Monday, August 21, 2006

Visualize Your eCommerce Visitors with

I found a cool new site by reading articles on Digg. It’s called, and it helps you “visualize your visitors.” You put a little piece of script at the bottom of the pages you want to track (the free version includes two pages). That script tracks the clicks visitors perform at your site, so you get a visual reading of where things are happening. There’s even a ‘heatmap’ filter that shows you the hot spots on your pages.

You’d normally do this with logs, of course, but the idea is quite novel. By seeing the spots that are hot, for example, you can play with ad placement and email marketing sign up form placement.

I should warn you that the site seems a bit hard-pressed to keep up with the traffic generated by the Digg article. I’ve been having some timeouts as I test it.

Please let me know what your experience is with this tool. I think it’s kinda cool and would love to hear your input.

P.S. knocked 32% off the cover price of "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing"(McGraw-Hill, 2005). sells if for 36% off!

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

How to Build Referral Activity Into Your Pricing Conversation

John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing recently posted a good tip (in a series) that shows you one way to boost referral activity, a marketing necessity to those in service-oriented industries.

My question -- which you'll see in the comments on John's post - is: What's a good way to present this in a new customer situation?

I've been thinking about it, and it seems like you could make the referral offer contigent on your stellar initial performance, of course. Most of my work pays off after completion, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Of course, one of the big issues here is gaining agreement. If you can have your prospective customer verbally or in email commit to a referral or two, you're golden. Most professionals stick to their word, so you'll get the referral in most cases, and you'll have an opportunity to remind them in the future without seeming like you're being a pest. The thing is to make sure you don't gloss over this agreement step. People need formal to semi-formal acknowledgement of the arrangement so they're clear about their committment.

Friday, August 11, 2006

How Giving Stuff Away Makes You Money - Freebie Marketing 101

Why Giving away Freebies Promotes Sales

Give away something original, artistic, informative or of recognizable value and your sales will increase. End of story.

This little tip has been working for centuries. It’s built into our societal code of ethics, our culture, and our collective behavioral systems. People reciprocate when they are given a gift. It doesn’t matter if they don’t like the gift or the giver. They feel an obligation to reciprocate.

You may say: ‘Hey, that’s not me. I don’t feel obligated to reciprocate.’ You may eat the cheese at the supermarket freebie station and pass on purchasing. You may receive personalized address labels from the American Heart Association, actually use them and then still toss the donation card into the garbage. It’s probably because you recognize and analyze the marketing concepts at work and second-guess your impulses.

Most people do reciprocate, though. On impulse, we’re trained to reciprocate and feel guilt and shame when we don’t live up to that contract. Giving back provides closure when we’ve been given to.

You can really see the power of the contract in action when you try to return or refuse a gift. Have you ever been given a gift and then decided to give it back after accepting it? You usually don’t give it back because you don’t want it or you can’t use it. You give it back because you don’t want to be bound by the reciprocation contract. You don’t want to be obligated to the exchange relationship. When you accept gifts, you accept the reciprocation obligation. This is where the phrase “much obliged” comes from.

Remember, gift giving in combination with originality increases sales conversions. Address labels and cheese samples are pretty worn concepts. Think creatively and offer value. Simple art, inside information and inspirational gifts will help your generosity stand out and your prospects remember this unclosed loop of debt.

P.S. knocked 32% off the cover price of "The 7 Essential Steps to Successful eBay Marketing" (McGraw-Hill, 2005). sells if for 36% off!

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