Weekly Wrap 10/29/10 – Outlook 2011, Heatmaps, Facebook Fans

Some interesting links from the week that was that I thought the FeedBlitz News audience would appreciate.

Outlook 2011 to use Apple’s WebKit to Render HTML Mail

This is important because most corporate users use MS Office – and hence Outlook to read their email. I do; it’s a great app. But the Outlook team started to use Word as their HTML display engine in Outlook 2007 and it’s awful. Not as bad as gmail (which is utterly, utterly atrocious – another rant for another day). But still pretty darned ugly. Getting email to display well in Outlook versions after Outlook 2003 is a big, big challenge.

Using WebKit means that Outlook will finally have a secure, fast and complete HTML rendering engine. To paraphrase Vice-President Biden, this is a big flaming deal. I’ll be upgrading the minute it’s available for this reason alone.

The Ultimate Heatmap

A “heatmap” is a way to show where users interact on any given web page. The more interactions, the “hotter” the area on the page. This site and downloadable PDF shows you what site layouts work best for generating additional revenue from advertising (specifically AdSense but the lessons are generically applicable) – the author claims some layouts can generate 3x the revenue.  Your mileage may obviously vary, and (as Andy Beard does) you can question the methodology (scientific it ain’t), but it’s still great free research that anyone with easy template management and advertising blocks can benefit from.

But it isn’t good for only advertising placement. It’s also great for usability and any call to action. If you don’t run ads but want people to subscribe to your list, put your subscription form in the best performing slot in the heatmap. If you want them to donate to your charity, vote for your candidate … ditto. Good stuff, readily actionable, quick benefits. It’s nice work – go read it and then test it on your site.

We’re Valuing Facebook Fans All Wrong

Part two of a three part rant by Jay Baer. Read, mark and inwardly digest. And then read it again. Great observations in this section. Very thought provoking.

Finally, from the It-Wouldn’t-be-FeedBlitz-if-we-didn’t-shamelessly-self-promote department:

Meet Phil Hollows


Phil Hollows is the founder and CEO of FeedBlitz, the email marketing and social media automation service, and premium FeedBurner alternative. After graduating from Oxford University in 1987, Phil built on his high tech, consulting, and marketing leadership experience, and by 2005 the seeds of FeedBlitz were germinating. Private equity investment followed shortly thereafter, and the rest - as they say - is history. He also authored "List Building for Bloggers" {ListBuildingForBloggers.com}, outlining proven email strategies to build your audience, increase engagement, and grow your income. Pre-FeedBlitz, Phil was vice president of product marketing for enterprise network security management company OpenService (now LogMatrix), and vice president of technology at the web testing company RadView Software.