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FutureNow Post
Monday, Apr. 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

When Customer Reward Programs Backfire

April 5th, 2010

Ahhhhh, yes… those ever-so-compelling customer rewards and points.  In addition to discounts and freebies, many companies now offer points as a system of rewards for their customers and clients.  While I’m all for getting an extra 10% off my next pair of shoes, or $15 dollars off my next purchase of $150 (or more), I believe that if you really want to reward your visitors, make it easy for them to redeem these special bonuses.  If…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 at 9:36 am

What Makes a Product Review Great? 7 Tips That Count

February 10th, 2010

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m passionate about my job.  I get to be an investigative reporter, go undercover by transforming myself to think like various different personas to analyze my client’s online performance, and help them make changes that ultimately lead to higher sales and/or leads. That doesn’t seem like a “job,” right? I feel like I’m solving mysteries every day for my clients, and uncovering tremendous opportunities at the same time.  I think I should get…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Just Say The Thing – Why Relevance Always Wins

September 2nd, 2009

Hemingway Quote

My friend and brilliant copywriter, Chris Maddock, frequently exhorts his writing students to “Just say the thing.”  This advice is based upon Chris’s extensive experience in what’s working right now for radio ads – and just as importantly,  what’s no longer working for any type of copywriting.

Google and the Internet have trained us to ruthlessly sort for relevance, and we now demand messaging formatted for, and adapted to, rapid sorting.  If visitors can’t get on your website,…

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FutureNow Post
Friday, May. 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

To Be or Not to Be Transparent, Part 2

May 8th, 2009

In part one, I shared my sordid story of buying a battery for my MacBook Pro from a third-party. In short, I went to and bought a battery on a recommendation from a colleague. Impatient to receive the battery for an upcoming business trip, I learned (only after the purchase) that the product was on back order.

I asked the question: did bury this information on its site to increase conversion? Well, the folks at read my story and…

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FutureNow Post
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008 at 6:00 am

5 Copywriting Keys to Landing Page Credibility

July 9th, 2008

5 Copywriting Key's to Landing Page CredibilitySalesmanship is about transferring confidence, and you can’t inspire confidence without first establishing your credibility. So when it comes to Landing Page copy, credibility is truly Job #1.Here are five must-haves for building that credibility where it often counts the most: 1. Scent They’re called landing pages because they’re where you plan for visitors to “land” after clicking through on PPC and targeted search terms. So before you do anything else, convince those visitors they’ve come to the right place by…

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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 5:18 am

How Start-Ups Can Build Effective “About Us” Pages

October 26th, 2007

Since writing on “about us” pages a few months back, I’ve received several inquiries like this one:

Thank you for a very valuable information on the “About Us” page, good examples.

How about new companies or companies that are being created? Customers are skeptical to engage with new companies. What would be your advice in terms of what is the best content to put in it, what to highlight, if you do not have history and you are staring from the “garage” location?


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FutureNow Post
Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Can Wal-Mart’s Facebook Campaign Survive Transparency?

August 28th, 2007

Wal-Mart rooms with FacebookIt all seemed so innocent at first. A few weeks ago, when Wal-Mart announced it would market to college students on Facebook, the idea seemed simple enough: Allow students to use their Roommate Style Match group (Facebook subscription required) so they could coordinate their dorm room shopping. Now that it’s been up for awhile, though, Wal-Mart’s getting grilled by detractors.

BusinessWeek‘s Burt Helm noticed this gem of a Facebook comment:

“do people realize WHY prices are so low at Wal-Mart? cause THEY DO NO…

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FutureNow Post
Monday, Aug. 20, 2007 at 11:42 am

Wikipedia and the Wisdumb of Crowds

August 20th, 2007

Courtesy of WikipediaLast week, Wired reported on a program that allows us to see who’s editing Wikipedia. Invented by Virgil Griffith, a graduate student at Cal Tech, the WikiScanner has finally brought transparency to the encyclopedia that considers us all to be experts.

A few of my favorite revelations:

BBC censors excerpt from BBC-commissioned report criticizing the BBC’s tendency to self-censor. There may be some irony here.

Nortel – Accounting scandal, what accounting scandal?? This sweeping rewrite of Nortel’s page removes all mention of the 2000-2004 accounting…

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FutureNow Article
Friday, Aug. 17, 2007

Do You Believe Mattel’s CEO?

August 17th, 2007

transparency gone wrongNothing tells you more about a company than how it handles a crisis.

Recently, Mattel (MAT) has had two product recalls; one for toys with lead paint, and another for toys with powerful small magnets.

Mattel chose the usual large company route: Have your CEO do a public apology, looking serious and sincere, outlining the problem and emphasizing the steps you’re taking to deal with it.

Has this approach ever worked? I’m not being cynical here, I really want to know.

Here’s why, in this…

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