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Interactivity = Sales   September 22, 2006

We all know the adage, "Sex sells", but we certainly recognize when the message is inappropriate for our business. The equivalent message in online advertising is, "Interactivity sells." If you can draw your readerís eye and successfully get them to do something, you are on your way to winning new customers. The words, 'Sex Sells', with 'Sex' crossed out and replaced with 'Interactive'.

Several years ago, the Big Red Button demonstrated the power of interactivity to retain visitors to a website. The button asked visitors not to push; visitors felt compelled to push; and each successive push rewarded the visitor with entertaining responses. It successfully invited interaction and helped give rise to viral marketing.

Viral campaigns or viral marketing are unique, interactive online advertising segments so entertaining that word quickly spreads across the Internet. The creative firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky produced a wonderful viral campaign in Method Soapís screensaver and the equally entertaining Subservient Chicken for Burger King that helped promote the brands, and cemented CPB as a leader in viral marketing.

While viral campaigns may be out of the reach of the average company, we can all apply the ideas behind them to our own websites. Use custom created graphics to call users to learn more about your products; ask questions that provoke an answer; or create on-line forms that help customers understand why your service or product will help their business. And if you can introduce animated demos of your product or sample logins of your on-line service, do it! Giving a "test drive" of your offerings can give you the edge over your competition to win new business.

Be interactive, because when your customers feel compelled to do something, they are one step closer to buying!

ThunderBits are ideas on website design, custom software applications, and Internet marketing. Changing monthly (okay, maybe just once in a while :), we promise to offer useful principles that build better businesses.

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