Lead generation has to be merchandised just like any other product. You have to clearly message to the customer at different levels of the site. You can definitely get more aggressive with your messaging the further down on the site you get. Pop-ups and other more aggressive tactics become more acceptable as customers drill down for more information. —Ken Burke, CEO, MarketLive Inc.

By Ken Burke Marketing and customer acquisition costs are on the rise, and ROI-driven marketing is more important than ever. Accordingly, today's savvy e-commerce marketers invest precious time and money into meticulously selected search terms, carefully segmented e-mail campaigns and highly focused advertising. It's quite surprising then, how little thought goes into the other half of the equation, the landing page. Sponsored links, paid search terms, e-mail campaigns, banner ads and other external links are designed to attract self-targeted audiences and motivate them to click and buy. Online marketers agree that these ads are supposed to engage customers and make sales, not just

By Ken Burke A new world of possibilities for a reliable, old tool. Sometimes old tools are the best tools. Recently, online merchants have been turning to A/B testing to refine their online messaging, increase the effectiveness of their offers, improve usability, and boost sales. Long a staple in the direct marketing industry, A/B testing has become a powerful ally of the online marketer now that it can function in concert with e-commerce marketing and analytics applications. Its simple, logical approach to testing and refining even highly subjective variables is perfectly suited to the Web environment, though it predates the Web and even the

By Ken Burke Increasing numbers of consumers are discovering the joys of fast broadband connections and rich media Web sites. Their expectations—and the dollar amount in their shopping carts—are on the rise. Here, we'll examine practical ways for you to take advantage of the fantastic merchandising opportunities presented by the increases in broadband adoption. Why design for broadband? Simply put, shoppers using broadband buy more—about 10 percent to 27 percent more, according to a June 2004 study from Forrester Research. They also expect more from your Web site. Forrester indicates that broadband users view more pages, see more images, use more interactive tools,

By Ken Burke E-mail is a great sales tool, but it lacks precision. With the same message going out to large groups of customers at the same time, it can be impossible to cater to individual customers' constantly changing interests in a timely and relevant way. Event-based marketing applies a technological answer to this very human situation. It enables you to automatically send focused e-mail messages at the specific time you choose. Event-based marketing systems help you capitalize on recent transactions and Web site activity to: >encourage repeat visits and repeat purchases; >place your brand, products and messaging at the center of your customer's

Since 1996, PC World magazine has been extremely successful with its sweepstakes mail campaign--a light blue, 8-1/2" x 11" posterboard with a personalized double postcard attached to the front (207PCWORL0100). Upon removing the postcard from its plastic pouch, the prospect finds the secret of how to win an Iomega zip drive printed underneath. The Grand Prize is $25,000 or a brand new Dell computer, complete with Pentium III multimedia system and many other features. Recently, the magazine also has added a bonus prize, rounding out the offering of first, second, third and fourth prizes. These generous sweepstakes offers are surely enticing to consumers,

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