The Holistic Web. One of those must-read-all-the-way-through Smashing Magazine articles, Holistic Web Browsing Trends of the Future. Its four major themes are 1) web browsers approaching operating systems in sophistication, 2) functionally-limited mobile applications, 3) previously unconnected devices sending and receiving contextual data across the web, and 4) personalization to give users more control over their information. Be sure to scan over the Web-Enhanced Devices section to see web enhanced device concepts like a grocery card displaying promotions in real time.
Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment. Good advice on reducing shopping cart abandonment in this well-illustrated GetElastic post. Keep the cart alive for return visits, allow (non-registered) guest checkout, split the process into steps, display certificates and icons to win customer trust, inline validation, help with decoding the CVV, big buttons, and support aids like contact info and live chat.
Incentive Planning. This Search Engine People post describes giving people an incentive to act on our social media and marketing instructions. It used a term I’ve not seen before, Incentive Planning. “All you need to do is list out the steps someone would have to take to get to the action you want them to take, and think about why they would do each step. Think about what other choices they have at each step and ask, ‘is yours really more compelling?’” Good step-by-step Incentive Planning example. “1) I’m going to set up a FB fan page. 2) THEN WHAT: I’ll send FB messages to friends to get more fans. 3) THEN WHAT: I’ll…”
Marketing as Entertwainment. A reminder from Outspoken Media that customers can often be captured through entertainment.That doesn’t mean we have to strive to be funny, ha-ha all the time, but consider using stories to create common experiences, being personable and fun in blogs and company newsletters, serving up wacky schwag, and my personal favorite, not being “a boring ass” when talking to people on the phone during support and sales calls.
A Foursquare Believer. This is the most convincing post I’ve read yet on why Foursquare is a potential monster. The value of Foursquare in the author’s travel scenario was in the tips other travelers had provided in negotiating the Orlando security lines. I suspect that venue tips will be perceived as the first real value-point in Foursquare beyond simply checking in and gaining some badge or resident status. Interesting suggestions for improvement included allowing check outs, tags, improved searching, ratings and the ability to rank tips.
Inbound Link Tips. Three good Inbound Marketing tips in this HubSpot post I wanted to pass along include 1) use a personal URL shortener for branding, 2) if you have an email subscription service make it super easy to unsubscribe to avoid “Report as Spam” submissions, and 3) because the person that creates your Facebook business page has permanent admin rights, setup a business profile in Facebook that can be used by multiple personnel for creating your business pages.
Maybe we can drink our way out of this mess after all. UCLA researchers working to improve desalination have come up with a membrane made of a specially engineered nanoscale material that can purify water with far greater energy efficiency than current technology. The nanoparticles attract water but repel contaminants including salt, requiring about half as much energy as the current purification process.