acronyms - Abbreviations that confuse website visitors and lower your sales.
Acronyms and abbreviations can hurt your software sales because they confuse prospects. US and CDROM are probably understood by most people, and needn't be explained. But you're losing money if you assume that your users understand techie shortcuts such as Win9x, Win2k, and the dozens of other acronyms and abbreviations that we, in the software development business, use every day when talking with colleagues.
Also, avoid Usenet expressions such as AFAIK and LOL. Confused prospects won't buy your software.
active voice - The sentence structure used by sales people.
In fact, everybody who wants to communicate in a clear, friendly way uses active voice. The format is "Subject does something to object."
Here's an example of an active voice sentence: "I made a mistake."
Here's an example of a passive voice sentence: "Mistakes were made."
If you're using your website to sell software, get rid of as much of the passive voice writing as you can.
Here's an example of active voice: "You should remove passive voice sentences from your website."
Here's an example of passive voice: "Passive voice sentences should be removed from your website."
Active voice is great for selling. In day-to-day conversation, people naturally use the active voice.
The easiest way to find sentences written in the passive voice is to say them out loud. If they sound awkward or contrived, ask yourself how you would say it if you were talking with a friend. You'll likely come up with the active voice version of your passive voice sentence.
activity stream - the movement of information across the social media sites.
To participate in these activity streams on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites, you need to engage. For example, you have to convince people to retweet your Twitter tweets, and comment on your status changes in Facebook.
Be sure to include photos and videos whenever it's appropriate. The goal is to get other people sufficiently interested in your software to tell their friends about it.
adjacencies - in retail stores, putting products next to each other to increase sales.
Creating adjacencies is a merchandising technique that retail stores use to sell more products. Putting two products next to each other can often get people to buy both of them. This same technique can be used online, too, to increase software sales.
In his book "Why We Buy - The Science of Shopping," Paco Underhill discusses a number of interesting examples of how the grouping might be done -
He found that book store sales increased when books were grouped by the gender of the buyer. For example, stores made more money by grouping health, fitness, diet, and nutrition books together, along with other books typically bought by women.
He recommended that a computer store group printers by manufacturer, only to find out that this wasn't the way that consumers wanted to see them grouped. Instead, they wanted to compare, say, $100 injets across all manufacturers. By grouping by price range, sales went up.
He recommended that children's books be grouped by price-range, only to find that the price of all of these books was so low, that nobody cared about the minor differences between the various prices.
Online, you have to experiment and see what works best. If Underhill's instore experience is any indication, then your first guess about grouping applications might not be the most effective one.
Endcaps and self-standing displays often work well in physical stores. Online merchants need to find ways to replicate the effect.
adjacent - An SEO term that means "next to each other".
Many search engines allow you to look for words which appear near each other on web pages. From an SEO perspective, search engines take note of how close your keywords and key phrases are to each other.
ADOS - an acronym for Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny
This lighthearted term was created by Peter Shankman in his 2006 book "Can We Do That?!". The phrase is meant to poke fun at the inability of many Internet users to concentrate on any given subject for more than a few seconds.
Software developers need to keep this concept in mind when they're writing sales messages for their websites and blogs. Prospects and customers scan sites, and click anything that might be close to what they're looking for. Make it simple for them to find and click important links on your website and blog.
adversity - Opportunity in disguise.
All software developers can do a better job of marketing their applications. Don't be discouraged if you're just starting to think about software marketing. Instead, dive in and enjoy it. Marketing is fun. And it's rewarding when you do it right.
In his book "Russell Rules - 11 Lessons on Leadership from the Twentieth Century's Greatest Winner" Bill Russell talks about the rules for success. Bill Russell was the only National Basketball Association player to win 11 NBA championships in 13 years. Bill Russell was the only basketball player to win an NCAA Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and an NBA Championship a single year. Bill Russell knows a lot about success.
Russell defines rebounding as taking advantage of a missed opportunity. It could be recovering from a mistake that you made, or responding to an error that your competitor made.
Russell does not agree with the popular wisdom that we should regard adversity as an opportunity. He believes that this leads to creating a victim mentality - a mindset in which people who have been mistreated believe that they are powerless.
Rebounding means taking control of the situation, regardless of how it was caused. He sees it as a positive action on our part, and not simply a reaction to the things that are going on around us.
We need to be resilient, Russell says, and respond to the problems that affect our business. Problems happen. What's important is how we respond to them.
Our businesses will have highs and lows. We need to have resilience, and not become distracted by the ups and downs that will always be part of business - and of life.
Russell believes that adversity does not necessarily bring out the best in people. Some people respond well to adversity, and some react poorly.
Russell isn't fond of the sports cliche about giving 110 percent. He respects and appreciates hard work. But Russell believes that it's intelligence, skill, and patience that matter - much more than hard work.
"Success doesn't have sweat glands," Russell reminds us. Good advice for people doing software marketing.
advertising - Paying somebody to say good things about your software or your software company.
Advertising is all about selling more product and making more money. It's not about visibility.
So says Sergio Zyman, former Coca-Cola marketing executive and author of "The End of Marketing As We Know It."
Zyman talks about the Mean Joe Greene Coca-Cola ad. Everybody remembers it. But it didn't sell more Coke. It was a dud.
"A campaign or promotion that doesn't get consumers to buy more of your product is, by definition, a dud," Zyman tells us. "Buy my product. Period."
adware - A software marketing method.
Using adware, developers grant licenses to users for free, and users agree to let banner or text ads appear on the software screens.
In the late 1990's, adware was touted as the revolution that would eliminate both shareware and shelfware. Privacy concerns and worries over spyware have all but eliminated adware as a marketing method for laptop and desktop software.
According to a report from Borrell Associates, spending for in-app advertising for mobile applications was $305 million US dollars in 2010. They forecast $685 million in 2011 for advertising delivered by mobile applications, and $8 billion by 2015.
So, yesterday's failed marketing method may prove to be tomorrow's huge success.
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