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6 posts from August 2009

Give then receive

Take a gamble on the value of the content on your web site. If it's actually valuable, your visitors will reward you by coming back, sharing and even registering. Another good point is that the people who register afterwards are a better match to what you provide (pre-qualified).

FutureLab Marketing & Strategy Innovation blog: Collecting Visitor Info: Reward vs. Reciprocity, 2009-Aug-29, by Roger Dooley:

In fact, most users confronted with a form won’t complete it....a reciprocity strategy works better – give them the info they want, and then ask for their information. In the impressively titled Embedded Persuasive Strategies to Obtain Visitors’ Data, Gamberini et al found that twice as many visitors gave up their information if they were able to access the information first.

Credibility from outside in

Making your web site credible is more important than making it 'sticky.' In Edward Tufte's recent interview with MIT Sloan Management Review, he recommends sharing verifiable facts, using as many outbound links as possible so your visitors can get third-party support in understanding you.

Innovation Playground: Edward Tufte On The Very Very Very Bad Design Of Corporate Web Sites, 2009-Aug-18, by Idris Mootee

People are inherently distrustful of them. And yet most of those sites are, in fact, about reporting facts. But they get softened up by the marketing people. You get all these pressures that tend to normalize design, that tend to make it like other corporations and that make things intellectually flabby and visually flabby. They turn into pitches.

Beat subscription risk

No one ever asks for more email. They may be anxious to know about your next sale or what new products are arriving, but they will never subscribe unless you make it clear that it's the only way to find out. Michael Katz of Blue Penguin Development recently explained it well.

E-Newsletter On E-Newsletters: Kick Open Your Front Door, 2009-Aug-21, by Michael Katz:

Nobody in 2009 is looking for more stuff to subscribe to… you need to convince them. ... A sales page is a single page, somewhere on your web site, whose sole function is to convince people to take the plunge. (Here's the one I use.)

Don't turn your customers into targets

Recently I was describing what I do, when someone said, 'oh, that's target marketing,' and I was dismayed without knowing why. A couple of days later, Doc Searls resurrected something he wrote before The Cluetrain Manifesto, and the reason hit me. 'Target marketing' sounds like 20th century corporate warfare.

Doc Searls Weblog: Reality 1.995.12, 2009-Aug-10, by Doc Searls

As more customers come into direct contact with suppliers, markets for suppliers will change from target populations to conversations.

Feed News Nuggets to your Leads

Over at Green Leads, Mike Damphousse has built a magnificent marketkeeping system. Although his business is focused on business-to-business lead generation, his comments are true for any audience—all people are hungry for news. (It's called the 'awareness instinct.')

Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog: Demand Generation and Social Media, 2009-Aug-8, Interview by Jon Miller:

Executives are information sponges. They want nuggets of data and knowledge that will help them do their jobs.... If they downloaded a whitepaper or clicked through a newsletter, it doesn't mean they are ready to buy. It means they are thinking of you and they will most likely be more receptive to additional touches.

Let my people sample

Good commentary offers a way for people to sample your mind, to figure out if you are on the same wavelink. To find people who share my values, I want to sample their thinking. The article below is about physical samples, but mental samples count, too!

AdWeek: Sampling Inspires Repeat Purchases, 2009-Aug-4, by Ken Hein:

...sampling programs drove a 475 percent sales lift the day of the event compared to non-sampled households, per the "Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness" conducted by Knowledge Networks-PDI. Those who sampled an item were 11 percent more likely to purchase it again during the 20-week period that followed.