I'm asking my beloved blog community to do me a favor. The details are all on the new site. It won't take more than a few minutes, come on by!
Find out how great content can whet your readers' appetites and make them hungry for what you have to offer! Check out today's post on the new Remarkable Communication site.
Remarkable Communication has moved to a spiffy new site! You can find all the relationship marketing posts at the links below, or prowl around for more of your favorites.
By Sonia Simone
Do you remember when you were a kid and crossed the street without looking? Remember how mad your mom got? Even if you were within your legal rights and crossing in a crosswalk, it just takes one oncoming car that doesn't see you and you're flatter than Wile E. Coyote.
The "official" definition of spam is unsolicited bulk email with a commercial and/or malicious intent. The U.S. 2004 CAN-SPAM law makes it illegal to send commercial email with a misleading header, without a postal address, without a way to unsubscribe, or if the addresses were harvested in various nefarious ways.
Flickr Creative Commons image by uberculture
By Sonia Simone
They wreck our stuff, kill our sleep and chase away our non-parenting friends. But we still love 'em and want to take care of them. I've learned a lot about effective persuasive communication from my three-year-old.
And it only makes sense. Toddlers are too small to do much, and lack their own credit cards, but they need the same food, shelter, love and amusements that anyone else does. All they have are their powers of persuasion.
These suggestions aren't (just) tongue-in-cheek. Try them out in your own communication to make some stronger connections. (keep reading »)
Flickr Creative Commons image by Kah_Zanon
By Sonia Simone
OK, if Mama Bear is about conversation and connection, and Papa Bear is about listening more than you talk (sometimes known as lurking), what's Baby Bear?
Baby Bear makes friends easily, and he always has a lot to say. He can be awfully cute—even adorable, if you do it right. So I hope you'll forgive him for not really being a bear at all. (keep reading »)
I had a ton of fun with the Copyblogger post last week. And just for the remarkable communication readers, here's the line I cut out because it seemed unseemly for Brian's blog:
Fake enthusiasm is as easy to spot as a pair of fake DDs, and even less appealing.
By Sonia Simone
I sympathize with blog readers who hate numbers in post titles. "10 Ways to X" is a classic headline formula, but it's being worked to death online.
Up to 86% of the time, it's a lazy way to drum up a post without putting too much thought into it.
64% of sophisticated blog readers believe that using a number in a post title is so pathetically obvious that it couldn't possibly still work.
I recently got a big rush of new readers from a post called 50 Things Your Customers Wish You Knew.
Now I didn't have a way to run a split test against a headline "Things Your Customers Wish You Knew" (wouldn't that be a cool WordPress plugin?), but a quick look through my stats shows that posts with numbers consistently bring in between 2.5-8 times more traffic (and more referrals from sites like Digg or Stumble) than posts without.
Numbers are a time-honored trigger to get us to pay attention. When you use a number in a headline, whether it's in a blog post, an email subject header, an ad or even in a face-to-face conversation*, you immediately hook the other person's interest.
Numbers reach directly into our unconscious and say, "this message is important."
(By the way, according to Jakob Nielson, numbers as figures work better on the Web than numbers as words.)
How to write a "numbers post" without being cheesy
First, tempting though it may be, don't put a number into every headline. (Unless you're using the convention of Stuff White People Like, which actually would work beautifully for a lot of serious topics.)
Second, realize that number posts are inherently likely to pull in more traffic--so capitalize on that. Make them meaty. Make them relevant. Put your best thinking and writing into them. These are the posts that will bring you new readers, so put your best foot forward.
It doesn't seem logical that a simple (and overused) trick could be so effective in conveying authority and reliability, but generations of advertising and headline writers can confirm that it works. So don't fall into the trap of avoiding number posts because they're overdone. Use them intelligently and on posts that deserve the extra attention numbers can bring.
* Of course face-to-face conversations can have headlines. In fact, I just bought a brilliant audio workshop on this very subject--more on that later.
(P.S. Did I make up all the boldface statistics in this post? Of course I did. But don't make up numbers in your own stuff--it makes the FTC cranky, and only Dilbert ever really gets away with it.)
(P.P.S. Yes, putting "8 Ways" in the title was a pathetically transparent attempt to get you to read this post. A little sad, isn't it?)
(P.P.P.S. Got a "numbers post" you're proud of? Post a link in the comments and we'll all come admire it.)
Flickr Creative Commons image by hownowdesign
For those who don't read Copyblogger, I have a post there today on a super top-secret, "if we told you we'd have to shoot you" copywriter's trick. I hope you'll go check it out!