Is Google Using Pop Ups?

Does this Chrome promotion count as a pop-up on Google’s home page?

Is Google using Pop Ups?

(Click the image for a larger version.)

Sprig Runs The Teaser-Trailer Technique

I outlined the Teaser-Trailer Technique over on Neil’s blog (it’s the first case study).

So it was a pleasant surprise to find, mmidst the many Thanksgiving promotions, Sprig running this very strategy.

Here’s the Teaser I got on Wednesday, prepping me for the action:

Notice they didnt’ share all the details. Makes you want to open the next message to get the details.

And here’s what landed:

I expected it Friday morning, but it actually came Thursday night. That’s why midnight isn’t a great time to start or finish something: I never know which day they’re actually talking about.

Either way, I hope it worked out well for them. If a business like Sprig can run this strategy, anyone can.

Which of These 3 Case Studies Will Work For You?

November 2007 was a weird couple weeks.

It was my third month on the job and I’d just received management duties for an entire business unit. While this was a sweet opportunity, it came with high stakes: I was expected to grow revenue immediately. It didn’t matter that I was a rookie and the previous manager had been a vet.

Sometimes, you either perform or get out of the way.

Somehow, I figured out how to do it. That first month I set a new revenue record for that business. Then I re-set the record the 2nd month. Then did it again the third.

In this post I’m going to give you 3 promotional strategies I discovered during and after that time.

From my guest post over at Quick Sprout.

Facts don’t persuade unless you also have…


A common thought I run into with web start up folks is that “persuasion” and “conversion” equate to a polished presentation of facts. As our good man in the video notes, facts alone won’t get you far. Instead, first start with  your prospect’s beliefs and then walk her through whatever process needed to reach your conclusion.

Kia’s VP Marketing on Facebook Advertising Effectiveness

Mr. Sprague said he’s unclear if “a consumer sees my ad, and does that ultimately lead to a new vehicle sale?” (WSJ)

Oh how I wish I could be so willy nilly with my ad budgets.

Update: So many money quotes in that article. I can’t resist adding this contender:

For now, “being on Facebook sends a message,” said Mr. Sprague. “Consumers they say ‘Facebook is working with Kia, I like Facebook ergo I like Kia.’ That’s what we are hoping for.”

Must be nice to have the luxury to hope for your success.

Ad Watch

I’m curious about this call to action. Does anyone actually want to watch a commercial?

The Daily Mail’s Marketing Ingenuity

There’s a great recent New Yorker article talking about the Daily Mail’s rise to success. Regardless of your opinion about the paper’s content, the folks running it sure know what they’re doing (bolding is mine):

Dacre was born in London in 1948. His father, Peter, an orphan who had made his way from Yorkshire to Fleet Street, worked as a show-biz editor for the Sunday Express. His mother, Joan, a teacher, bore five sons, of whom Paul was the eldest. The family lived in Arnos Grove, a middle-class area just north of the city. Dacre still thinks of his childhood neighborhood as the spiritual habitat of his archetypal reader: “Its inhabitants were frugal, reticent, utterly self-reliant, and immensely aspirational. They were also suspicious of progressive values, vulgarity of any kind, self-indulgence, pretentiousness, and people who know best.” Friday nights, Dacre would rush to grab the carbon-copy black out of his father’s briefcase. The ticking of a telex machine lulled him to sleep.

“From virtually the moment I was born, I wanted to be an editor,” Dacre told the Society of Editors in 2008. “Not just wanted, if I’m being honest. Hungered. Lusted with a passion that while unfulfilled, would gnaw at my entrails.” He won a scholarship to a private school, where he edited the campus magazine. One of the first issues, an “achingly dull” examination of the preacher Billy Graham, who was touring Britain at the time, “went down like a sodden hot cross bun.” The next month, he sneaked some expletives into the magazine. He realized, he said, that “sensation sells.”

And then:

Mensch told me that she “doesn’t sit comfortably” with the Mail’s social illiberalism, but that she and her friends are nevertheless addicted, especially to the Web site. “One of the reasons it’s so egregious is because it’s so readable,” she said. “We’re clicking on ‘Oh my God, one of the WAGs couldn’t put her hair up because she’d freshly painted her nails’ ”—this was a real item on Mail Online—“and then you’re thinking, Why am I reading this? I’m an adult.”

One more dandy:

Clarke and his staff built the site by instinct. “I didn’t look at that many Web sites for design ideas,” he told me. Formally, they stuck with what they knew, developing a publishing system that allows them to put together the home page with the glue-pot flexibility of a newspaper, rather than having to slot stories into a template. The home page is hectic, with hundreds of stories competing for the reader’s attention. It is unusually long—literally, like a scroll—as are its headlines. (Both tactics help to bolster its search-engine rankings.) It uses far more pictures, and in larger sizes, than its competitors. “The site breaks all so-called ‘usability rules,’ ” Clarke said. “It’s user-friendly for normal people, not for Internet fanatics.”

My takeaways:

  • The paper clearly knows who its customer is and what she responds to. They deeply understand how the average human is feeling and she views the world.
  • They know where her hot buttons are and how to push them. Sensation, however you define it in your market, will always draw eye balls.
  • Readability and simplicity in communication is so often overlooked. Don’t let your words get in the way of the message you wish to convey. Even the cultured folk were getting sucked in by the paper’s easy words.


Raising Objections: How Dollar Shave Club Could Boost Conversion

Dollar Shave Club is a very cool new service. Sign up and they send you new razors every month at a sweet price.

As I perused the site one question jumped out at me, “How are they able to offer razors so cheaply? Can the blades really be that high of quality at these price points?”

My guess is they manufacture the blades themselves and, because they’re selling direct to consumer, there aren’t middlemen bumping up the prices on the way to whatever retail outlet. The only reason I know this is because I have experience manufacturing products. Most people will not.

As such, they might consider proactively offering this explanation somewhere in the conversion flow. Raise the objection before the prospect identifies it himself and then conquer it with a simple explanation. And that eliminates one more barrier to the sale.

Subscription models in the startup world

It’s interesting to watch the startup community discover the benefits of a subscription model.

The direct response world has known this for years. You sell a customer once, then benefit from numerous transactions. Especially with consumables, this makes it super simple to create sky high customer lifetime values.

They’ve discovered the model, now the next step is learning how to make it convert. I think we DR marketers could  help with that.

Resistant to Change

Apple is cannibalizing its own tablet sales.

It can be hard to change when you’re experiencing partial success. You’re making $10k per month, but the jump to $20k may require substantial change to your processes, marketing, or product line. Some times, such a change also requires your revenue to initially decline before it grows back up to that next higher level.

These clients — those experiencing partial success — may be the hardest clients to help. They are afraid to kill what they worked so hard to achieve, which is completely natural.

However, bold improvements come from bold moves. Two things to realize:

  1. If you continue doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue getting what you’ve always gotten.
  2. If you don’t try it, it is inevitable that your competitor will. If it works, all that you’ve worked for will slowly (or quickly) erode to her.

So that’s the choice. Do you want your competitor to try something new and cannibalize your sales… or do you want to do it to yourself but keep the reward?