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1

Spending on advertising vs. customer experience

What is most profitable? Investing in marketing to drive traffic to a web site or investing in the customer experience of the site?

According to ICE, it's insane to begin anywhere else than improving customer experience. "If you were throwing a party, wouldn't you clean up your house before you invited people over?"

By improving the customer experience, we improve conversion rate and can make more money with fewer people.

To maximize return on investments, the only smart move is to begin with customer experience and spend money on driving traffic to the site later on.

Links:

  • Put Your Money Where The Experience Is

Henrik Olsen - March 14, 2006

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See also: Cost-justification and ROI (19) 


 

2

Designing pages listing links to content

According to Jared Spool, gallery pages - pages listing links to content pages - are the hardest working pages on a web site. They separate those users who find the content they are looking for from the users who don't.

Studies by UIE show that when gallery pages don't contain the information that users will need to make their choice, they have to resort to "pogosticking" - jumping back and forth between the gallery and the content pages hoping they'll eventually hit the content they desire.

UIE also noticed that users expect the most important items to always be listed first in the gallery. If the first few items aren't of interest, they often assume the rest will be even less interesting.

Links:

  • Galleries: The Hardest Working Page on Your Site

Henrik Olsen - December 01, 2005

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See also: Research (93)  Sections (5)  Web page design (23)  Navigation (46) 


 

3

Setting goals and measuring success for web sites

With this free e-book by Steve Jackson, editor of Conversion Chronicles, you can learn the basics of how to set up measurable goals for web site conversion, how to reach your goals through persuasive design and how to measure success with web site statistic tools.

You have to sign up for their newsletter to get the e-book (they are taking their own medicine and use the book to boost their newsletter conversion and prospect acquisition).

Links:

  • The e-book Learn before you spend

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2005

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See also: Online books (5)  Books (32)  Web log analysis (7) 


 

4

11 ways to improve landing pages

When visitors click an online promotional creative they arrive at a landing page. The purpose of the landing page is to make the visitor do something (e.g. register for a newsletter or buy a product). Michael Nguyen gives 11 tips on how to make visitors take that desired action, where these five seem to be the most important:

- Eliminate unneeded elements that can distract visitors
- Make the landing page match the creative
- Remove navigation that isn't important to the conversion process
- Avoid the urge to promote or link to other areas of your site
- Place important elements above the "fold"

Links:

  • The article 11 Ways to Improve Landing Pages

Henrik Olsen - July 12, 2005

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See also: E-commerce (21)  Sections (5)  Web page design (23)  Tips and guidelines (65) 


 

5

Segmenting online customers by behaviour

According to the authors of this article, the most effective segmentation scheme for online consumers is to group them by their online behaviour.

They have defined seven segments:

- Quickies (8%): Short visits to a few familiar sites.
- Just the Facts (15%): Search for specific information from known sites.
- Single Mission (7%): Information gathering or completion of a certain task at an unfamiliar site.
- Do It Again (14%): Visits to favourite sites.
- Loitering (16%): Longer leisure visits to familiar sites.
- Information, Please (17%): In-depth information gathering from a range of unfamiliar sites.
- Surfing (23%): Short visits to a lot of mostly unfamiliar sites.

The authors claim that by decoding the type of behaviour users are engaged in, online marketers will raise the odds of communicating with their target consumers at the time they are most likely to pay attention to and be influenced by offers.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - February 07, 2005

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See also: Requirement Analysis (12)  E-commerce (21)  Research (93) 


 

6

How to harvest offline customers using the internet

Since many customers research online and buy offline, there's big money in using the internet to harvest leads for offline sales. According to Bryan Eisenberg, retail sites should account for the different needs that customers have in the buying decision cycle to qualify, persuade, and eventually turn them into offline buyers.

Links:

  • The article Optimize Your Site for Lead Generation

Henrik Olsen - October 23, 2004

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See also: E-commerce (21) 


 

7

Supporting customers' decision-making process

The Q2 2003 issue of GUUUI is about how people buy. Research shows that many commerce sites fail in supporting customers' decision-making process, by not taking their information needs into consideration. The article takes a look at how we can tackle this problem.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 01, 2003

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8

Andrew Chak on persuasive design

In the latest newsletter from UIE, Jared Spool writes:

"designers always get cautious when we start talking about creating a persuasive design. They think we're suggesting that they somehow should try to deceive their users."

I've experienced similar reactions to my article Business-centred design.

UIE has an interview with Andrew Chak, author of the excellent book Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Websites, which elaborates on the subject of persuasive design.

Here are a few highlights from the interview:

"Persuasive Design is not about manipulating users into doing something they don't want to do. Instead, the goal of Persuasive Design is to get users to make the right decision."

"Persuasive design is not just about influence. It's about understanding the user's decision process and providing the information and tools to help facilitate a decision."

Links:

  • The interview with Andrew Chak
  • Andrew Chak's book at amazon.com
  • Andrew Chak's book at amazon.co.uk

Henrik Olsen - February 13, 2003 - via UIEtips Email Newsletter

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See also: Interviews (10) 


 

9

Merchandising with planograms

In two subsequent articles Martin Lindstrom from Clickz.com discusses the practices of up- and cross-selling used by brick-and-mortar retail stores and the potential in applying their principles to the web. The key is planogramming.

"A planogram is a detailed and thoroughly thought-through map that determines where every product in an establishment should be situated. It illustrates not only in what area every product should be placed but also on which shelf every item should be accommodated. Shelf by shelf, aisle by aisle, the planogram assigns selling potential to every item in a store."

Links:

  • The article Webogram Power, Part 1
  • The article Webogram Power, Part 2

Henrik Olsen - December 05, 2002

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10

The Search For Seducible Moments

UIE takes a look at how to entice users to explore content they aren't necessarily seeking. They compare how Sears and Dell have tried to solve this common problem through the design of their sites.

"It's rare where we get a situation like we have with these two sites. They are basically the same, offering high-priced products with available financing. In this analysis, we can see how two sites handle seducible moments. Sears struggles to convince users to apply for financing, whereas Dell has an easier time. The difference between the sites is not in the content, but in the design."

Links:

  • The article The Search For Seducible Moments

Henrik Olsen - November 10, 2002

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