place.  A compelling headline that doesn’t orient readers…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Mar. 10, 2009 at 7:51 am

Are Two Products More Credible Than One?

March 10th, 2009

After my initial post on blog-ified and geographically falsified landing pages, I ran into a few more such pages and they all shared the “2-product combo with a free trial of each” strategy.

So it’s only fair to ask: can you get sophisticated and wary audiences to buy pseudo-snake oil simply by switching from extolling the virtues of a single miracle product to praising the miraculous combination of two semi-wondrous products?  As in this teeth whitening example:

Well, yes, actually.  …

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Ogilvy-inspired-but-Sleaze-ified Tricks

February 24th, 2009

I guess it was professional curiosity, but I actually clicked one of those facelift-in-a-bottle ads while visiting some blog.  And hell if I wasn’t intrigued by the landing page’s sleaze-bag persuasive techniques.

Take a look at the screen shot I took of the landing page.  What do you think most caught my eye?  Here’s a hint: think layout and bolding.

Straight out of The Ogilvy Playbook

Here are two relevant quotes taken from pages 73 and 90 of Ogilvy on…

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FutureNow Post
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Let’s Get Rid of Performance Based Marketing, Huh?

January 29th, 2009

So apparently the Internet Advertising Bureau is dissatisfied with search-based Internet ads.  Seems they want to “overcome perceptions of ‘creative shabbiness’ in online media, and to help prevent the slide toward a ‘performance-based’ Internet advertising economy.”  Ouch.

While I can’t help but shake my head at the elevated nose and depressed intelligence of a dying attitude that associates “performance-based advertising” with creative shabbiness, that’s not what really bothered me about this piece.

What bothered me was two-fold:

1)  …

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