22 June, 2015

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Better “About Us” Content

The content many businesses want to focus on is the stuff about them. But there is a fine line between too much about the company and not enough attention focused on the prospective customer. Sites that begin with writing all about themselves and never stop are out of touch with their customers. Customers DO want […]

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16 March, 2015

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Getting attention and changing behavior: an experiment in thinking outside the box

An ingenious experiment in thinking outside the box is afoot in Hayward California in an area of a neighborhood infamous for speedsters. Signs aimed at both drivers and pedestrians have made national news for their quirky snarkiness. Goal: to wake people up from their stupor and distraction and change in-grained human behavior. I can’t even […]

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18 January, 2015

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Missed Message

Starry starry night…Princess Cruises partners with Discovery to offer star gazing cruises. I have seen the TV spot a few times now. It’s a unique idea and the spot closes with a dad gazing happily at the night sky with his young son at his side. In a voiceover that’s supposed to be his recorded […]

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28 December, 2014

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Copywriters–Choice Architects?

Until I picked up the book Nudge (Thaler and Sunstein) a few years ago I’d never heard the term “choice architecture.” Choice architecture as described by Richard Thaler is, in a nutshell: “the careful design of the environments in which people make choices.” And, Thaler continued, “If anything you do influences the way people choose, […]

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15 December, 2014

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Small Copy; Big Changes

“Mortgage troubles?” “Mortgage in trouble?” Two very similar questions, but so different at the same time. The first is personal–focus on the actual individual– almost accusatory. The second adds only 1 tiny word and yet the focus is shifted, not so personal, not accusatory, a scenario in which the mortgage itself becomes the subject of […]

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18 November, 2014

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Where’s the Unique Value Proposition?

I had two auto insurance companies send me direct mail pieces in the mail and it just so happened that I received them on the same day. Both use the “you can save more money with us” headline and pitch. Side by side, they looked, sounded, and smelled no different from one another. Nothing specific, […]

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10 June, 2014

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What a Sentence

Unless you’re Thomas Wolfe (not Tom Wolfe…THOMAS Wolfe–Of Time and the River, You Can’t Go Home Again, Look Homeward Angel, etc.) a sentence ought never to be a paragraph. This is the only author who can write a mile long sentence and make it artworthy.   Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style is a […]

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31 May, 2014

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What You Can Do With Video Transcripts

In my previous post, I argued that making your web content as conveniently accessible to all users as possible offers a VALUE benefit to your business or website. And I used Agora Financial as an example of a best practice model worth following–they regularly format their direct response newsletters as video presentations, but offer visitors […]

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31 May, 2014

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If Your Content is Valuable–Then Prove It

Giving customers, readers, and clients/customers access to your valuable content. Force website visitors to watch a video or offer a companion transcript? Have a free report you’re offering–are you limiting access to this content?   I have heard people in my industry argue that it’s “confusing” to customers/clients/readers to offer them multiple calls to action […]

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23 May, 2014

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Testing Prove’s Sales Headline Structure

Which Test Won’s test of the week tested one of my favorite tests–headline structure and content.   You can sell ice to an eskimo with a properly written headline. WTW calls it “story”but it’s more specific than that. By being specific and creating an image in the prospective customer’s head that implies benefit–that’s what allows […]

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8 May, 2014

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Does Neatness Count?

Depends on what argument is most appealing! A messy desk kills your career on one hand, but in the book A Perfect Mess: the Benefits of Disorder, authors argue that neatniks are productivity killers and that the world is an overall better place when a little mess and chaos are allowed to remain. In my […]

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6 November, 2013

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Marketing Research

Meclabs quarterly research digest is hot off the presses and a can’t miss for anyone who does anything online. The PDF is over 200 pages featuring pearls of wisdom gleaned from scientific testing. Most interesting to me are those tests measuring long versus short copy. And, no, shorter isn’t automatically better. In fact, Meclabs has […]

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5 November, 2013

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Tuesday Tip: Copywriting That Works

Originally posted on Insight Marketing Solutions – Outsource Marketing:
  When writing copy on any platform for your business, you’re technically always selling. Whether it’s your brand personality or a particular one of your products, your “sell” will only work if it’s authentic. Step into the mindset of your target market and think about the…

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5 November, 2013

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Best in Voice….

Thank God for Duluth Trading Company’s consistent and fearless devotion to its own true voice. Here is an enviable mix of humor, snarkiness, and just plain old mojo.   The company’s catalog has been a favorite of mine for the last 4 years, with copy like: “Free-swinging flannel shirts” that “turn you into a lumberjack” […]

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30 October, 2013

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On Momentum

Anyone who says it’s good to take a break from blogging is lying. Maybe if you blog to excess. But I’ve taken a 3 month break and it’s only languished because I’ve lost my momentum. And that’s a big factor for a blog, as well as for any other effort in life. Let’s take the […]

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24 June, 2013

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All About Web Copy

Jacob Nielsen’s Alertbox today proves some site users may read copy on a webpage quite extensively particularly when it is designed and written properly. The eye tracking studies done on this are great. The article again reinforces the “F” shaped pattern that most people adhere to when scanning a webpage. Funny, b/c I’ve overheard more […]

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