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Did you know that, on average, you have to see an ad 7 times before you even notice it?

Which means, many readers missed my last Tuesday announcement.

Here’s what you missed: I’ve been thinking about and sharing ecommerce ideas for the last 12 years. In that time we’ve published over 500 articles.

We know what our readers want … quick reads with actionable ideas.

For the longest part …

Without Narrative Control Amazing Offers Suffer

First, a definition. Narrative Control: Making positive something that is or will be perceived as negative.

If you have an unexpectedly good offer (for example, your product does something most products can’t, or you’re giving a discount that’s way better than most) then you need Narrative Control.

To illustrate I’ll show an example where Narrative Control isn’t used.

On CNN.com I saw this giant top of homepage banner (translation: it’s super expensive):

On click I was taken to this landing page:

77% off is an incredible deal (see headline). 30% of the people on this page will see this ad and say:

“Hey, that’s amazing. I’m so happy I clicked the ad”.

70% would say:

“I don’t buy it”

If the page also included a message to explain a little about how they achieve this 77% saving it would have an incredible impact on the skeptical shoppers:

Make Me an Offer

I was exiting ________.com and saw this “Make an Offer” message:

Let’s negotiate

How is this a good idea? Some questions to consider:

1: How does this make your brand look?

2: Any smart shopper is going to lowball you. Is it worth matching that lowball offer for a minuscule margin?

3: If you don’t plan to match the lowball offer then what’s the end game? Is the hope that after a few email exchanges the buyer changes their mind and agrees to pay more? What’s the opportunity cost of those email exchanges?

4: What impact does this have on customer lifetime value? Will this buyer ever repurchase from you without “Make an Offer” option?

How to Get More Reviews

We assume people are rational. If you’re a retailer and offer a good product wrapped in delightful service then customer reviews will pour in.

Wrong.

Let me tell you about a recent delightful experience. I purchased jewelry for my wife online (thanks for all your help, Ron). The experience was great. The product was exquisite. And the service was exceptional.

Service Levels

I thought several times to write a review so that others with my concern (buying jewelry online) could confidently pull the trigger because Ron just cares that much.

I even had a review written out in my head.

I got busy and told myself I’d do it next week. This week is bad.

Next week started and other things took priority. This glowing review kept getting pushed further and further back. Do you think I ever wrote that review?

And that’s for an exceptional experience. My point is that even well intentioned people don’t walk the extra mile. And this is precisely why we need to be more proactive about requesting reviews. And the only way I know how to do that is to ask. Ask once, ask four times. Be respectful. Be enthusiastic. Be sincere. But ask.

Don’t Let Amazon Eat Your Lunch

We can’t force shoppers but we can certainly gently nudge them.

If a visitor to your site leaves for your Amazon page you are basically paying an affiliate tax that was yours to keep.

Can this be prevented? Let’s look at a product page on Headsets.com:

They have an impossible to miss Buy from Amazon.com button. On click, you are taken to their Amazon page. Goodbye margins.

Here is what we would have done if headsets.com was a client. When a shopper clicks Buy from Amazon.com we’ll show this popup: