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Scent Trails

FutureNow Article
Wednesday, Apr. 2, 2008

Why Virgin’s Banner Ads Work, Even on Facebook!

April 2nd, 2008

Virgin America mood lightingTraditional banner ads can be frustrating. They’re easy to ignore. And all too often, the landing page on the other side of the click doesn’t fulfill the promise of the ad.

So why not try something new, like placing an ad on Facebook, where captive users are forced to see it right there in their news feeds?

That’s Virgin America‘s strategy. But is it anything new?

Despite the hype, social media ads are rarely different than traditional banner or pay-per-click ads. The landscape…

...continue to read "Why Virgin’s Banner Ads Work, Even on Facebook!"

FutureNow Article
Friday, Feb. 15, 2008

When a Banner Ad Becomes a One-Click Stand

February 15th, 2008

Holidays are a great time to advertise. Because of the emotional context, marketers know people will be especially attracted to holiday-themed ads. Valentine’s Day is no exception: You can almost set your clock to the sudden rush of banners strewn with cheesy hearts, bears and candy kisses.

Banner ads, once clicked, usually evoke the confusion of Alice’s rabbit hole more than the come-what-may optimism of Forrest’s box of chocolates — either way, you don’t know what to expect.

Grabbing attention is tough, and…

...continue to read "When a Banner Ad Becomes a One-Click Stand"

FutureNow Article
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008

Can I Please Have the “Mac Guy” Back?

January 10th, 2008

It was a bad moment. I felt like “PC Guy” from the “Get a Mac” commercial was trying to sell me an Apple product. It gave me the heebie-jeebies.

It all started when I checked my email and found an email from Apple with a subject line that said, “The new Mac Pro. Now with 8 cores standard.”

Like many email users, I don’t automatically enable HTML images. So, I have to click to allow the images to be shown. The result:…

...continue to read "Can I Please Have the “Mac Guy” Back?"

FutureNow Post
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007 at 3:27 pm

Just a Bit Off Target With Pay-Per-Click

December 6th, 2007

Even giant e-tailers like can miss the mark now and then. Despite big budgets, keeping track of everything can be a nightmare to manage. But if you’re going to place Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, it’s absolutely critical to follow though and check the links. The customer experience should be as effortless as possible, and if PPC ads don’t bring the visitors where they intended to go, they’re just one click of the “back” button away from your competitors. And if you…

...continue to read "Just a Bit Off Target With Pay-Per-Click"

FutureNow Post
Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007 at 12:18 pm

A Simple A/B Test Suggestion for

November 8th, 2007

While searching for new sneakers, I decided on a pair of Pumas. I love their style and color options, and they always have the newest selections. The same goes for their website. It’s chock full of flash — literally. I normally don’t mind the extra attention to design — in fact I appreciate a beautifully designed website — but has made it difficult to find any products.

Landing on the homepage, I was hypnotized by the Flash and interactive design, which must…

...continue to read "A Simple A/B Test Suggestion for"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2007 at 11:40 am

“Click Here” Works (Better Than Other Generic Terms)

September 26th, 2007

Marketing Sherpa recently tested click-through rates for anchor text links in email. They found that “Click to continue” works far better than “Continue to article” or “Read more”. But why?

Copyblogger‘s Brian Clark concludes, “Not only should you use actionable anchor text if you really want someone to click, but you should also tell people to take the exact action you want them to perform in order to get the best response.”

Sure, but there’s more to this story than just telling…

...continue to read "“Click Here” Works (Better Than Other Generic Terms)"

FutureNow Article
Friday, Sep. 21, 2007

Brands & Landing Pages: A Neanderthal Challenge

September 21st, 2007
FutureNow Post
Friday, Sep. 21, 2007 at 9:27 am

Screencast: Hunting for Early Bird Persuasion, Part 3

September 21st, 2007

Now that you’ve seen Parts 1 and 2, where we found that the smartest way to persuade early-stage customers is to educate them, let’s focus on how to provide a consistent experience for them.

As we look at how and prepare to catch the Early Bird customer, consider the following:

Relevance — If they’re not ready yet, don’t get carried away. (Is your website proposing marriage on the first date?) Screen Space — Early Birds need to know that they’re welcome, right from the homepage. Give…

...continue to read "Screencast: Hunting for Early Bird Persuasion, Part 3"

FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2007 at 11:36 am

Screencast: Hunting for Early Bird Persuasion, Part 2

September 19th, 2007

Now that you’ve seen Part 1 — you did see it, right? — you should have a handle on the basics of selling to early-stage online shoppers. They may not be ready to “Buy Now!” but giving these Early Birds the information they need, when they need it, will ensure they come back once they are ready. One of the smartest ways to persuade early-stage buyers is to educate them.

Take hunting, for instance. While an experienced hunter may know exactly…

...continue to read "Screencast: Hunting for Early Bird Persuasion, Part 2"

FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2007 at 10:20 am

Are You Giving Visitors the Bait-and-Switch?

September 11th, 2007

Website visitors are impatient. They have high expectations. Since options are abundant, they’re in control. They hold the power. If your visitors open their circle of trust because you engage them with persuasive copy or links, you have a limited opportunity to meet exceed their expectations.

Each click represents an expectation. The visitor expects that this scent will follow through to the next page, and that she’ll be brought to a page that specifically offers the experience she was promised. When…

...continue to read "Are You Giving Visitors the Bait-and-Switch?"

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