Archive for November, 2009

Making web ads that click…or that make people click.

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I read a piece the other day that really got to me.  It talked about a book that discussed a study of what draws people to a web ad.

Now you have to understand I’ve spent my whole career working hard to create advertising that has stopping power — ads, commercials, direct mail pieces, etc. that have a unique graphic, message or story that attracts people’s attention.

But the study found that what draws people to a web ad isn’t fancy graphics or animation. It’s text. Plain ol’ text. (more…)

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What my yoga teacher taught me about business development

Monday, November 9th, 2009

A couple of times a week I take a wonderful yoga class at the SportsClub LA. What makes it special is more than the physical exercise; I also go for the metaphors on life that my instructor, Chad Hamrin, points out during every class. Using wisdom and humor, he shows us how the challenges of doing the poses translate into common sense lessons we can apply to the challenges we face in our daily lives. (more…)

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How not to write an email subject line.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The two most important factors that determine whether an email is opened are the From line and the Subject line. Obviously, if the From is someone they’re familiar with, the odds of the email being opened are increased.
The Subject line can also  make a big difference.  Here are some things to avoid.
•    The word “Free” is a killer.  Don’t use it.  It’s a prime target of spam filters and it’s likely your email won’t get through.
•    These seemingly safer words won’t trigger the robotic spam filters but will probably trigger the human spam filter at the other end: “Help”, “% off” and “Reminder.”  Studies show that the open rates for emails with these in the subject line are abysmal.
•    Although there are some exceptions, generally subject lines with more than 50 characters have poor open rates.
•    And avoid ending a subject line with a “!”.  People have an emotional response to exclamation marks, viewing them as pushy and hard sell.  Don’t use them!

Note: This post is reprised from the first issue of our newsletter, “On the Level”.  So many of our readers commented on how valuable they found the information that we’ve added it as a blog entry. What have your experiences been with subject lines? Let us know if you have anything to add.

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