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FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2007

America’s Test Kitchen Shows How to Sizzle an Email

November 21st, 2007

Bridget Lancaster and Christopher KimballFor years I’ve been a fan of the America’s Test Kitchen chefs and their magazine, Cook’s Illustrated. I’m a bit of a foodie — and a pragmatist — so I love that they give their audience no-nonsense, real world advice on how to cook. And even though they have a hit TV show, they continue to publish their Cook’s Illustrated in black-and-white and illustrated in order to reduce costs so that they don’t need to run ads in the magazine. They’re…

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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007 at 4:01 pm

“Do Consumers Care About Online Privacy?”

October 30th, 2007

One might think that’s an obvious “yes,” but not necessarily, according to Advertising Age. In fact, there’s a good deal of confusion as to what online privacy actually means.

“Consumers fundamentally misunderstand the rules of the marketplace,” said Chris Hoofnagle, senior staff attorney at the Samuelson Clinic at UC-Berkley’s Boalt School of Law, addressing a perceived apathy toward the subject. He cites studies in which up to 75% of consumers think as long as a site has a privacy policy it…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Oct. 26, 2007 at 10:45 am

Screencast: Building Trust & Credibility Online

October 26th, 2007

If the roof of your home started leaking, you probably wouldn’t waste much time trying to fix it. And unless you happen to be a carpenter, you’re likely to find someone else to do the job. You’d probably call a professional; someone with experience, who can find the source of the problem and patch things up. A leaky roof isn’t generally a good place to shop on price alone. You want to know that whomever you hire can be trusted.

Well,…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, Oct. 26, 2007 at 10:10 am

How Amazon Lost Me (and My Money)

October 26th, 2007

One word: Fulfillment.

I recently purchased a set of Sony Ericsson earbuds from Amazon.com. I already knew the type of earbuds, which color, and even the model number I wanted to order. (That’s what we call a “late-stage” visitor.) Amazon didn’t have to do much to convince me to buy. All I wanted was a clear product image, showing what I could expect with my purchase.

...continue to read "How Amazon Lost Me (and My Money)"

FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007

The Would-be Guru: Inspiring Online Credibility (Part 2)

October 23rd, 2007

guru.jpg“Guru”

Ponder that word for a minute. Better yet, think of a field-specific guru whose views you value and ask yourself this: What distinguishes your Guru from just another professional in that field?

What causes one to inspire so much more credibility than another?

The ancient Greeks had a word for that trait: thumos. Want cult-of-personality-like persuasive ethos and credibility? Create thumos through your web copy. (In my last article, The Aristotle Code, I warned you that I was on a high-brow kick,…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Oct. 19, 2007

The Aristotle Code: Inspiring Online Credibility (Part 1)

October 19th, 2007

Plato and Aristotle discuss online persuasionYou want a credible website. And you’re a Grok reader, which puts you much closer to your goal. ; )

So you checked out Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab slide show, and were careful to note the beginning explanation, where credibility was broken down into two components: (1) Trustworthiness, and (2) Expertise. (And boy, did those look familiar. Sort of… )

Where had you seen them before?

Being a good student of rhetoric, it hits you: Stanford got it wrong! There’s more than…

...continue to read "The Aristotle Code: Inspiring Online Credibility (Part 1)"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007 at 11:19 am

Stanford’s 10 Guidelines for Increased Web Credibility

October 17th, 2007

Captology NotebookPersuasion starts and ends with credibility. Some would say that the offer is the fundamental element. But if readers doubt your intentions or honesty, you might as well be offering free $100 bills and still failing to convert.

Credibility is everything.

That’s why I found a recent 2002 report from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab so fascinating. Not only does it offer 10 Guidelines for increasing your website’s credibility — and they’re all solid guidelines. Better yet, you don’t even have to read…

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FutureNow Article
Monday, Oct. 15, 2007

Copywriting Tips: Accentuate the Negative

October 15th, 2007

Bing Crosby had it wrong. You can’t accentuate the positive without — at least implicitly — admitting the negative. (Not if you want to be credible, anyway.)

The Law of Compromise is built into our worldview. We’ve all learned and relearned the painful necessity of denying ourselves one thing in order to gain another. Try to “eliminate the negative” aspects of your product with glowing web copy, and that image will eventually clash with the reader’s sense of reality. It raises…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Oct. 8, 2007 at 8:11 am

Michael Dell’s Lousy Investment Advice

October 8th, 2007

“What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”

Michael Dell said that about Apple 10 years ago.

Pretty, pretty…bad advice!

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports:

Apple’s (AAPL) market capitalization today is more than double that of Dell (DELL):

Apple: $140.4 billion

Dell: $62.27 billion

But don’t shed a tear for Micheal Dell. According to a list of the 400 wealthiest Americans published last month, his net worth is more than triple Steve Jobs’.

Michael Dell: $15.5 billion

Steve Jobs: $4.9 billion

I’m not crying for…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Oct. 1, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Radiohead Lets Fans Choose How Much to Pay for Album

October 1st, 2007

Remember when people thought Prince was crazy for selling his music exclusively online?* Or the time when William Morris Agency Worldwide Head of International Music Ed Bicknell scoffed at me for asking why any band in its right marketing mind needs a major label? Well, it looks like Radiohead is putting its money where your mouse is.

Arguably the most influential band of the past 15 years, Radiohead has decided to release its next album online. But here’s catch: You choose what to…

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