Toward a New Year of Freedom

“Anyone who has a job today is working the jobs of 11 people.”

After Rebecca Lieb, ClickZ’s executive editor, said these words in a conversation we had at @d:tech, they stuck in my mind. She was commenting on how things were going in the industry at large, and, to me, this simple observation said so much. Anyone else feeling overworked, pressured, or overwhelmed?

Aldous Huxley, author of the classic “Brave New World,” wrote: “Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” So who thinks the technological progress brought about by the Internet has made our jobs any easier?

When Alvin Toffler first published “Future Shock” in 1970, Edward Cornish, president of the 36-year-old World Future Society, expressed a major concern: “The burning worry was how we would spend all the leisure time we would have in the future.” I am sure many of us would love to have this worry.

So what has all this got to do with “Converting Web Site Traffic“? Simple. We just started a new year. How’s this for a New Year’s resolution: Let’s start leveraging our technology to allow us to enjoy some free time. Let’s shape our e-business efforts so that instead of co-opting our life energy, they help us function efficiently and productively. In a world where cell phones ring, beepers beep, and wireless connections keep us connected to the world all the time, shouldn’t we occasionally slip away from the mighty grip of this instant-on technology? Technology is supposed to free us to enjoy life.

I devised a little quiz to check our Technology Incorporation Quotient (TIQ for us marketers):

  1. Have you ever called, or been called by, someone to confirm the delivery of a fax or email?
  2. Have you ever been called by someone asking you a question he should have found the answer to easily on your Web site?
  3. Do you have calluses on your ears from having a landline phone or cell phone attached to it during 97 percent of your waking hours?
  4. Do you or your colleagues have three or more contact phone numbers? (No wonder we need Palm Pilots. You have one of those too, right?)
  5. Are 73 percent of the greetings cards you send virtual? Don’t you care enough to send the very best? (Now that must be why AmericanGreetings.com and Blue Mountain Arts started charging us.)
  6. Are 64 percent of your meals cooked in the microwave or bought precooked? (4… 3… 2… 1… BEEP!)
  7. Do you salivate like Pavlov’s dogs every time something new lands in your email box? (By the way, how often do you check your nonvirtual mailbox?)
  8. How many inches (or is it feet?) of paper are stacked on your desk? Aren’t we supposed to be the paperless generation? (Save a tree, go digital. Hah!)
  9. Is your VCR still blinking “12:00”? Be afraid; be very afraid! (I love DVDs!)

My point is that we should focus on optimizing technology to maximize our efficiency. Conversion rate marketing is the art and science of testing and optimizing your Web site, landing pages, or emails to generate the best — and most efficient — return on your efforts. At my company, we say this so often that I’ll quote our Web site: Your conversion rate is a measure of your ability to persuade your prospects to take an action you want them to take. It is a reflection of your marketing and sales effectiveness and your customers’ satisfaction. And for you to achieve your goals, your prospects must achieve their goals first.

Among my New Year’s resolutions is to keep providing ClickZ readers with more information on conversion rate marketing. However, I’d like to hear from you. What are your top three resolutions for improving your conversion rates?

P.S. Readers from the Washington, DC, area, come meet me on January 29 at DCDotComm, where I will be presenting “E-Commerce: Site Design that Maximizes Conversion” and ClickZ parent internet.com will be sponsoring. Hope to see you there!

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