Plain-spoken Online Conversion Rate Newsletter - covering web design, sales, marketing, copywriting, usability, SEO, relationship marketing and consumer psychology.

Personality 101: Who Are They?

Odd about humans: they've been trying to categorize and understand themselves ever since ever. Know what? When it comes to personalities, almost every philosophizer has decided on four dominant types. For Hippocrates it was Sanguine, Choleric, Phlegmatic and Melancholic. Jung decided on Feeler, Thinker, Sensor and Intuitor. Keirsey calls them Idealists, Rationals, Guardians and Artisans. At Future Now, we base our profiles on the Myers-Briggs classification scheme.

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Professor Allen Weiss,

It doesn't really matter what you call them. Thing is, you need to become intimately acquainted with these personalities. They are your website's visitors. And once you know who they are, you've got the inside track on how you shape your conversion process to persuade them most effectively.

On to the introductions! For each personality, I'll give you a general profile, then some specific comments that include the dominant attitude that characterizes this personality, how this personality type typically uses time, the question this personality type is most likely to ask about your product or service and website tactics you should adopt to meet the needs of this personality type. Finally, I'll give you some sample copy - same copy for each profile, but you'll notice different elements in the copy appeal to different personality types.


Amiables, guided by intuition and feeling, must be authentic. They are always engaged in a personal quest for their unique identity and live their lives as an expression of it. For them, integrity means the unity of inner self with outer expression. These individuals appreciate the personal touch. They like things that are non-threatening and friendly. They dislike dealing with impersonal details and cold hard facts, and are usually quick to reach a decision.

Attitude: Personal, activity oriented.

Use of Time: Undisciplined, slow paced

Question: Why is your solution best to solve the problem?

Approach: Provide guarantees and assurances, credible opinions rather than options.

Sample Copy (underlining indicates which phrases this personality type will respond to most strongly):

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.


The sensing-perceiving Analyticals need to feel free to act. For them, “doing” is its own reward. These individuals appreciate facts, hard data and information presented in a logical manner as documentation of truth. They enjoy organization and completion of detailed tasks. They do not appreciate the "personal touch" or disorganization.

Attitude: Businesslike, detail oriented.

Use of Time: Disciplined, slow paced

Question: How can your solution solve the problem?

Approach: Provide hard evidence and superior service.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.


Sensing-judging people, Expressives, need to belong. They often feel that they must earn a place by belonging, by being useful, fulfilling responsibilities, being of service, giving to and caring for others instead of receiving from them. These individuals are very creative and entertaining. They enjoy helping others and are particularly fond of socializing. They are usually slow to reach a decision.

Attitude: Personal, relationship oriented.

Use of Time: Undisciplined, fast paced

Question: Who has used your solution to solve my problem?

Approach: Offer testimonials and incentives.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.


Assertives, guided by intuition and thinking, seek competence in themselves and others. They want to understand and control life. Driven by curiosity, the Assertive is often preoccupied with learning twenty-four hours a day. These individuals have a deep appreciation for challenges. They enjoy being in control, are goal oriented and are looking for methods for completing tasks. They are usually quick to reach a decision.

Attitude: Businesslike, power oriented.

Use of Time: Disciplined, fast paced

Question: What can your solution do for me?

Approach: Provide options, probabilities and challenges.

Sample Copy:

Our approach is personalized to meet your objectives. The bottom line is that your results are guaranteed. Explore our methodology to discover how thousands of clients just like you have been delighted.

Now, a few closing caveats. Humans are amazingly complex creatures, and any classification attempt is a simplification of this complexity. On top of that, no one person is all one personality type. You folks are delightful mixtures - one type may predominate, but others come into play, often influenced by environmental factors, social factors, even ephemeral moods. So, even though you may know for a fact that 72 percent of your visitors are Analyticals, that doesn't mean you can design a conversion process that appeals only to the analytical profile! And it's a big reason why we encourage clients to create multiple but interlinking paths in which their visitors can "self-serve" the customer experience they prefer.

Once you understand these profiles, you can create a website that appeals to your visitors' needs and helps persuade them as they most like to be persuaded. Knowing who your visitors are is going to influence everything you do on your website, from how you structure your selling process, how and where you place different categories of information, what calls to action you provide, how you write your copy, all the way through to the colors you choose.

Powerful stuff, eh? You betcha!



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Web analytic software takes raw data and turns it into structured information in the form of reports. Once we understand the inter-relationships of the data we gain knowledge that allows us to take action.

Future Now announces their completely revised calculators. If you want to get a better understanding of what your visitors are doing on your website and increase your online sales download them now.


Don’t Blow Your Fuse(box)

You've thoroughly planned the purpose of every page and identified every dynamic link in your website (Wireframe Yourself ). You've elaborated all the design and content features (Behind the Scenes) and have created templates of how the finished product will actually work ((Proto)Type-Cast Yourself! ). Now it's time to hand your baby over to the folks who are going to develop your applications. How do you start?

You've got my sympathy - bet you think you're about to navigate a minefield and somebody forgot to give you a map! So I've asked my pal John Quarto-vonTivadar, strategic planner extraordinaire and co-author with Hal Helms of Code Rutters: Discovering Fusebox to help you understand how developers work. When it comes to this stuff, he's the "horse's mouth!" Is he biased? Yep. He wants to make your job (and his job, truth be told) easier, faster and cheaper! He's a big believer in an open development methodology, and I'd like him to tell you why …

When it comes to assembling the actual programming architecture of your website, development teams use one of 4 methodologies:

No Methodology. What gets done and how it gets accomplished depends on the experience and skill of which ever team member is working on it at the moment. If development is analogous to constructing a house, the No Methodology approach is like letting the construction crew work on stuff any way they want. While that might work for re-painting the rec room, who wants to be standing on the 25th floor of a building built this way? It's the start-each-project-from-scratch approach, trouble-shooting problems as they arise, and it works as well as any other approach for small projects (up to the point where it stops working, typically at 3am, and the desperate search for something - anything - that will bring the project back on track begins).

Because projects are handled as they come in and there is typically no organizational strategy to guide the implement of projects, the No Methodology approach spells disaster for project maintenance, which can account for up to 80% of a project’s cost. If you do things differently every time, the odds you'll remember how you did something six months later are slim to none.

Best Developers Method. Get the best developers you can (at whatever cost) then step aside and let them do whatever they want. What you essentially get is a bunch of lone-star gunmen in cowboy hats sitting in their cubicles typing out code and the mysteries of the universe. But if 70% of all software projects fail, then the Best Developers Methodology means that even when you have the best talent, you still risk a 7-in-10 failure rate. The problem is this: "Best Developers” do not necessarily equate with “best practices.” It can feel pretty defeating when you hire the best (who are purportedly at the cutting edge of their field) and conclude with a failure.

“Secret” Methodology. There is a methodology here (usually), but its proprietary. Remember the quote from Top Gun, “I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you” ? In this case, the problem isn't with the success of the methodology itself, it lies in the costs: a development house with a proprietary methodology has to invest capital getting new developers up to speed. Guess where they recoup that investment.

When it comes to handling ensuing versions (the part where you spend 80% of the project's cost), you are constrained to stay with these developers - after all, they are the only ones who understand the secret techniques. They can afford to produce a lower-profit first version, nodding sagely as they speak of recently uncovered secrets known only to Ancient Babylonians - and very often they do deliver a phenomenal debut, fully aware they’ve got a monopoly on the other 4/5th of your project budget. This game has a name! (Hint: there's a space called "Boardwalk," and it's the most expensive square on the game board.)

Open Methodology. This approach is based on a publicly-known, standard set of processes, and the benefits to developers and clients are significant. Developers know learning these techniques is an investment in their own futures, as they are employable at any development house using the same open standards. The development business model benefits too: since there are known standards, the development house needn't invest in teaching the process to new members. With a supply of educated talent available, a development house can expand staff to suit its scale and handle more projects. It can also quickly leverage any investment in tools it develops to match the open standard, saving time and money.

These advantages spell good things for you. You can accurately judge the bids for your project. And you aren't tied to one development team for subsequent versions - any team employing the open methodology can bid competitively and understand the work that has been done to date. You save precious time and money!

One of the most exciting Open Methodologies is called Fusebox, widely popular with development houses because its techniques, although originally developed for ColdFusion, can be applied easily to ASP, PHP, JSP, or any development language of your choice.

Fusebox employs three critical principles:

Modularity. A project is divided into small component pieces, each tightly defined. In Fusebox these are called “fuses,” and related fuses are grouped together in “circuits.” Because it’s modular, difference pieces can be distributed to different groups.

Severability. Each fuse is self-contained - the fuse, the whole fuse and nothing but the fuse. References to other fuses are set as variables. If those references change, the fuse in question doesn't have to be modified.

For example: Imagine you are coding highway exits: Exit 64, Harry's Diner and Devil's Canyon State Park. If you code these into every related fuse and the highway exits get renumbered, or Harry's closes down or Devil's Canyon goes condo, then you have to remember every place they appear in your code so you can update them. But suppose you assigned variables instead of specifics to every fuse ahead of time?

onTargetExit = "Exit 64"

onHunger = "Harry's Diner"

onSiteFeature = "Devil's Canyon State Park"

Your fuse references the variable and accesses the "value." So when Harry sells out to McDonalds, you simply redefine the specific

onHunger = "McDonalds"

and it is passed along to every fuse using that reference. You don't have to track down or remember a thing!

Because modules are severable, developers can construct each simultaneously without worrying the work will conflict with something somewhere else in the code.

Clarity. "Fusedocs" are structured comments that document the interface between modules (“fuses” and “circuits”). They are so popular and clear that I see people using Fusedocs even when they aren't using Fusebox! With this defining clarity at hand, each team working on a modular piece knows exactly how that piece will interact with others.

These principles give Fusebox the power and flexibility to allow for fast development. You get a series of code that can be dropped into place and works seamlessly - and no module had to be built in conjunction with any other modular piece. The end result is a tremendous savings in time and money - and sanity.


Well worth thinking about, partners in ebusiness! To learn more, point your mouse in the direction of, where you can view examples and demo applications. Just when your plan starts coming together, there's no reason to blow a fuse, is there?



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P.S. If you enjoyed this issue, why not share it with your colleagues and friends?
They'll appreciate it.

GROK is taken from the landmark novel "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Robert A. Heinlein. It is a Martian word that implies the presence of intimate and exhaustive knowledge and understanding. Our "GROK" is a keen observer of the world around him and he takes a particular interest in the World Wide Web. The folks at Future Now like him a lot because he's taught them that "sometimes the price of clarity is the risk of insult."

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