Call To Action Paperback – Oct 29 2006
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About the Author
Bryan Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, Inc., based in New York City.
Jeffrey Eisenberg is an inventor of Persuasion Architecture (patent pending) and cofounder of Future Now, a consulting firm focused on helping clients persuade and convert their Web site's traffic into leads, customers, and sales.
Lisa T. Davis is a partner and Director of Content for Future Now. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is a slow read. I found myself going back and forth reading again previous paragraphs. There is a lot to remember and to learn.
Although the book deals primarily on the Call-To-Action (getting your clients to buy), writing copy for your site is a process rather than an action.
The book make sure you understand that so don't get discourage and keep tweaking it all the time.
A great learning tool.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Call for Action" focuses on how we can improve the conversion rates. Not from a technical or academic or conceptual standpoint. Instead it takes a rare PRACTICAL and down-to-earth approach on how to improve conversion rates to improve sales and thus profits.
What is CONVERSION? Virtually all websites have a persuasive purpose; to get someone to subscribe, to register, to inquire or to buy something. And if all we get is 2-5 per cent conversion, we ought to review our website. Do we offer a product or service that could meet the needs of more than 2-5 per cent of the market? Can visitors find that, solution on the website? Do they understand our offer's value? Was it made at the right time? Are we sure they're coming back?
NAVIGATION is the biggest challenge websites face, the authors argue. The issues are: What to do with the traffic once it lands on the website? How to get visitors to take the first action and click deeper? And once there, how to induce visitors to click to the next step, and the next, and the next?
The fundamental idea is that a PERSUASIVE ARCHITECTURE links a visitor's buying experience to our company's sales process. It bridges the buy/sell process in a measurable way. If you can influence visitor behaviour and empathize with visitor motivations, you can influence results to provide a better experience and more frequent, effective conversions.
The book is filled with illustrative screen dumps of websites (before and after a change). This is a great benefit of such a how-to field book on e-commerce improvements. In my opinion, most e-commerce sites can recover the book's cost price in a few days just by following one or two of the practical suggestions in the many diverse case studies.
The primary focus of this book is e-Commerce. The key messages on conversion, however, are important to anyone running a large website.
This is a rare book. I've been involved in e-commerce since 1997 and read many interesting books on this topic. But I've never found such a practical approach to optimising e-commerce web sites as this one.
The brothers Eisenberg call themselves "wizards of web". I agree and hope my existing and future competitors don't read and act on this book. These secret formulas to improve online results are very effective, indeed.
If you're looking for a conceptual e-commerce theory, please look somewhere else. This is about the nuts and bolts about making money with an e-commerce web site. If you don't have or don`t plan to have such a website; forget about this book. Then it's a waste of time.
I also recommend Jakob Nielsen's books on web usability and Steve Krug's easy-to-read "Don't make me think".
MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
'Call to Action' describes itself as 'both a step-by-step, how-to manual and a treatise on the true nature of conversion'. In my opinion, it fails to deliver on either count.
There's no doubt the authors know what they're talking about but, ironically, in a book dedicated to the process of communication, they fail to communicate either a cohesive overview or a detailed 'how-to' of the subject.
There's a facade of structure and some whizzy acronyms like 'AIDAS' and 'MAP' but very little flesh is laid on those sketchy bones. The introduction identifies the main cause of the problem - the book started life as a collection of disparate web articles interspersed by 'top-tips' from marketers 'in the trenches'.
The articles themselves give the sense of having been shoe-horned into a structure simply for the sake of it. The 'top-tips', more often than not, are completely irrelevant to the theme of the article they're paired with. As a reader looking for greater understanding of the subject and some concrete next-steps, this discordant content yields as much confusion as clarity.
On top of this, the numerous typos, misquotes, repeated quotes and printing errors confirm that insufficient care has been taken in the preparation of this book. It hasn't even been professionally proof-read, let alone purposefully written.
So how come I purchased four copies? The first half of the book does contain some exciting ideas such as developing content based on the persona of the visitor and planning precise conversion scenarios from the home page to the conversion point for each type of visitor.
The second half of the book is mostly padding and pointless repetition of the ideas in the first half. I purchased the other copies of the book after reading the first half and expecting the second half to follow in a similar vein.
All things taken into consideration, the book reads like a series of adverts for the authors' consulting services rather than as a 'how-to' or a treatise on the subject. Other authors quoted in this book are: Roy H. Williams, Jared Spool, Tamara Adlin and Jim Sterne, and I'll be checking out their writings in my continued search for genuine 'how-to' content.
The Eisenbergs could have made this book more effective and much simpler. They chose not to write for their audience and, to my mind, that makes them guilty of the same sin they condemn online marketers of - focusing on themselves instead of on their customers.
The Eisenbergs make the point that content created for offline advertising rarely translates directly to the web. This book is proof that the reverse is also true.
Many books covering Web design address usability and making it easier for the user. But no book that I know of shows how to get your users to take the action you want. A usable site doesn't guarantee action. CALL FOR ACTION moves beyond helping users find things easily and focuses on persuasion so your business can see an increase in its bottom line. Overstock.com experienced a five percent conversion increase by fixing one thing based on the authors' advice.
The categories that make up persuasion design include planning, structure, momentum, communication and value. The book begins with an overview of the entire process and then digs in to each category along with its perspectives, strategies, examples, and conversion tips from experts in search engine optimization, online marketing, and usability.
Researching and understanding the customers plays a vital role in this process. An example of this: you create a profile of three customers who have similar demographics, but come to the site for different reasons. After arriving on the Web site, these three customers go to a different part of the site. The challenge is to address the needs of all three on the landing page and then help them along to the next step through "scent of information" (leading the user to where he wants to go based on his persona).
You won't find theories in the book. Instead, expect practical advice on online marketing so you can make the most of your users' time on your site. While most of the concepts are practical, it has heavy-duty stuff, too. Those more experienced with e-commerce will appreciate it. If you skip the more challenging concepts, the book quickly pays for itself with the implementation of an idea or two. I like the case studies, especially the before and after examples for both design and content. People who learn from examples will appreciate the diversity of examples covered in the book.
CALL FOR ACTION thoroughly covers many concepts proving a challenge to provide you with an overview of what it's about. Anything you can think of having to do with online marketing and Web design is likely included. Rather than treating Web design and marketing as two entities, the two work together as one and it leads to better results. Marketers, designers, search engine experts and information architects will definitely benefit from this book. The Eisenbergs are among the few who focus on what the business needs to do to reach its goals with its customers in mind.
The price of the book is a great deal considering it's a hardcover.
Oh, and the cover picture is just horrendous.
PS. The type in the book is microscopic. For those of us pushing 40, this is a tad annoying.
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