Just met with Mark Wachen, CEO of Optimost, a New York company that optimizes e-marketing Web sites. He tests thousands of variations of Web sites, helping marketers increase the click-through rates. Here are a few of the lessons he's learned:
1) Cut the clutter. Open space is user friendly.
2) Don't get too cute. If there's a button to click, say "Click Here."
3) Assurances can raise alarms. One software site got more customers after taking down the "no spyware" label. Why? "No spyware" reminded users of the dangers of spyware. (Imagine going into a restaurant where the maitre 'd tells you: "Don't worry, we'll make sure no one scratches your car.")
4) The photo of a company prez or ceo is a "recipe for disaster." Unless the CEO is a celeb, the picture just gets in the way.