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Author Archive for: ‘Tom McKay’

10 Commandments of Website Design & Copywriting

I. Thou shalt not put style (design) over substance (copy). Design sets the mood and attracts the prospect’s eye. But good, persuasive copy is what sells. II. Thou shalt honor thy customers worries and problems, for that is what keepeth them awake at night. III. Thou shalt focus thy copy on the customer, not thyself. Show them how you can …

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Is your website missing this crucial ingredient?

A customer sign-up form — or rather, the lack of one — is one of the most common mistakes of small business websites. Look around. You’ll see more than half of them don’t have one. A sign-up form is the first step toward building your own in-house mailing list. Without one, you have no way of getting back in touch …

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Niche marketing: Ban screaming kids

Find a “crying” need and fill it: that’s the essence of niche marketing. A North Carolina restaurant has done just that — literally. They’ve banned crying kids. Ditto whining, screaming or hysterical tykes. Check out the sign on the front door. The restaurant owner — a woman, by the way — says she got sick of customers complaining about parents …

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My E-mail Marketing Course starts Sept. 28

I’m teaching a class in Email Marketing for Small Businesses and Non-profits later this month at both Sanford Adult Ed and Wells-Ogunquit Adult Ed here in southern Maine.

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Why online marketing gets harder and harder

Because marketers’ credibility keeps going lower and lower. Now a PR firm has agreed to settle charges it had its employees pretend to be unbiased videogame buyers and post gushing, rave reviews at Apple’s online iTunes store. When I read that, I felt like the French police inspector who was “shocked, shocked!” to discover gambling at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca. …

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When email became a breakthrough

I was chatting with a friend/client recently when the conversation drifted to the many amazing tech breakthroughs we’ve seen in the past few years. As amazing as iPhones, Twitter, and the like are, I still think one of the biggest boosts Internet use got was when the barriers between email services came down. It’s hard to remember, but there was …

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Writing tips for the non-writer

I’ve been teaching a copywriting class at the University of Southern Maine in Portland this month — final class tonight! I originally wrote this for the students, but thought I’d also share it with you. Because hey, you’re my peeps. When writing copy for a small-business website: Write for one person, not a crowd. Write as if you were chatting …

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