No.7/ September 19, 2005

The Corporate Muse


Hello.  Welcome to this month's installment of The Corporate Muse!  As always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions. 



What Is The Purpose Of Your Website?



Anymore, it’s rare to find a company without a Website.


Many a business owner or decision maker has purchased a domain name and thrown up a site with little thought about what they expect it to do for them. (True Story: In 1996 I asked my 14 year-old son to “make me a Website” for a restaurant we owned. I figured he could just type some stuff into the computer, and Voila! We’d have a Website.)


Others have heard you can make money on the Web and they’re determined not to miss the boat. But the gap between building a site and having it produce results can be enormous.


  So how do you avoid the pitfalls?


Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing, once they get their site up and running, they’re done. If you’ve just created your first Website, pat yourself on the back. You’ve truly accomplished something and deserve to feel good about it. As anyone who’s ever tried it knows, Web construction is no easy undertaking and can be a very frustrating endeavor.


  Production is only Phase One.


Like every other portion of your business, Websites need to be managed.


The first step is to decide the purpose for your Website (if you haven’t already done this). What do you want your Website to do? This can be daunting, but here are a few options:


1)      Showcase your skills

2)      Describe your business

3)      Generate Leads

4)      House your portfolio

5)      Sell a product or service


Next, and perhaps even more important, you need to establish what the visitors to your site expect. What task (or tasks) are they trying to accomplish?


1)       Are they seeking information about your products or


2)       Are they there to shop – do they want to order something?

3)   Are they looking to find out more about you?


The last entry may be a bit of a trick question. Most of us want to feel a connection to those we conduct business with.


For example, let’s say I recently moved to a new area; have made few friends, and my car breaks down. How do I know whom I can trust to fix it? I scan the Yellow Pages, but most of the advertisements offer limited information. I can take it to a reputable nationwide company, but many of those are franchised and locally owned, and sometimes no more dependable than a fly-by-night operation.


This is where I turn to the Web.


I do a Google or Yahoo search and find three different repair shops close by that look pretty good. Two have Websites, one doesn’t. I click to the sites.


On one page, the first one tells me their location, how many years they’ve been in business and the kind of work they do. The second has multiple pages, giving detailed description of each of their services, a page featuring the staff and their expertise, and included on the home page are six testimonials from existing customers. Which one will I choose? Which one would you choose?


Once you’ve figured out what you want your site to achieve and whom you’re addressing, have settled on the graphic features and published to the Web, you’ll need to continue your management aspects. These will include:


1)      Regularly reading over your site…

2)      Checking the stats (through your Internet Web host – how many visitors, how many pages they visit, etc.) and… 

3)      Making necessary changes. This is best accomplished through a specific schedule of three months, six months, or a year.


After carefully examining your site, you may choose to scrap it and start fresh or just replace some wording, or even, heaven forbid, correct grammar or spelling errors (In this case, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry). If this process seems overwhelming, you might consider enlisting help – such as, a Web designer, marketing consultant or copywriter – especially if you select to start over.


Of course, this might add some cost, but an outside eye will offer suggestions you may have missed. 


Those ideas can lead to a more polished image,

a lighter load and …Increased Sales.


Properly managed, a well-planned Website is an invaluable part of your marketing toolkit. It will provide measurable evidence of its worth, and will be a 24/7 resource your customers can access at their convenience from almost any place they might be…


Otherwise, why bother?


       © QuickSilver Copywriters 2005 – Andy & Shawn Catsimanes;; mailto:; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:



It’s been reported that business at Sonic Drive-In has boomed since the advent of their most recent advertising campaign and introduction of those ads to Cable TV. Nation’s Restaurant News and the Kansas City Star expressed amplified sales by the gay community because of “P.J. and Pete,” the two battling boys in the SUV outside the restaurant. Personally, I’ve never bought the whole gay reference. In fact, until learning their names a few minutes ago, I’ve always referred to them as “Dumb and Dumber.” Still, I admit, I enjoy the commercials and started thinking about why these two, whatever their sexual preference, would cause increased traffic.

The basis might be because they appeal to our “limbic mind,” the part of the brain that controls trust. Dr. Lynella Grant has studied this intently and has dedicated a Website to her findings ( She states in the first paragraph of her home page, “Trust and believability are established by subliminal influences which are much faster and more accurate than logic. Unless you seem believable right off the bat, people won't give you a chance.”

Without delving too deeply, I can’t help but wonder why these two guys give us that instantaneous sense of “trust and believability.” To answer this question, let’s look a little deeper at what Dr. Grant says:

“A person’s limbic system decides in an instant—then doesn’t change its mind. That part of the brain constantly scans for either of two things—what it likes (attraction) and, equally important, what it dislikes or fears. Anything else hardly rates a notice (indifference)—and that includes almost all information.”

What the Limbic System Looks for:

           It Likes

    Curiosity and Novelty
   The unexpected, bizarre or impossible
   Exaggeration (to the point of ridiculous)
   Perplexing and quirky

Challenges to figure out—puzzles, riddles, optical illusions

Fun, silliness, humor, laughter, and slapstick

NOW—what’s present  (since it can’t relate to the future
   or remember the past)

Sexy and Titillating  enough said

Emotional Experiences
   Love, kindness and caring
   Gratitude and appreciation
   Recognition and flattery (prefers that it be sincere)
   Personalization, which is why using a person’s name works so well
   Inspiration that rouses the spirit (often through symbols)
   Good feelings and pleasantries
   Relationships and enjoyable shared experiences

Sensuous—involves all five senses
   (especially smell, which
   is in the brain stem)

Beauty—however they define it
   Grace and elegance
   Eye catching—with color, images and movement

Congruence—all the parts in synch and credible
   Sincere, simple and direct
   Authentic, genuine and consistent

High Energy

             It Doesn’t Like

Boring —same as everyone else

Inconsistency and incoherence (sends sour notes)

Scary or dangerous

Being controlled or manipulated

Being taken for granted

Unpleasantness (offends the senses)


 © Lynella Grant, 2004

In gaining a slight understanding of the limbic mind —its likes and dislikes—it seems we trust P.J. and Pete especially because we find them perplexing and quirky, silly and slapstick, and exaggerated to the point of ridiculous. In fact, those qualities I find myself mocking are the exact things my mind accepts as believable and trustworthy. Funny how the mind works.


Let’s take it a step further and make it personal. When considering your next marketing campaign, respect the limbic mind and make those first few seconds count.




  A Lesson In Persistence

By placing a leaky coffee pot on it, we inadvertently made a disaster of the teakwood table my husband’s parents gave us. For months, I covered it with an antique tablecloth. It looked okay, but I prefer the look of well cared for fine wood, so the other day I decided to see if I could remove the water spots. I gathered Tung oil, soft cloths and steel wool. With tools in hand, I set to work. To get that beautiful hand-rubbed look I was going for, I had to … well … rub by hand. That meant good old-fashioned elbow grease – and lots of it.


After about an hour, the unmarked areas of the table began to take on the sheen merited by my hard work, but the blotchy patches soaked up the Tung oil and refused to give up their bleached-out appearance. The bad part was these weren’t small discolorations. One stain, in the shape of the coffee maker, left a circle about five inches in circumference. The other was a rectangle about sixteen inches long and six inches wide. And they were both stubborn.


I tried several different methods and finally decided alternating between scrubbing with the fine steel wool and wiping the oil on and off worked the best. Rather than bore you with the nitty-gritty details of the process, suffice it to say, it took a long, long time – time I used to think. For a while, I debated about whether or not to finish the project, especially when there was little progress in my laborious efforts. But being a tenacious sort, I pressed on. After about five hours, I began to see some improvement. I stood back and admired my handiwork. Not bad at all.


It took another two hours to get the table close to what I wanted and it could probably use at least another hour’s work, but by now, you can see where I’m going with this. Living, as we do, in a result-oriented society, it’s easy to quit in middle of something we don’t see advancing as quickly as we’d like. If you’re struggling right now because some facet of your life or work isn’t moving at the pace you expected, I’d like to encourage you to keep trying. Whatever the issue, it could be like my water-damaged table that took so much time to correct. And just a little more effort will bring the desired outcome.


– “Never give up.  Never surrender.”  (Those of you familiar with the movie “Galaxy Quest” can appreciate this!)

If you're planning a marketing campaign or change to your Website, feel free to contact us for a Free Consultation. Thanks for reading. See you next month!


Andy & Shawn Catsimanes

To Unsubscribe:  $UNSUBSCRIBEURL$


© 2005 QuickSilver CopyWriters – All Rights Reserved

Return Home

Back to Newsletter Archives




For some good reading , check out our Article Archives!


"With Andy & Shawn's help, 'Snapshots from the Soul' became a reality. They demonstrated great sensitivity and compassion and we enjoyed working with them very much."

~Dennis E. Chapman, Associate Executive Director, City Union Mission, KC, MO


“Andy and Shawn are copywriters you can count on to understand your business and your customers. I couldn’t be more impressed with the copy they provided us. Their work is excellent. I look forward to working with them again soon.”

~Kevin Fryer


"A book would not be enough room to compliment Shawn on her work. Her professionalism comes first even if it means staying up late at night to answer all your question. She works tirelessly to get the best results possible. Her attitude, caring, and devotion are unique and I'm thankful I had the chance to work with her."

~ Olga O'Mara


"Andy is a no fluff wordsmith with high direct response, long copy talent. His work will lift interest in your website. His ability to get up to speed on your unique business model is impressive. He is persistent to completing projects and takes personal pride in the quality of his work. He is honest and knows what drives sales. If you are lucky enough to get him, you will get above average copy for a fair price. I'd use Andy anytime."

~ Christopher Hebard
Pruett Media