NOTE: Denny personally responds to all e-mail correspondences (unless the e-mail address is somehow missing).
Readers Respond to “Eminent Domains: Is Yours One?” published July 25, 2006.
Love your newsletter, and it is a big part of inspiring me to think differently about everything, and to observe and pay attention to the obvious. I just came across a new phone service, but maybe it is not so new in your world, and I think it will be an interesting thing for you to get perspective on. Most people under age 30 are so electronic savvy, and the amp’d mobile is the phone they have been waiting for. I am 46 and thinking I should jump on the bandwagon so I do not miss out. Visit www.ampdmobile.com. I have no affiliation with this service or product, for some reason, I thought of you writing about it. That is so I can check myself and see why I am pulled toward this product??? Good Web site also, in reference to your article from yesterday. Keep on writing …
Hey Denny, here’s a way to remember your password EVERY time, and not use the same one over and over. If you usually use “1234” for a password... you break it up with the first 4 letters of the vendor in the middle. Example: For your Chase banking account: 12CHAS34. For your Barnes&Nobles account: 12BARN34. For your Nordstrom account: 12NORD34. See? Easy! And you can adjust it however you want, perhaps the entire first word (12chase34). Have a great day!
I’m a few years away from working with any catalogers on a regular basis, but when I was, one of the most productive cells for any cataloger was [another] catalog packed with an order. The in-pack catalog ran neck and neck with past 3-month buyers for response rates. Now, for some folks, it might seem counter-intuitive that someone who just ordered and received merchandise would need a catalog and want to order again, but order they did. Today, almost every Internet retailer I do business with puts nothing in the shipments they send me except a packing list. No “Thank you for ordering with us.” No “Here’s an incentive to order again.” No “Here’s 20 new products you might not know we carry.” I get a box, my stuff, a packing list, and dunnage. And they don’t even use their own medium to keep in touch. I can’t think of ever getting an email after a purchase that acknowledges what I just bought, and offers additional products that might be good add-ons. Amazon does something like this with their “People who bought this also bought these” technology. It really wouldn’t be very difficult to program something like this. Junk mail is mail sent to someone who isn’t in the market for what you’re selling. If it’s appropriate to what someone needs or wants, then it’s not junk; it’s great marketing. That same holds true for email, send offers that correspond to what I want or need (or just purchased), then stand back and watch the orders flow in. I’m stunned at how few of today’s marketers don’t have a clue about the lessons their forebears learned about selling from a distance. Keep up the good work.
Here’s another random thought you might do something with. When a newspaper sends out a photographer, they don’t take one picture, say “Thanks” and leave. They shoot dozens of images. I can understand why they only print one image in the physical newspaper (if they print one at all).But why do some many of the on-line outlets for newspapers insist on not using more of the images the photographer captured? The object of the game in the on-line newspaper game is to make your Web site as “sticky” as possible to keep the viewer around longer to see more advertisements. Show me one picture and you can put one ad next to it. Let me see a dozen pictures from the same story, and you have the opportunity to show me a dozen ads alongside those images. Some papers are doing some of this, but it’s often haphazard and inconsistent. And too many papers insist on only using a small, low-resolution image on their Web sites, without offering a larger version, and I mean twice size or better. Pictures tells stories in ways that words can’t. And while one picture may be worth a thousand words, five or six pictures can tell the whole story. Cheers!
One other thing: I saw from your recent column that you’re using some Macs. I couldn’t tell if you’ve got one of the newer Intel-based Macs, but if you do, and you need to run Windows, there’s a great product called Parallels Desktop for Mac (http://www.parallels.com /) which will let you run Windows in a separate window at the same time you run your Mac. You don’t have to do the dual-boot thing of shutting down the Mac and booting into Windows. I am mainly using a Mac these days, but there are many programs which just aren’t available on the Mac, such as Microsoft Access, and I have some clients who use Access. I can run Access in its own Windows XP window concurrently with my Mac operating system. It’s pretty slick. You have to buy the Parallels software, and have an extra copy of Windows XP, but it beats trying to keep multiple machines running. If you (or your IT helper) want more info, I’m happy to chat sometime.
Great article today. I am in the electronic payments business and we work with a wide range of web merchants. Many Web sites are so poorly designed that I, myself, would never patronize them. Perhaps the most mind-boggling design flaw is where you can’t figure out how to buy what you’re looking at. There’s a reason the checkout counter is at the front of the store...you can’t miss it on the way out. You should never be more than one click away from an easy way to pay. My personal pet peeve is when a message box pops up asking me if I want to make your little Web site my default home page. What?! Not only NO, but I’ll never return. You mentioned your dislike of having to create a user profile and I agree with that, especially for a one-off purchase. There are certain best practices in the payments business that suggest having a user account as a means of validating the customer, which is useless as far as I’m concerned, but there are better non-intrusive ways of achieving the same goal. What all of this says is that many companies rely on the tech people to design the most non-technical part of their business, its personality. Rarely do you encounter a web designer with advanced skills in both the technology and the psychology of doing business on the web.
I would love to distribute some of those wacky domain name selections outlined in your latest newsletter article...(only if I had a way to make a few bucks of it... 🙂 very funny and informative thanks.