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, RSS feed and social media automation service, and premium FeedBurner alternative. He is also the author of “List Building for Bloggers,” - http://ListBuildingForBloggers.com - highlighting proven email strategies that build your audience, increase engagement and grow your income – without the geek speak. Phil started what became FeedBlitz in 2005, raising private equity investment in 2006. Before that, he’s held a variety of high technology, consulting and marketing positions in both the US and the UK since graduating from Oxford University in 1987. Phil’s lived in the US for nearly 22 years. The father of two teenagers and currently living in greater Boston, MA, Phil enjoys hearing from folks stateside how much they love his accent, and from friends and family back in England how American he sounds