At the turn of the century, two ‘webmasters’ from New York, Bryan and Jeff Eisenberg, took an interesting,Â funky class taught by my old boss, Roy Williams,Â assisted by yours truly.Â Â The class was a conglomerate ofÂ advertising and copywritingÂ adviceÂ that delved into the murkier waters of ‘human persuasion.â€
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.Â TheÂ premise was nothing new.Â 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 aÂ 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 EisenbergsÂ integrated a content linking system that strove to separate distinct visitor groupsÂ 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.Â If the site saw you as a â€œhumanisticâ€ type, you’d get stories about others experiences, and possibly a phone number in case you wanted to talk to a real person.Â You can learn more about simple personality typing at http://www.myersbriggs.org/
Building sites this way works.Â I know because I’ve integrated this kind of ‘ architecture’ into dozens of them.Â In the daysÂ to come, I’ll cover how to write content intended to pull peopleÂ 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.Â 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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