Insights from Nebo

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January 15, 2009

Facebook removes Burger King from it's friends list

The highly discussed and successful burger king "whopper sacrifice" application has been disabled by the team at facebook. The act of notifying your friends that they've been sacrificed for a whopper was a violation of the facebook privacy terms & conditions.

Will be interesting to see if BK reworks the app, or whether they decide to play the victim card, take their toys and go home.

January 13, 2009

What can your business learn from Cooks Illustrated?

Quite a lot according to 37signals. As a subscriber to, I'm a little biased. But their continuing success is impressive. What's their secret?

They focus relentlessly on developing the best possible recipe and providing practical advice for the home cook. They take a scientific approach to food and test tons of recipes before anything ever hits the books. They taste test store brands of all types of foods and condiments; from orange juice to spaghetti sauce. In short, they've created a unique marketing position that's helped them grow with almost no advertising other than their public access television show.

They also do integration of multi channel content on their website better than almost any other magazine-based publication. Their TV show clips are re-purposed into short relevant segments related to the specific recipe your browsing on the site. Their explanatory illustrations from the publication work great on the web as well.

They've quietly created what's arguably the most informative cooking sit on the net. In the process they're charging almost $40 a year for access. And people are subscribing in big numbers (almost 1 million so far).

January 9, 2009

How to write a successful headline

We're working on a new site for neboweb (you'll see it in a couple months), and one of things we're really focusing on is strengthening our copy. It's an area that we've not paid enough attention to in the past. It's never easy writing good copy, but writing good headlines is especially hard.

However, I can give you one piece of advice guaranteed to make you successful. It's advice I wish my advertising copywriting teacher would have given me in school.

For every one headline you plan to use in a campaign write 100 unique headlines.

Not all of them will be good. They don't have to be, but out of that mass of creativity you'll find a few keepers.

This is a habit I picked up from a great book about advertising copywriting by Luke Sullivan called "Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads.".

It reads a little dated, but I highly recommend it to anyone looking to become a stronger copywriter.

January 7, 2009

Cool trick for SEO heads: See Search Rankings in Google Analytics

Andre Scholten introduces a cool use for custom filters in Google Analytics. This method... while not exactly elegant... it does give you a way to see what page your most popular keywords rank on. The level of specificity leaves something to be desired. Are you ranking #1 on the first page, or #10 on the first page?

On a related point, I've never understood why Google Analytics doesn't integrate a search ranking tool. It was an integration I predicted when Google first purchased Urchin many years ago, but has yet to come to fruition.

Quick Note: You can view your custom reports in analytics in: visitors -> user defined