Psychology Your Way Into Sales

It’s no surprise that humans react in odd and irrational ways, particularly when it comes to spending money. To that end, Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, offers many insightful lessons into the quirky (and largely predictable) human psyche. And in turn, these lessons may help web businesses shape their image and behaviors in order to garner as many sales as possible and become a successful online destination. Here are some important aspects of online sales tactics to consider when running an e-commerce or service-oriented business:

Relativity
It turns out Einstein knew what he was talking about—relativity does matter. Although this kind of relativity isn’t exactly what the theoretical physicist had in mind, there is something to be said for comparing your products to others. When products are offered in a standard and deluxe version, the standard version suddenly looks like a bargain and tends to sell. Create instant price comparisons on your site, and people are less likely to leave the site to shop around.
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Twitter User Falls from Sky

When Continental Flight 104 careened off the runway at the Denver international airport, it resulted in a broken fuselage, burning flames, torn away landing gear and engine, and temperatures so high that the interior compartments actually began to melt. The crash left thirty-eight injured and no deaths.

For software engineer and plane crash survivor Mike Wilson, there was little doubt about what to do in the wake of this traumatic event. Call home to let everyone know he’s okay? No, not quite. Check the other passengers and assess for injuries? Not exactly.
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iePlexus Marketing Is A Recipe For Online Business Success

Family mementos are an important part of passing memories and traditions from one generation to the next. For most, these cherished items include jewelry or photos – but for Long Island, New York resident D. Boyd, they’re pots and pans.

In fact, Boyd still uses some her grandmother’s cookware passed down to her by her mother. But these aren’t just any pots and pans, they are cast iron.

“My mother used cast iron constantly, and I learned to cook using those pans,” said Boyd.

There’s no childhood memory better than that of delicious cooking smells wafting from the kitchen. Boyd said her mother would often make her scrambled eggs for breakfast. And if she was lucky, she would make her favorite dish, “German meat patties,” for dinner. The meat patties weren’t anything complicated – just a combination of hamburger meat, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and spices. But they were scrumptious nonetheless.

Decades later, when Boyd’s parents were elderly, she and her husband moved in with them to help out.  Boyd began doing most of the cooking using her grandmother’s cast iron.
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SEM Opportunities Untapped In China

In the United States we have a tendency to think we are the most technologically, politically, and socially advanced. But, as far as internet use goes, Americans aren’t logging on as often as Chinese users. With 253 million internet users, China recently surpassed the United States with the world’s largest web population. The Chinese also have another edge on American web users – they have more fun online.

A recent survey of 2,500 web users from 16 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Korea, and Australia found that China’s users were more likely than others to describe web-based activities like blogging, posting on message boards, reading forums, and watching online videos as “fun.” Chinese web users are also more active in their internet use than users from other countries. “Web 2.0 is far more advanced in Asia, and in China, than in the U.S. and Europe,” said Bernice Klaasen, head of interactive research at TNS Media Intelligence Singapore. “In Western countries, about 1% of users create content online, about 10% participate through methods like comments or discussions, and the rest are lurkers.”
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Climbing the SEO Pyramid

There’s little doubt that SEO campaigns have become more prevalent and more dynamic in the recent past. And while nothing can guarantee the success of your business, there are certainly steps you can take to increase your chances of exposure.

With that in mind, there has been the creation of the SEO pyramid. Offering the necessary steps for SEO success in a level by level form, the rendering of this kind of campaign can be basic or it can be more detailed. But either way, the basic principle remains the same.

For any company that is looking into utilizing an organized SEO campaign, there are several required elements: commitment, keyword research, content, link building, and management.
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Motrin Causes More Pain than it Cures

It kind of seems like a no-brainer, but viral marketing needs to be just as researched, focus grouped, and thought out as print advertising. While most people would respond to this with a hearty, “duh,” this is apparently a lesson that still needs to be learned by the ad agency that worked on the most recent viral campaign for the pain reliever Motrin.

Their latest marketing efforts created the following:

While Motrin wanted to convey the idea that they felt mother’s pain, the overly slick video only seemed to anger mothers and non-mothers alike. It’s painfully obvious now to Motrin (and most people who saw the ad) that this viral marketing effort was not created by or run by any real life mothers.
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Who Needs Guns When You’ve Got Keyboards?

Internet shopping may well reach records highs this holiday season. This influx of business is welcomed by online retailers and criminals alike. Criminals believe that online shoppers are vulnerable to their scams – and they’re right. These aren’t the crooks of yesteryear, today’s thieves don’t need guns – they’ve got technology.

In the last year internet fraud and identity theft have become more widespread than ever. Despite the risks many shoppers choose to do the bulk of their holiday buying online. Who can blame them? There’s nothing worse than standing for hours in line at a department store, battling raging drivers in traffic, or having to travel to several stores just to find one item (wasting gas and money in the process).

When it comes to shopping online the best advice is “buyer beware.” A 2007 survey reported the number of consumers taken in by bogus offers increased by 40 percent between the 2006 and 2007 holiday seasons. Three percent of the adults surveyed said that they lost money from phishing scam. Last year the overall costs to consumers of online fraud surpassed $3 billion, compared with $2 billion the year before.
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Search News Special: Web 2.0

Search engines and Web 2.0 have an unusual marriage. Here in the social media corner of the metaphorical room, we’ve long held the belief that a successful social media and Web 2.0 marketing campaign would contribute positively to organic search engine rankings. We’ve come to this conclusion not just from hopeful thinking, but from solid statistical analysis. Do one well, and the other will follow. Search Engine Land just ran an article about this very phenomenom, citing specific examples of links from social media sites that improved ranking. But all too often these kind of results are treated as an abnormality rather than the norm. The fact of the matter is that it’s extremely difficult to get online, let alone run a marketing campaign, without incorporating a least some aspect of web 2.0 or social media. Think about your daily web activities, and I bet most if not all of them involve some component of the read/write web, whether it’s social networking, blogs, or a simple interaction beyond the passive user. Bottom line, we can’t escape social media and Web 2.0, and the same goes for the search engines and their algorithms.
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Italian Plumbers Rejoice, Nintendo Dominates the Internet

Everyone below the age of thirty-five who is even remotely interested in videogames holds strong to one steadfast truth—Nintendo rules. There’s really no way of avoiding that simple reality. Looming large in the development of many 80s-bred children, Nintendo has been able to seamlessly take their business online while others have fell short. What allows Nintendo to translate its awesome into the world of online business so well? Here are just a few of the possible contributing factors.

-Nintendo was the game of choice throughout the 80s. The children that grew up addicted to Tetris and 2-D Mario are the same kids that are currently addicted to MySpace. In short, their client base constitutes the “internet generation,” and it’s only natural they’d continue their love of Nintendo through online venues.

-While many companies hoard and protect every aspect of their intellectual creations, Nintendo has had a (relatively) open attitude. The iconic games and characters have been translated into just about every new technology, and they are often discussed, altered, and lampooned across the internet.
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Staying Home This Year? Get Some Gear

For many Americans it’s about that time to start planning spring and summer getaways. A couple of years ago that may have meant a visit to the Eiffel Tower, a week-long road trip to the Grand Canyon, or a few days soaking up the sun on a beach in Mazatlan. But, those days of excess have come to a grinding halt as the economy has worsened, and layoffs have proliferated.

This year has been coined the year of the ‘staycation.’ People are spending less, and staying home more. A recent Allstate poll found that nearly half of all Americans plan to cut back on travel in 2009. An International SOS survey found that 4 out of 10 Americans are reducing their international trips, and, according to a Zagat study 20 percent less people will travel in 2009 than 2008.

That doesn’t mean that people won’t be using their two weeks of paid vacation. In fact, more and more people are taking their vacations – at home. And, there’s good reason why they’ve decided to stay home. Even when gas prices are falling, airline fees are stagnant. In October, for example, airfares were up 10 percent. People could barely afford to fly a year ago, and this year it’s no better.
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