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Seth Godin has written 18 bestsellers that have been translated into 35 languages

The complete list of online retailers

Bonus stuff!

or click on a title below to see the list


All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing




Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow





An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.




Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.



Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.



Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.




Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.



Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.



Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).




The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.



The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.




The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.




The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.





"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.




Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.



V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.




We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.



Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.



THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin

All Marketers Are Liars Blog

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Member since 08/2003

« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

How to misuse Google Analytics

You may very well already have Google Analytics installed. It's free, it's accurate and it's cool. Google lets anyone with a website measure their traffic and dozens of other metrics. The entire dashboard is focused on how many people come to your site, how many pages they view when they get there and how long they stay.

Given our desire to be popular combined with Google's desire to give users what they want, it's not surprising that traffic is the key driver of the program.

But traffic is a red herring. At best, it's distracting, a stand-in for something more useful. At worst, though, it's dangerous, because the quest for traffic causes you to make bad decisions.

Why do you have a site? What's your goal? Is it to sell something? To receive email? To spread an idea? Whatever it is, you can probably measure it. And measure it you should. Every other piece of Analytics data is trivial compared to that one number.

Short version: if you don't understand how to do goal tracking and funnel analysis, don't use Analytics until you do.

Google offers Analytics for a reason. They're not being selfless... they understand that efficient websites are more likely to buy traffic, because those sites can more easily convert traffic into revenue. The purpose of the program, then, isn't to stroke your ego (or make you feel inadequate). Instead, it's a tool to help you redesign your site every single day to make your ultimate efficiency go up.

Impossible markets

Kevin points us to the broken ipod store.

Our life has become a Saturday Night Live sketch. The question is this: now that you can connect anyone, who will you connect?

Absentee Ballots

Very few people vote by absentee ballot (though the number goes up every year). This is interesting because it's usually easier, more convenient and more certain. It's free and it works. If you're going to vote, why wait until the last minute?

Because, I think, people like the idea of COD. They like the certainty of getting something right now in exchange for their effort. They want to know that nothing in the world changed between the day they would have had to send in their ballot and the day of the election.

This leads to two opportunities for most marketers. The first is that you could slice off the portion of the market that likes to order in advance (in a market where that's not really available). So you could sell your product or service long ahead of time and offer a discount or certainty that appeals to this group. Or, you could do the opposite. You could find a product (like Girl Scout Cookies) that are only offered ahead of time and figure out how to sell them in a retail fashion, like at the reception desk at work. Buy a bunch on spec and sell em when they come in.

Which leads, in a surprisingly untortured way, to pub day for my new book, The Dip. For those that didn't pre-order (and the reasons are obvious--what if you forgot how to read between then and now?), here are some useful links. It's out now and you can get it the moment you pay for it:

At Barnes & Noble (less than $10 for members).

The $5 abridged CD audio edition (exclusive to BN).

At Amazon.

And the brand-new free PDF manifesto, with links to 8CR. Feel free to share.

When in doubt, you'll find more info here and here.


Chris points out this article, all about a woman who sells tumbleweed online.

She's grossing more than $40,000 a year, almost entirely to organic search engine traffic.

I would imagine that the slow shipping option would be pretty cheap, as long as you live downwind from her.

The New York Times Effect

Last Wednesday, the Times ran an article (okay, it was more of a puff piece) about a new gelato shop in New York. (It hadn't even opened yet). This little shop, called Grom, was the first US outpost of a successful chain in Italy.

I took a few friends on Saturday night, which was opening day. There were more than 50 people waiting in line on the sidewalk. It had been that way all day. While we were waiting, they completely ran out of product. All gone.

Gluttons for punishment and always eager to do research for my valued readers, we went back Sunday afternoon. Another 40 people in line.

Is Grom a purple cow? Or was it a combination of perfect weather, the perfect street, the perfect time of day and the best buzz rollout ever? If they're busy in February, it means they've got more than just buzz.

Which brings us to the Fugees, a refugee soccer team in Georgia. These are kids who were lucky enough to find a wonderful coach... it's a great story. The team got a write up in the Times a few months ago. Which led to a book deal, and a movie deal and a guarantee of more than $2,000,000 for the movie alone. That'll put a lot of kids through college.

There's no denying th power of this effect. The real question is this: can you count on it? Plan on it? Scale it?

The answer is no. It's a little like planning your retirement by hoping to win the lottery. Nice work if you can get it.

"May I help you?"

... is almost a useless thing to say.

If you want to end a conversation with a teenager, just ask, "How was school today?"

If you want to end a conversation with a customer, just ask if you can help. Instead, ask, "can I get you a hot drink?" or "what's the worst thing about your insurance company?" or "one slice or two?"

Longer and shorter

Content is getting shorter. Much shorter. Call it snack culture if you want. (Josh sends us this one. Of course it's fake.)

At the same time, advertisers are tempted to get shorter as well. To run shorter pre-rolls and shorter ads and pay to get their jelly-bean-sized logos in the corner of the screen.

I think the answer is to do the opposite. To make loooonger ads (put em on YouTube, they're free).

I heard an argument about the Presidential debate from last week. 90 minutes for ten people. Impossible!

Why not start the Debate Channel? 20 hours a week of live debate available online. Get a cable network to run three or four hours of highlights every week as an inducement to the candidates, but it will really be about the Net. If a candidate doesn't show up, the others get more time to talk. Use a chess clock to be sure no one bullies the conversation.

A huge portion of our lives (as marketers, as consumers, as voters, as citizens) has been dominated by the fact that there were three or twenty TV networks. That this was a scarce resource. It's not. Not any more. So, if there's unlimited real estate, what are we going to build?

[it seems from the trackbacks that I wasn't as clear as I could be, so here goes: the reason you wanted shorter commercials is that they were cheaper to run and you had a shot at stealing attention. But now, you can't steal attention and airtime is free (online). So, since the only people who are going to watch your commercial are the people who WANT to watch it, might as well give them something at least as long as they want to watch...]

More perfect

Most people in the US can't cook. So you would think that reaching out to the masses with entry-level cooking instruction would be a smart business move.

In fact, as the Food Network and cookbook publishers have demonstrated over and over again, you're way better off helping the perfect improve. You'll also sell a lot more management consulting to well run companies, high end stereos to people with good stereos and yes, church services to the already well behaved.

Last opportunity for Dip public speaking tour

We begin to close the reservations for my US speaking gigs this week. Every attendee gets 5 free copies of my new hardcover and the ticket price is $50. I'll be speaking about my new book for about 40 minutes and then taking questions and having a discussion with the audience for up to an hour or so.

The cities: Philly, Tempe, Salt Lake, Silicon Valley, New York and Chicago. The details are right here. I'm trying to be able to offer seats at the door, but it's logistically difficult, so I'm hoping that if you are planning to come, you won't hesitate. See you there.

The magic of auctions

In many auctions, the most irrational person wins.

Here's the proof: eBay offers a service where you can enter your maximum bid. Say you're bidding on a signed Derek Jeter baseball bat. You decide that the most you'd ever be willing to pay for this bat, under any circumstances, is $99. Type it in.

The auction may be at only $15, and eBay will automatically bid $16 for you. If someone else outbids you, eBay keeps increasing your bid automatically, but never exceeds your maximum.

A rational purchaser sees this as a no-lose proposition. If no one else bids more than $80, you get it for much less than you were prepared to pay. If someone else is willing to bid $100, you lose, but that's okay, because you determined ahead of time that it was only worth $99. If it goes for a hundred bucks, no big deal... it's like seeing a diamond ring for a million dollars. You'd like it but you're not willing to pay for it.

The price someone in Texas is willing to pay shouldn't have anything to do with what you think something is worth, should it?

The thing is, very few people who win auctions on eBay use this feature. It's human nature to want to keep what you've got, to want to avoid losing. Even a ten-year-old gets incensed when he discovers he's been outbid.

That's why so many auctions are active at the last minute. Auctions don't work in a rational way.

When you bid $16 for that bat on the first day, you feel terrific. I mean, you just bough a $99 bat for $16.

Of course, you're only the high bidder for a day or so. Then it's not your bat anymore! Someone else has your bat. So you bid $4 more. It's okay, you tell yourself, because, hey, you only spent $4 to get your bat back.

And this keeps going and going until you've spent $200.

A friend of mine spent almost a thousand dollars on a piece of furniture worth $20 using this tortured logic. Human beings are quite willing to repeatedly spend small amounts of money to avoid losing something that they think already belongs to them.

Last thought: the only thing worse than losing a big-time auction is winning one. If you win, you feel like a chump because everyone else in the world dropped out before you. Which is why, if you ever sell something big at auction, you need to bend over backwards to pleasantly surprise the purchaser. It's the only way to overcome auction-buyer's remorse.

Bonus lesson: If you can sell a trial version of the product or service you offer for a small amount of money, do it. (Not 'free', though, cause that'll ruin it). Once someone tries the trial--assuming they like it--then future purchases are easier to justify, because all they're doing is paying a bit extra to keep the item from disappearing...

« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »