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Secrets of Eye Traction

We study design, from the simple typographic magic of Massimo Vignelli to the spectacular industrial impact of Jonny Ive. It is important for us to continuously learn about user experience

Essential Steps When Hiring a Digital Agency

  8.08.2017   Online Marketing   No comments

We’ve been in this digital agency business a long time… That includes many great projects over the years, supporting fun, innovative and hard-working clients. But we’ve also had a few,

Video Engagement [Infographic]

Video Engagement Video has become an important tool in website design and online marketing. We have assembled a little infographic to show how video engagement has become critical to your

Put Out the Flames: Overcoming Negative Reviews

Someone recently asked us what to do when your reputation (AKA social proof) takes a hit. Since we’ve had it come up a few times, we wanted to share some

Taking Old Skool Marketing to New School

  13.07.2017   Online Marketing   No comments

Perhaps this reflects a bit of reverse ageism…but our generation marketed in different ways than millenials, sometimes actually for the better. In many ways, Old Skool Marketing was harder than

The Importance of Branding

  10.07.2017   Online Marketing   No comments

I was invited to a networking meeting recently, and nearly every time that happens, someone asks where the name “Twisted Puppy” originated. It is precisely that reason that makes our

LEAD MAGNETS: Attracting Attention to Your Website

The Key Ingredients for Increasing Your Blog Post’s Reach


Creating DESIRE

In his 1984 book Influence, Robert Cialdini shared many academic theories that greatly impacted modern marketing. What original research had shown was that people regularly took specific actions when presented

Instagram #FAILs We See All the Time…

Perhaps our favorite social media platform, one we wish we had more time and energy to fully leverage, is Instagram. Where else can you find such amazing photos, such creativity

Integrating Google Analytics Event Tracking in a HubSpot Form

  17.02.2017   Website Development   No comments

The Problem We had a recent project where the client wanted to embed HubSpot forms into their regular website. Why? They get your leads fed straight into HubSpot, grabbing all

I Is for Interest

Picture this: someone clicks a link and lands on your website. Moment of truth. Actually split second of truth. Research has shown you have 0.2 seconds to make a good

Keeping Visitor Interest Week after Week

Our Interview with Smart Classroom Management’s Michael Linsin One of the more successful small business bloggers we know is Smart Class Management‘s Michael Linsin. Michael, currently a high school teacher

V Is for Value Proposition

How to Create an Effective Value Proposition (and Keep Trying When You Fail) A powerful sales value proposition is essential to hold your viewer’s attention when they visit your website

A Primer to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Almost two-thirds of website traffic comes from organic search. Logically, being easily found on search engines should be an integral part of your online marketing and website development strategy. Aside

Four Building Blocks of Website Success

You may have read about AIDA, an acronym for Attention – Interest – Decision – Action. We’ve been explaining how to manage funnels in Octagon of BOOM, with reference to AIDA in some of our live presentations. AIDA represents the four building blocks of website success, and here’s our philosophy behind how you can use it to grow your revenue.

Neuromarketing 101: It’s Science, Yo!

Chemistry. Biology. Art. Math. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), a fancy phrase that describes “getting online users to take an action you want them to take” is based on all of

Mapping Your Customer Journey

  25.07.2016   Online Marketing   1 Comment

At Twisted Puppy, we put a high value on customer experience. If you want to build a business, you won’t go far with a bad product, poor customer service or

Be Bold. Be Antifragile. Convert More.

If you’ve been reading here a while or know me personally, you already know I read. A lot. I carry a book with me at all times, and I regularly

Building Social Proof: Convincing Customers You Rock (Part 2 of 2)

Social proof can have a huge impact on your online marketing. In our earlier post, we discussed how combinations of social proof are most effective in helping with conversion.  We

Social Proof: Convincing Customers You Rock (Part 1 of 2)

The science of social proof is growing harder to refute. As humans, part of our DNA is looking to our ‘herd’ to see what the safest choices are. Yes, there

The Value of Marketing Frameworks

For the past year, we’ve collated years of lessons learned from technology and marketing into a reusable framework we call Octagon of BOOM. Recently, a client described it as “a

Always Be Converting: The State of Conversion in 2016

Repeat this conversion mantra after me. Always. Be. Converting. It seems that many small and midsize businesses assume that having a website is enough. No, it’s not enough. If you’ve

Instagram for Business: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’ve been using Instagram for your personal photos, you know it’s an interactive, fun, creative platform. Beautiful images from around the world are shared by billions of people, everything

10 Questions to Ask Website Designers & Developers

Want to make sure you find the right web designer or website developer for your new project? Here are 10 Questions to Ask Website Designers & Developers.

Maximizing Effectiveness of Your Website

Sometimes you stumble across something you wish you had said or created yourself. Here’s a fast & loose explanation from Gregory Markel of Infuse Creative outlining many of the core

What We Are Loving This Month (March 2016)

  1.03.2016   Lifehacking   No comments

It’s been a while since we shared some inspirations, so here goes – what we are loving this month, March 2016…food for your mind, soul, growth and productivity. Book: Revenue

How to Hire a Great Web Development Agency

Too often, we hear stories of companies who retained firms to design and develop their website, but the results fell below expectation. Sometimes this can happen with a bait &

Anatomy of a High Converting Landing Page

Definition of a Landing Page First things first (a pet peeve is folks who get this part wrong…). A landing page is any page on a website where traffic is

Copywriting that Converts

8 Things to Try in Your Next Landing Page, Blog Post or Newsletter The ultimate goal of copywriting is sales conversion: prospects moving into your sales funnel and becoming customers

Personas: Where Online Marketing Should Start

  28.01.2016   Online Marketing   1 Comment

We’ve been working on a number of online marketing projects lately, and one of the most important preliminary steps is identifying the target audience. Many years ago, someone taught me

9 Critical Steps for Creating Effective Landing Pages

The best (and worst) thing about online marketing today is that there’s no shortage of advice. Blog, Tweet, Like, Share. The traffic has to come from somewhere and go somewhere

Online Marketing 101: SEO Hack – Using Google Keyword Planner

If you’re looking for ways to build more traffic to your website (who isn’t!?!?), you should experiment with a variety of techniques. Although a number of internet hucksters will sell

Online Marketing: Start The Year On a Good Path

Online marketing is a fickle beast – and you have to do it all the time. Like many of you, at the end of the year, we take time to

Using Social Delivery for a Business Blog Post

Many small and midsize businesses may use or are considering blogging as part of their marketing strategy. What many fail to realize is that creating the a blog post is

Landing Page Conversions: 7 Killer Flaws [Infographic]

Landing Page Conversions: 7 Killer Flaws An infographic from that tackles the critical landing page conversions, outlining seven flaws that can kill your conversion, and how you can fix

Twisted Puppy’s WordPress Must-Have Plugins

We regularly build WordPress websites for small to medium-sized businesses. Something that always comes into play is choosing the right WordPress plugins to make sites more secure, efficient and productive.

Offshore Development: Trade-Offs vs. Working Onshore

I have hesitated on posting this for quite some time because I know it’s going to invite some vitriol from a few folks – but it’s simply my experience with

Permission marketing is no longer the future…

On rare occasions, a podcast will stop me in my tracks. A few weeks ago, on Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch Joel interviewed Seth Godin, the godfather of permission marketing.

How to Manage Marketing Consistency

Ah, the perils of not having marketing consistency… When building our first website development and hosting company, my partner and I had a simple division of labor: I created the

9 Tips to Maximize Engagement in Your Email Newsletter

Like blogging, newsletters require attention to detail if you want to truly engage your readers. I’ve been helping clients prepare newsletters over the years, and I’ve had successes and failures

Lifehacking: 5 Bullet Friday (NOT by Tim Ferriss)

  13.11.2015   Books, Lifehacking   No comments

As an homage to lifehacking guru extraordinaire Tim Ferriss, here is my weekly dose of “5-Bullet Friday” – a list of what I’m enjoying or pondering.   Best podcast episode

Content Marketing Is Hard (and What You Can Do About It)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been living the pain that is content marketing. I recently wrote an eBook (not a small feat in itself given my hectic career and

4 Life Lesson Reminders from Crashing My Drone

  27.10.2015   Lifehacking   No comments

I’ve been super careful since I purchased my DJI Phantom II drone a couple of year ago. For me, it was a sizable investment in a “toy”. From the beginning,

Effective Email Marketing Strategies: Planning Your Content

If you want to send more effective marketing emails, start with a roadmap. A clear vision of what you’re trying to accomplish will help you reach your objective. Are you

Twitter Retrospective: 7 Useful Tweets

I tweet. A lot. My Tweetdeck looks like a command center, with hashtags and accounts… Primarily, I use Twitter as a learning and sharing platform. Sure, once in a while,

Game Changed: My Amazing First Week with the Apple Watch

So my Apple Watch arrived about 10 days ago. I’ve been super busy, so I didn’t even open it. I was actually having buyer’s regret, thinking about sending it back

Reading List: 6 Startup Books I Wish I’d Read Sooner

  22.05.2015   Books, Small Business   No comments

I’ve seen many book lists over the years that urge startups to read a select set of books. Although one or two on my list also appear on the others,

Design Defined by Massimo Vignelli #UX

“I like design to be semantically correct, syntactically consistent, and pragmatically understandable. I like it to be visually powerful, intellectually elegant, and above all timeless.” —Massimo Vignelli     Clean

Props for a Great Customer Experience

Maybe Cloudmark sent this same email to every customer, but it sure was nice to open and read.   Thank you for being a valued member of the Cloudmark community.

Must Reading for Understanding User Experience Design

  23.02.2015   Books, user experience   No comments

Several years ago on Twitter, I stumbled across a hashtag that aligned to a project I was working on with “friendly” user interfaces. #UX was the tag, and “user experience”

What I’m Reading [January 2015]

  18.01.2015   Books, Lifehacking   No comments

My library card gets a workout, and I’m pretty sure Amazon loves me. Except that I got Prime, so that free shipping thing might make them mad… I’ve been reading

Software Development Projects (including Websites) Are Never Done

Chances are good that your software development project will never be done (unless it’s deprecated and unplugged!). Here’s our six stage plan for keeping technology alive and well throughout the

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Meets Maslow’s Hierarchy

You’ve probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy, part of a classical 1940’s publication about psychology and behavior. We often see diagrams like the one shown that define the pyramid of human

SEO and The Tortoise of Website Performance

We were recently working on a website that took F O R E V E R to load, and that will only hurt you in search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Holiday Prediction: Promotions Are Headed for Fatigue

In October, the National Retail Federation predicted a 4.1% growth in sales in November and December, compared to one year ago, catapulting total spending this year to $616.9 billion. According

Grammar Police: Your, Its, There, Very

  5.11.2014   Stuff   No comments

I suppose I’m a badge-carrying member of the grammar police force. Four words in particular can get under my skin when misused: Your, Its, There, Very. The reason? Far too

Avoid Marketing Peaks & Valleys

I have seen this phenomenon time and time again, but I would never have understood it unless it happened to me. First, the punchline: always be marketing. Why? To avoid

Designing Landing Pages that Convert

Are you tapping into the ease and results of landing pages? Check out this infographic for 10 ways to design landing pages that convert. 10 ways to design landing pages

Uh Oh: Overcoming Negative Social Feedback

There it is, the latest review on Yelp. You suck. One star. ★ What do you have planned to overcome negative feedback in social media? Whether it’s Facebook, Yelp, or

What She Said: The Power of Customer Testimonials

Nothing your marketing messages say is as powerful as what your customers can say about you. Nielsen’s research indicates that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more

The Most Effective Press Release

<rant> Over my career, I’ve been involved with a number of software projects. Some of these projects were vaporware, while others that were beautifully architected, coded and tested. One of

Creative Flow: Mastery and Productivity Gains

  28.10.2014   Books, Lifehacking   No comments

One of the most motivating books I’ve read this year was The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler, searching for tips & tools related to flow. Although I would love

Be bold. Marketing is no place for similarity.

  27.10.2014   Online Marketing   No comments

Be bold. Marketing is no place for similarity. Take chances. Don’t overthink it. Do something the other guys aren’t. I have a client who is concerned about an image on


“The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning. The Japanese

RIP Jay Adams, The Lord of Dogtown

  17.08.2014   Stuff, Uncategorized   No comments

Arguably, I would not be who am (a rebel), do what I do (create cools stuff), live where I live (Los Angeles), if it weren’t for Jay Adams and the

Having Fun in Software Development

Software development, by its nature, is tedious. Attention to detail ensures quality, reliability and usability. But all work and no play makes developers go crazy. That’s why I think the

Perpetual Learning in Software Development

You’re like a shark – you have to keep swimming or you die. If you’re in software development, the learning should never stop. I’ve been a software developer for over

What’s Inspiring Me This Month [April 2014]

  7.04.2014   Design, Startups, Stuff   No comments

I read. Alot. There’s a pile of books on my nightstand, and although I try to read one at a time, sometimes the topic doesn’t suit my moods or fill

Uni Direct LA: Ocean Fresh Sea Urchin, Anyone?

Uni may be an acquired taste, but for those who love it, it’s nectar. Feeling adventurous? Crack open a live sea urchin and scoop out the roe – you can

Claude Hopkins: Godfather of Copywriting

If you could raise any creative person from the dead, whom would you hire at your company?

What Are You Loving This Month? [February 2014]

I was inspired by a business magazine article this week – the question was posed “what are you loving this month?”, which got me to thinking about great customer experiences

Great Example of Email Marketing

  4.04.2013   Online Marketing   No comments

We wouldn’t say we’re the easiest audience – and today, iStockPhoto cleared the bar of showing great email marketing techniques. As examples of the barriers: We don’t use iStockPhoto often

Let’s Launch This Puppy… Hello, Twisted Puppy

Origins of Twisted Puppy When I registered the domain in the 90s, I had no idea that the path would ultimately lead back where it started. At the time,