Thursday, January 31, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Writing online copy

Check out my post on the Bplans Blog today about writing & testing online marketing copy.

Who do you trust?

It turns out that Verisign can charge a HUGE price premium for their SSL certificates simply because their security badge is better designed than any of the "budget" SSL providers. The kicker is this: almost all SLL certificates are made equal! Your end users get the same security regardless of the provider.

That said, users probably trust some brands more than others or, more likely, trust some graphic design more than others. Looking at them images above, it's easy to figure out which providers are the budget ones and which might be more expensive. Which would you trust?

So, if I ran GoDaddy, wouldn't I want to invest $1,000 or $2,000 to get a really good security badge? After all, as a certificate provider, you're not really selling security, you're selling the image of security. Online marketers that run shopping carts will buy the certificate that looks the best, even at a price premium. So... Thawte, GoDaddy, go buy some good graphic design talent and win not only on price but on consumer trust.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What did you fix?

Joel Spolsky has a great post about problem solving over on his blog. The post is a fun read for geeks but no normal person will get through the first few paragraphs. This is unfortunate as the real salient advice comes towards the end of his post. To solve his problem,
...we borrowed an idea from Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota. He calls it Five Whys. When something goes wrong, you ask why, again and again, until you ferret out the root cause. Then you fix the root cause, not the symptoms.
This is fantastic advice for any business. How often do we only work on solving the symptoms of a real problem? How often do we only ask why once when we are trying to figure out customer behavior?

All businesses should ask why more often when they are looking to fix problems - not just problems with hardware or software, but problems with marketing strategy, business partnerships, and sales pipeline issues.

Did you ask why today?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008