Publishing

Do Unto Your Visitors – the Way They Would be Done Unto

At the turn of the century, two ‘webmasters’ from New York, Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg, took an interesting,  funky class taught by my old boss, Roy Williams,  assisted by yours truly.   The class was a conglomerate of  advertising and copywriting  advice  that delved into the murkier waters of ‘human persuasion.”

A portion of that class covered how to write ad copy to different personality types to answer questions, which individuals were really asking, in an effort to more fully engage and sell them.  The  premise was nothing new.  But we had a particularly detailed way of using personality types to create three-dimensional personas that could be written to get to real situations, needs and concerns.

The Eisenbergs shook our hands, told us they enjoyed the class, and flew home to NYC.

Less than a year later, we received a book in the mail called Persuasive Online Copywriting. It became a  bestseller, and is worth its weight in gold.

Jeff and Brian took parts of our personality differentiated copy to the web and subsequently created a way to deliver the right pages to the right people on a website.

They were creating and delivering targeted content online well ahead of the curve.

When architecting a website, the Eisenbergs  integrated a content linking system that strove to separate distinct visitor groups  using copy, and then speak to them in their language and style about the things that mattered most to them.

If you were visiting a site that sold diamonds and were what they called a ‘methodical,’ they’d deliver content about diamond cutting, grading, and detailed descriptions of diamond valuation.  If the site saw you as a “humanistic” type, you’d get stories about others experiences, and possibly a phone number in case you wanted to talk to a real person.  You can learn more about simple personality typing at http://www.myersbriggs.org/

Building sites this way works.  I know because I’ve integrated this kind of ‘ architecture’ into dozens of them.  In the days  to come, I’ll cover how to write content intended to pull people  to separate areas of your site so you may do unto your visitors how they would best like to be done unto.

But using copy to distinguish, cull, and separate site visitors using copy is only one method of delivering targeted content.  In my next post, I’ll talk about how you can use your visitors’ online histories to gain insight into what sorts of content might best jazz your visitor, and get them involved in your efforts.

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5 Responses to “Do Unto Your Visitors – the Way They Would be Done Unto”

  1. Lehi Drew November 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I can’t wait to see what you have in store in your next post. I hadn’t thought to check their history, or even how to do it.

    I hope it’s not complicated, but even if it is, I’m game.

    • chris maddock November 11, 2010 at 5:42 am #

      Lehi, I’ll be talking about how you don’t have to manually check a visitor’s history – how there is simple software now available to check for things like where someone lives, what they were just searching, and what they were looking at the last couple of times they were on your site. pretty cool stuff…

      c

  2. Michael Drew November 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    How does it feel to be the influencers of some of the greatest minds in communication and marketing?

  3. Chantal Riviere November 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi Chris, I really liked what you wrote, but you forgot to sell to my personality, all you would need is the beautiful diamonds sparkling, no words necessary,

    Once when I was in a mall with my mom, I was drawn like a magnet to the glitter of the jewelry,

    Mom said, “ever since you were young, you have liked glittery things”, “Ya, you raised a magpie,” I replied.

    what made me take a second look at your post, was when you said, “At the turn of the century”,

    I was thinking the 1900’s, I guess this is the first time I have really heard that in reference to the 20th century.

    Life just moves so fast,
    I do remember in school when I was younger, when a few of us were discussing that probably we would be alive when the 2000’s were here,

    great post, good job

  4. Tom November 11, 2010 at 1:56 am #

    Chris, this is spot on. I read the POC book and thought it was brilliant. If you were doing this for your clients all along, bravo!

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