Written by Bob McElwain

Picture a pink elephant dancingrepparttar two-step in a bright blue skirt. Got it? Are you sure? If not, reread this paragraph.

If you really have it, you won't be able to forget it if asked to do so. Pictures in our minds are simply too powerful to be erased on command.

We Think In Pictures

If I ask you what you had for breakfast, you'll bring up a memory of your plate, then tell me what you ate as you "watch" yourself doing so. While some think inrepparttar 134823 abstract, just sort of rattle off a list, most of us will picture ourselves eating breakfast, then hold that image long enough to answerrepparttar 134824 question.

If I ask what you did last summer vacation, and you had a great, fun-filled time, you may become so overwhelmed with pictures, you kind of shrug, maybe grin, then say something inane like, "I had a real good time."

But if I can get you to talking about that vacation,repparttar 134825 pictures will roll out in front of you one by one, and you'll describe them in grand detail. Swimming inrepparttar 134826 ice cold stream. How that sudden thunder shower forced you to dash for cover. Aboutrepparttar 134827 campfires, andrepparttar 134828 very long tales shared overrepparttar 134829 coals. And that bear. That for sure is something you'll remember!

Now if I ask what your three favorite websites are, what's going to happen? Are you likely to rattle offrepparttar 134830 URLs? Or will you first rememberrepparttar 134831 image ofrepparttar 134832 site, then maybe plug in that URL? For most, it'srepparttar 134833 latter. Because we think, and remember, in pictures.

The Image Of Your Website Must Be Memorable

Torepparttar 134834 degree possible, you wantrepparttar 134835 image of your site to remain as clear in your visitor's mind as that ice cold stream, that sudden thunder shower,repparttar 134836 campfires, and that bear.

Three elements need to be blended with preciselyrepparttar 134837 proper mix to make this happen.

1) The headline and subheadings must bring a quick answer to your visitor's question: What's in this for me? And, of course, they must demonstrate, almost in a glance, that there is in fact something here of great value to them. Torepparttar 134838 degree these collective elements create a positive mental image of your offer, they contribute powerfully to your site.

2) The body copy under each subheading must also draw a great picture. In this case, a "picture" of benefits torepparttar 134839 visitor. Seek to create an image for your visitor in which he or she can see themselves enjoying this benefit.

3) The art work is secondary torepparttar 134840 above, but absolutely critical. All must enhancerepparttar 134841 presentation, but in a quiet, non-intrusive manner. Bold images fail because they have a thrust, a push, unappealing to most. Soften these elements. Blend them into a simple, attractive, pleasant, and supportive background. Letrepparttar 134842 art work completerepparttar 134843 task of creating a memorable image ofrepparttar 134844 site.


Written by Bob McElwain

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is onrepparttar tip of a lot of tongues these days, of those hoping to break through into a new and better way of doing business. Butrepparttar 134822 real strength of this idea isn't new at all. In plain English it simply means putting your customers first. Many successful merchants have utilized this approach for years. They even know it's far better to refer a customer to a competitor who can provide what they need, than to seek to sell something in stock that isn't going to make it inrepparttar 134823 long run. This is not fancy theory. It works. Likelyrepparttar 134824 best hardware store in your neighborhood is run with customer support as a primary, interwoven throughout all aspects ofrepparttar 134825 business.

Who Will Run The Show? Systems Or People?

What is new about CRM asrepparttar 134826 term is being used today isrepparttar 134827 hope of implementing a technology on a website that emulatesrepparttar 134828 interactivity a visitor feels in an offline shop. I'm a bit skeptical aboutrepparttar 134829 outcome of current efforts. As a professional programmer for many years, I've seen first hand how seldom usability is considered in developing software. Anythingrepparttar 134830 theorist or techie types get a hold of tends to be system driven, as opposed to people directed.

To catch a glimpse of what I mean, think of a computer program you use often. Chances are there are some things it does not do inrepparttar 134831 way you want it done. For example, one of my programs uses a spell checker. But every time I start it up, it jumps intorepparttar 134832 middle ofrepparttar 134833 text window. This means I can't seerepparttar 134834 misspelled word orrepparttar 134835 context within which it is used. So I have to moverepparttar 134836 window. Every time I runrepparttar 134837 program.

This is nonsense, forrepparttar 134838 consensus is windows moved or adjusted should reopen as they were left. Or at least there should be an option to request this behavior. What do you suppose my chances are of getting a change in this program? Zip. And that's fact. We are all invited to accept what is offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

Will CRM Work?

This is my concern with increased interest inrepparttar 134839 technological side of CRM. My hunch is much of it will be implemented with a similar attitude: We hope you like it because that's it, if you want to play in our sandbox.

Torepparttar 134840 extent technology is implemented in such fashion, it is doomed to fail. How many sites have you abandoned because you couldn't remember some password? Or even worse, how many sites have you encountered that won't let you set up a new one so you can get on with business? Nuts.

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