Category Archives: Psychology

The Value of Good Design and Standing Out with Animated Emails

The value in good design is that it can separate your brand from the rest of the pack. Going above and beyond by just a little bit can provide the perception that you are leaps and bounds ahead of your competition, which can lead to disproportionate rewards in your favor. Disproportionate rewards are seen throughout the business world for top performers via the Pareto Principle and in actual studies like this one by the prestigious business consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, where the top 33% performers were found to be compensated 66% higher than the next group of performers under them.

Another great example is how Apple’s design concepts fetch a premium dollar in the tech marketplace. In the web design world, I came across a nice example of how a virtual meeting company called UberConference helps differentiate themselves by sending an animated “thank you” email after sign up instead of the typical boring static email.

Animated HTML Email

I think this email makes a great example of a small way you can make a difference with your designs that pack a large pop when it comes to creating a positive perception of your brand. While most companies go about their business sending basic transactional emails, UberConference takes advantage of this touch point with people to create an unexpected experience that is more likely to make people take notice and remember them. It is in the most basic sense, Seth Godin’s Purple Cow.

On a closing note, here’s another graphic featured in one of Asana’s announcement emails visually demonstrating one of their new features instead of simply just talking about it.

Asana Animated Email

Have you seen another example of an animated email that got you to stop and take notice? Share it below in the comments section.

The State of Online Marketing in 2014 – Presentation

Here is our presentation given at the Missouri Meetings & Events’ 2014 St. Louis Regional Expo
on May 19 – 20, 2014. In this presentation you’ll learn the foundations of what creates an effective, attention grabbing message and what ways you can start promoting your product or service online.

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5 Principles To Get The Most Out of Social Media


Photo by acaben.

Everyone knows social media is powerful. With around 1.15 billion users on Facebook, 1 billion users on Google+, 554.7 million users on Twitter, and 277 million LinkedIn users, you cannot deny the potential reach your company can harness with a good social media strategy.

So, why is it so many people get on these social networks and don’t find success? They have access to billions of people. It would seem there is no way one could fail. Most people, however, do fail and it is because they go about using social media the wrong way.

Here’s a common scenario. Maybe it will sound familiar. You find out about the latest new social network, so you sign up. Then you add your friends from real life. After a while, the network may suggest a few other people you know so you add them too. Then you hear that content is king for marketing online so you start adding status updates here and there. Every once in a while you find a good article so you link out to that as well. Some time goes by and you start to realize nothing is really happening on your social network. Maybe you got a lead or two… but you definitely did not get that wave of leads crashing into your business that you thought social media could provide. It is at this point many people write off social media as a fad and ineffective. The truth is social media can be very effective, but it has to be used in the right way.

We’ll explore some general principles now to get you started on social media the right way.

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The Guide to Building Better (Reverse) Testimonials

Reverse Testimonials

In today’s ultra connected world, testimonials are one of the most important ways to gain the trust of your prospects. Whether you have them on your own website, a Google My Business page, Yelp, etc., you want to make sure you have the best testimonials possible.

The truth is that most people are going to check out your reviews before they just take your word on your website, so we’ve created a form you can use for free to collect better testimonials from your clients. The form questions are based on psychological principles such as “liking” and “social reinforcement” grounded in Robert Cialdini’s and Sean D’Souza’s work in the field of psychology and persuasion.

You want to use a “reverse testimonial” because it comes off more authentic than a traditional testimonial which is 100% positive. No one is ever 100% truly without some doubt – it is only human nature. In a reverse testimonial, your subject expresses true doubts they may have had before trying your product or service. However, the testimonial ends with how your company overcame those doubts and delivered to meet your customer’s expectations.

Example #1 – The Right Way

“I had heard about Acme Co.’s services and how great they were from a friend of mine. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it was really as good as it was made out to be. My friend kept telling me to try them out though, so I eventually gave in and ended up using them on my XYZ widget. They told me it would take 1 week to finish the job and again I figured I’d be lucky if it was done in 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe it though when they were done in 2 days! Not only did they do the work fast, it was great quality. I know I stuck my foot in my mouth at first, but I’m a huge fan of Acme Co. and make sure everyone I know goes to them.”

Example #2 – The Wrong Way

“Acme Co. is great! I totally recommend them to everyone!”

In the “reverse testimonial” form available here, you’ll have a checklist for making sure you gather all of the important psychological data that makes for a great reverse testimonial to feature on your website.