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Archive for August 2009

Confetti, Analytics Tool Gets High Praise from Avinash

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confettiOn Occam’s Razor this week Avinash talked about some of his favorite supplemental analytic tools and covered Confetti by Crazy Egg. I’ve actually seen this tool before and now have a project where an overlay like this would be really helpful in understanding user behavior.

I actually spoke with the people at Crazy Egg and they say a new version is coming out next month whweb analytics an hour a dayich will be their first serious update in about 3 years. In its present form Confetti track x,y coordinates and then uses different colors to show referring segments. I’m a big fan of data visualization tools and it’s capabilities exceed typical analytics capabilities. The best part is that Confetti starts at $9 per month for up to 10 pages.

To learn more about web analytics check out Avinash’s blog, Occam’s Razor or pick up a copy of his book Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, at!


Written by Greg M

August 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Blog Posts, Tools

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Book Review: Hot Text, Web Writing that Works

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hot textI picked up a copy of Hot Text over a year ago but it sat on my shelf until recently.  I’m currently leading a CPA program which includes writing copy for SEM ad text, landing pages, a microsite and editing copy for a content site.  Hot Text is a solid end to end solution for web writing tips but at nearly 500 pages not the type of book that you’ll read cover to cover.  However, I’ve found it incredibly useful to skip and scan the ideas that are most important to my current project.

Some random highlights from Hot Text include:

  • Case studies on FAQs, Help, and Privacy Policies
  • Tips for making your keywords stand out in text as readers scan your page
  • Recommendations for removing unnecessary copy with lots of before and after examples
  • Step by Step guidelines for press releases, email responses, and email newsletters

Pick up a copy of Hot Text: Web Writing that Works for your next copy writing assignment

Written by Greg M

August 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Books

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SEM Ad Text, What to Test First?

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ad text

I’m starting work on develop an SEM campaign and in the process of writing copy started wrestling with some different testing options for the ad text.  My testing options are limited in two ways.  First, we’ll also be conducting an A/B landing page test for each ad group shortly as soon as possible once the campaign launches.  Secondly, since it’s a new campaign we intend to ramp up slowly so the initial focus will be on the long tail, greatly limiting our volume and quest for statistical significance.

It’s imperative that we start of with an ad text test but it will need to be small.  The options seem to be a 3×1 or 2×2 test matrix – 3 headlines and 1 body copy for 3 total combinations or 2 headlines mixed with 2 sets of body copy for a total of 4 combinations.  Best practices suggest that the headline copy tends to be much more effective than body copy so I’m leaning toward the 3×1 option.  With fewer combinations than the 2×2 test we’ll be able to roll into the landing page test more quickly as well.winning results with google ad words

Another short cut I’m considering is combing the ad text results across the engines.  No doubt Google, bing and Ask would have some performance nuances with regard to ad text click through rate but I’m willing to assume they’re constant for the sake of speed.  Yet another example of the digital marketer balancing speed and accuracy!

To learn more pick up a copy of Winning Results with Google AdWords, Second Edition at

Written by Greg M

August 25, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Posted in Tips

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The Landing Page Optimization Podcast Talks Copywriting This Week

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success worksThis week Tim Ash of the Landing Page Optimization podcast talks this week with Heather Lloyd Martin of Successworks about balancing direct response copywriting with SEO needs.  I really enjoyed this cast because I have a difficult time reading copy like a ‘normal’ person once the SEO hat comes on.  I always need to find someone untainted to see if my copy still makes sense to a human and not just the Google bots.

Some key points that Heather had to say about copy writing:
○ PR, blogs and site copy all have different audiences and necessitate a different style and tone – but all are great SEO opportunitieslanding page optimization
○ SEM landing pages can be off menu, for direct response campaigns like we find a lot in SEM visitors may not want to weed through a ton of copy
○ At the end of the day, responses are emotional, and we rationalize them with fact – so make sure your copy has a little bit of sizzle

To learn more about Tim Ash and landing page optimization, check out his book Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning for Conversions

Written by Greg M

August 19, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Interview: Patrick Dicaprio of the Fantasy Pros 911

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fantasy pros 911I caught up with sabermatrician Patrick Dicaprio of the Fantasy Pros 911 for this mini interview.  Patrick is a member of SABR‘s Statistical Analysis and Science of Baseball Committees and is a lifelong fantasy player. Patrick is also a practicing attorney, despite a degree from MIT.

PMT – How has the collection and analysis of data changed baseball in recent years?

PD – I don’t think that the methods in which data collection is done have changed much in recent years. Baseball has always been a statistics driven enterprise, and data collection has always been an integral part of that enterprise. But how that data is used and how people can access and distill the data has changed tremendously. And this is not just in the fantasy baseball realm. More and more teams have statistics experts on their staffs, and these experts are slowly getting more of a say in personnel decisions.  We have even seen the emphasis on more accurate statistics start to show up in traditional media such as TV and newspapers. These traditionally staid outlets are now starting to discuss more advanced baseball statistics and that is a huge boon to the analytical and baseball community.

PMT – Can some of these new measurement tools or ideas be transferred to better evaluate other activities?  I’m thinking of things like the job performance of a ‘regular’ person or the effectiveness of business investments?

PD – There is nothing in the use of baseball statistics, and by “statistics” I am now talking about in a mathematical sense and not in a baseball sense, that is any different than in any other business enterprise. The value of contracts and whether a team will profit form an individual player’s contract by comparing money spent to runs generated and marginal wins generated is an idea that cuts across any business investment.  As in any business enterprise or any evaluation, one must identify the proper metrics and analytical numbers and must then analyze them correctly. That process is one that should be universal but is not, and the businesses that do so, especially small “Mom and Pop” businesses undoubtedly have a leg up on their local competition.

PMT – What’s the one piece of data, baseball or otherwise, that you haven’t been able to figure out how to measure that could really be game changing?

PD – For me it is a way to measure defensive contributions of individual players. Guys have tried using regression analysis and the like to do so, but it has not been compelling. There is a synergy that exists between a pitcher and his defense; if a batter hits a hard grounder that the shortstop fields by making a diving catch, how much of that is the shortstop’s skill, how much is the player’s skill and how much is coaching and proper positioning? We have rough guides that are wholly insufficient to answer questions like this, but baseball analysts take the existing metrics as if they are gold, and they are simply not indicative of much. We are still barely at the point where we can verify whether a player is above average or not.

To learn more about the application of statistics in baseball pick up a copy of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game from moneyball

Written by Greg M

August 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Posted in Interviews

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Interview: Dan Kurani of Kurani Interactive

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kuraniHere’s a mini interview with Dan Kurani, owner of the interactive agency KURANI Interactive.  Over it’s 9 year history the agency boasts clients like Nike, Mannington, and Fagor.  Visit their website at or call Dan at his Red Bank, NJ location at 732-345-1700 to learn more about their services.

PMT: How do digital mediums differ from traditional branding and advertising programs in terms of measurement and accountability?

DK: Although I can see things changing as consumption and media cross-pollinates and integrates, today, a huge difference.  Whereas, offline primarily derives the underpinnings of analysis from qualitative sample groups (posing as quantitative results), digital “is” quantitative.  The toughest part of digital is ensuring stakeholders stay focused on KPIs instead of getting lost in the sea of data.

PMT: What are some new areas of growth or services you see Kurani Interactive taking on?

DK: Outside of our traditional services (digital marketing communications that includes social, websites, applications, email, search), we are starting to joint venture with select companies.  Basically, we are leveraging our digital expertise to unlock hidden or the online advertising playbookunderachieving core values and managing the extension in a turnkey fashion.

PMT: In 10 years how do you think campaign and site performance measurement will change?

DK: Integrated measurement across all tactics, digital will be behind almost all MarCom.

To learn more about interactive advertising pick up a copy of The Online Advertising Playbook at

Written by Greg M

August 11, 2009 at 11:06 am

Posted in Interviews

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Book Review: Marketing ROI

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marketing roiWhile I think Marketing ROI is definitely worth the read for senior marketers and newbies alike, it tends to comes more from the paradigm that marketing and advertising folk buy media and launch ad campaigns without much regard for the actual return on the money invested.  In the offline world this has historically been the case but it’s improving.  It’s not that marketers are ignorant to measuring the effects of their investments but sometimes the data points are hard to capture.  Hence this blog and my choice of professions to focus on digital where it’s much easier to measure performance and ROI.

Here are some key takeaways:
○ When calculating go/no go decisions based on ROI don’t take sunk costs into consideration
○ Future value is key and often understated when trying to measure ROI – I’ve often felt that if you know acquisitioned costs and lifetime value then that’s all you need as a business professional – pay someone else to watch all of the other numbers but if you’re on the pulse of those 2 you’ll have all you need to make the right decisions
○ Calculate a value/vulnerability rating for your customer segments and adjust service levels accordingly – sorry but not all customers are created equal and the high value ones should get the red carpet treatment
○ To most accurately capture ICV (incremental customer value) understand which short term activities for a specific segment lead to likely future behaviors – back to life time value with a touch of segmentation!
○ Measure the incremental value of each marketing investment at the smallest possible level
○ Categorize your marketing investments – e.g. Reliable Investments, Emerging Investments, High-potential Investments and Innovation Investments

Grab a copy of Marketing ROI : The Path to Campaign, Customer, and Corporate Profitability for yourself from!

Written by Greg M

August 9, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Books

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