Ariely for Free, Getting Unstuck, Placebos, and More – Roger’s Picks

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Another week, another few hundred articles and blog posts scanned… here’s a diverse group of stuff you may find particularly interesting.

Hot on the heels of that week’s post from Brian Massey naming Austin the Conversion Capital of the World, one of the listed experts has put together a great compilation of A/B test data to inform many different areas of web site and landing page design.

Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer wrote 43 Split-Tests That (Almost) Always Boost Conversions, a long post that covers everything from fonts to colors, from auto-play videos to product images. Ryan could have milked a blog post out of each one of these tests, but instead put them all together in one massive resource post. Save this one for future reference!

While we’re on compiled lists, 25 Marketing Blogs that Business Owners Should Read was put together by EntreB. Lots of the usual suspects appear, like Seth Godin, Mike Stelzner‘s Social Media Examiner, the Moz blog, Jeff Bullas‘s blog, etc. Neuromarketing made the list, too. You’ll know a lot of the names, but it’s worth a quick scan to see if you are missing any good ones.

We could all stand to be a little more productive, right? Check out Work Smarter, Not Harder: 21 Time Management Tips to Hack Productivity by Jordan Bates, aka @creativitypost. None of these are startling news, but they are presented concisely – if you use even a couple of them and you’ll get more done!

Need to get unstuck? Whether you are looking for a new product idea or your next blog post, master marketer Seth Godin has the answer: lists. In a typically short post, Exhaustive lists as a reliable tool for unstucking yourself, Godin provides almost a dozen examples of thought-provoking questions, like, “Every complaint someone might have about a particular product,” and, “Every media outlet that might be interested in your story.” By the time you have racked your brain to make your list, you’ll almost certainly have an idea or two.

Nobody knows more about “Free!” as a behavioral trigger than Duke prof Dan Ariely, so the construction of the headline on this blog post is no surprise: V2 of my online course (Free!). What some may find surprising is that Dan, Duke, and Coursera are making his online course available at no charge. Grab 8 weeks of “free Ariely” here: A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior.

From the world of neuroimaging, we learn that monkeys and humans really are different. Psyblog reports in Unique Human Brain Area Identified that Separates Us From Monkeys that researchers used fMRI studies to identify part of the ventrolateral frontal cortex that “is likely to help us plan for the future, learn things from others, behave flexibly, along with other complex tasks.”

My Stuff

New research on the effectiveness of placebo drugs for reducing migraine pain just came out, and I used that as an opportunity to remind marketers about the importance of setting high expectations (and delivering a reasonable facsimile, at least). In What Placebo Science Shows About The Importance Of Marketing, I talk about how subjective experiences like wine tasting and even physical experiences, like the cognitive boost from an energy drink, are shaped by our expectations.

I did a podcast interview with Singapore conversion expert Francis Teo of Bluelambda, listen at The Conversions Podcast: Neuromarketing and Conversions with Roger Dooley. We covered a lot of ground, from The Persuasion Slide to Brainfluence.

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