Inbound Now #41 - Website Conversion Optimization Techniques with Derek Halpern

Derek Halpern of joins us for episode 41 of Inbound Now!

Derek is an interesting guy in the world of internet marketing.

He blends together psychological principles, copywriting skills and marketing know-how to help people increase traffic and convert more leads. 

In this episode we chat about:

  • Where to place calls to action on your site for the highest conversions
  • What Social Proofing is and how it can build trust and convert leads
  • How to Bundle Content to pull in more web traffic
  • How a Feature Box can grow your mailing list
  • Critical Pages to Optimize for Conversions

Be methodological in your website testing

Derek, along with any other internet marketing who is smart, recommends testing everything.

There are no definitive studies online that will give you a correct answer to what will work for your site. 

The only way to see if a particular technique will work for you is testing.

Visual website optimizer and Google website optimizer are two tools Derek recommends using for a/b testing.

Social Helps Pull in Traffic but how much?

Social media may not be the end all be all that social media gurus claim.

If Derek sends out a tweet to his 10k followers he might get 50 clicks, where at the same time, he will send out an email to 10k of his subscribers and get close to 1000 clicks.

“A thousand clicks is how you run a business. Fifty clicks are not how you run a business.” -Derek Halpern

I’d have to agree with him on this point, though I still think maintaining an active social media presence has many other benefits over just raw traffic.

The Content is King Myth debunked

“In that first impression, people either decide to trust you, or distrust you. Alright, now, what determines the difference between trust and distrust? In that article, The “Content is King” Myth Debunked, I quoted some research from Elizabeth Silence. And she had found that of the people who she tested between trust and distrust, people were more likely to distrust websites, based on their web design, not their content. Before people even read the headline, they’re leaving this first impression of,
“Do I trust this person? Do I distrust this person?” It’s web design that matters there.”

Bundle Your Content

Group your articles into content buckets or resource pages.

Derek has bundled some of his best list building posts and Sales posts into these resource pages.

Copyblogger also implements this strategy to (see Magnetic headlines) to pull in more organic traffic and group content together.

Do NOT waste Website real estate

Derek killed his search box on his site.

Why?People don’t go to blogs to search.  He recommends checking your analytics for how many visitors actually use your search box and if it’s low kill your search box!

He also doesn’t use too much fluff in his site’s sidebar. He has removed the categories listing and archives section and keeps the items down to a minimal.

He explains that cluttered sites with too much going on will confuse visitors and invoke a feeling of distrust in them.

Create a Halpern Header for your Site

Derek and I are fans of lightbox popups for one simple fact, they convert very well.

Some industry gurus are against the popup and to solve this controversy Derek added in a feature box to top of his homepage. 

Your Home and About Us Page are Critical!

Content Pages will be your most trafficked web pages and will bring in the most organic search. This is pretty obvious.

What happens after someone comes into your site for the first time is typically them clicking over to your home page or about page.

Derek highly recommends having conversion points on both.

What Should be in Your Sidebar?

Derek killed the search box on his site and uses that prime real estate for specific calls to action, his opt-in form to build his mailing list, and as a social proofing mechanism. 

He includes a quote from everyone’s favorite trust agent Chris Brogan under his opt-in form to increase the likelihood that someone will opt-in.

What Color Should You Use in Your Calls to Action?

There is no one magical color that will convert your visitors like mad. Derek mentions it’s really about testing different color schemes with your calls to action until you find the correct mix.

You want to have a color that really stands out from your existing color scheme, so people can actually notice it.

Derek also recommends having two specific colors that you use over and over on your site. One color that people can click on and one color that people can’t click on. 

Web Typography Matters for Marketing!

Make sure your site is easy to read. Derek recommends keeping content broken up in shorter paragraphs. Make your content digestible.

600 pixels is an optimal reading width and Derek typically using this width for these landing pages, blog, and squeeze pages.

Full-width pages are actually harder to scan and might turn off some web visitors.

Derek implements a proven copy-writing technique, where he keeps the first 4 sentences of his content very short, to get people into the content. Once they have read the first four lines of copy they typically will consume the rest. 

Don’t Be the Poison Food Cart

Social Proofing can be a powerful conversion mechanism but Derek also mentions how it can go the opposite way as well.

If you have a rather low social media following or low subscriber base, it’s probably not the best idea to feature those boxes on your site.


David: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Inbound Now. I have a very special guest with me here today, Mr. Derek Halpern of He runs, where basically, he blends psychology and marketing together to help people increase website conversions. I love his blog, and he also has a podcast as well, which I’m sure we’ll dive into on the show. Welcome to the show, Derek.

Derek: Dude, what’s up? Thanks for having me. Really pumped to be here.

David: Yeah, yeah, for sure, for sure. So I wanted to get you on the show to basically dive into everything website and blog conversions. It’s one of the biggest problems that businesses have, right? You know, everyone knows that creating content brings website visitors into the site. Actually converting those into leads and customers, that’s where sometimes businesses fall short, and I know you’re the expert there.

Derek: So, actually, you wanna know what’s really funny? A lot of people think they have conversion problems but that’s not always the case. It’s not usually a conversion problem. Most people don’t have conversion problems, actually. Most people have a traffic problem. You know, a lot of people will say something like, “I’m getting a thousand hits per month,”
or, “I’m getting two thousand hits per month,” and they’re like, “I’ve got a conversion problem.” Well, if you’re getting 1,000 or 2,000 hits a month to a blog, and 1,000 or 2,000 hits reading content, that’s not a conversion problem. That’s a traffic problem. You know, content doesn’t really convert readers into sales, necessarily, that well. Unless you’re ranking for specific keywords and those thousand visitors are highly targeted traffic. Let’s say you get a visitor reaching out for how to buy this WordPress plug-
in and insert your product here, right? If you have that kind of traffic, that traffic will convert a little bit better, but if you’re just updating a blog and you’re getting 1,000 to 2,000 hits, you’re probably not gonna get very many sales. So, that said, I wanna clarify the difference between the traffic problem and a conversion problem. If your blog is getting less than 5,000 hits a month, you probably have a traffic problem. If it’s getting more than 5,000 hits per month, then you have a conversion problem.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So you’re saying that they should focus on that traffic first, and build that up?

Derek: Yes.

David: Interesting.

Derek: Absolutely. A lot of people start out right out the gate, you know?
They’ll start their blog, they’ll have 100 hits a day, they’ll read articles about the importance of split testing. Now, all of a sudden they’ll run a split test. It’ll take them 45 days to get a statistically significant split test, because they don’t have enough traffic going to their sales pages. You know what I mean?

David: Right, right.

Derek: So, just to keep that in mind.

David: Interesting, interesting. So you’re pretty methodical with the tests that you run and that you write about on your blog right?

Derek: Yup.

David: So can you kind of run us through that process? How long do you run tests for, and what’s statistically significant?

Derek: Hmm. So I actually don’t calculate what’s statistically significant. I know with Visual Website Optimizer, they’ll say this is like a 96% chance to complete, or whatever. I usually just wait til a tool tells me it’s statistically significant. I try to avoid math at all costs. I’m not trying to do any math over here. But I usually let Visual Website Optimizer and there’s also Google Website Optimizer. Those two tools are great at determining statistical significance. Then the next part is, I guess, how I decide what to test, right? So I always test the things that matter most to me. Right now, the thing that matters most to me is building an e-mail list. Mainly because as you build an e-mail list, the more e-mails you have, the more sales you can make. It’s really just that simple. There’s a lot of social media experts out there that will say social media is the answer, but no one got famous on social media. Most of the people who are using social media to drive business built their social media account because they had an e-mail list or a website with a lot of traffic, to send people over there. No one just logs onto Twitter, starts talking to people by sending app messages, and all of a sudden wakes up one day being an influencer. That’s not how it works.

David: Right, right. So the common denominator, still, is that e-mail list. Social obviously helps pull traffic in, but if you’re not converting into that list, you’re kinda dead in the water, right?

Derek: Well, social does help pull traffic in, and if you’re not converting into the list you are dead in the water. But a lot of people will then take that phrase of social pulls in traffic, and they’ll think to themselves,
“Well, since I get traffic from Twitter, that means I should be on Twitter.” That’s not the case. You’ll get traffic from Twitter whether you’re on Twitter or off Twitter. People will share your content, if it’s good content, on Twitter. You don’t have to be there, to share your content. If you actually go to, you’ll notice that I don’t link my social media profiles. You know why? Because it doesn’t get me any results. I can send an update to my 10,000 followers on Twitter. I’ll send and update to them, I’ll maybe get 50 clicks. Big deal! 50 clicks. I mean, even at a 2% conversion rate on sales pages, 50 clicks might be one sale. If I send an e-mail update out to 10,000 people, you can bet on it that I’m generating at least, at least, a thousand clicks.

David: Gotcha, gotcha.

Derek: A thousand clicks is how you run a business. Fifty clicks is not how you run a business.

David: Right, right, right. OK, OK. So that’s kind of a controversial viewpoint, but it makes sense. People are still reading their e-mail, that’s a better way to drive in traffic. You wrote another post on your blog, The “Content is King” Myth Debunked. Where you talk about how crucial it is that your website design backs up what your site’s about and having a good site design. So can you elaborate on that?

Derek: Yeah. So especially in the social media space, again, I kinda got a chip on my shoulder for these social media gurus. Some of them are great, I’m friends with a lot of them and they know their stuff. But there’s some of them that really don’t know what they’re talking about. One person will say something like, “The content is king,” and you know what? Content is king. Good content gets traffic. It’s true, but here’s the deal. When people stumble on your site, in the first few seconds on that site, you’re leaving a first impression on your visitor, right?

David: Yeah.

Derek: In that first impression, people either decide to trust you, or distrust you. Alright, now, what determines the difference between trust and distrust? In that article, The “Content is King” Myth Debunked, I quoted some research from Elizabeth Silence. And she had found that of the people who she tested between trust and distrust, people were more likely to distrust websites, based on their web design, not their content. Before people even read the headline, they’re leaving this first impression of,
“Do I trust this person? Do I distrust this person?” It’s web design that matters there.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So if the site kind of looks like it’s from 1996 and really crappy, is that really what turns people off? They think this isn’t a legitimate business because they can’t pay a designer or they don’t keep their room clean, as it were?

Derek: Yeah. So, a good web design is very subjective, right?

David: Right.

Derek: But what she found is there were some threads of similarity between good web design and bad web design, and it wasn’t so much about having an expensive design. It was just about having a current design. It wasn’t like, don’t make your site look old, first. Second, a cluttered web design triggers distrust. When people land on a cluttered site they’re confused. If people are confused, they’re not gonna take action. They’re not gonna read your articles. There were actually some rumors back in the day, maybe 4 years ago, and it still persists today. Where people say that cluttered web designs convert higher. That’s true. A cluttered web design does convert traffic into ad clicks, potentially at a higher rate, but the reason why that happens is that people are confused. They don’t know where the content is, so they’re clicking on ads by accident.

David: Right.

Derek: Alright, so clutter triggers distrust. There’s a whole list of other things that trigger distrust that I call the 10 Red Flags of Web Design. I use her research study, to go over that. Another thing that triggered distrust was bad navigation. If people couldn’t find what they wanted, when they wanted, that was another reason why they would distrust a site. That kinda sounds funny to me, because a lot of blog navigation is bogus. You’ll stumble on a blog and what will you see in their navigation bar? You’ll see Home, About, Contact Us, all this stuff, but does that really matter? Do people care about that? No. People wanna land on your site and know exactly what your site’s all about, instantly, you know?

David: Right.

Derek: So if you’re not gonna give what I call contextual navigation, where on, again, I have links to a list building page or an increased online sales page. That helps build the whole contextual navigation so people can stumble on my site, and figure out exactly what my site’s all about without really having to click around too much.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So I saw an interview you did with Laura Roeder, where you basically went through and did a site audit of her site. And in that you were talking about grouping your different articles into content buckets. Is that what you’re mentioning there?

Derek: Yup. Exactly. Content buckets, resource pages, I basically call it whatever I call it the day that I wake up. I’m bad at calling it the same thing. It’s essentially just grouping together maybe 5 or 6 articles in your archive. Not any articles, your best articles. Group your 5 best articles in your archive, and making it on one page where people can access that very easily. Just go to and go to List Building. You’ll see where I group my 3 best list building articles. This is important for a few reasons. If people stumble on your content page and they’re looking for something else they can click on, you wanna send them to your best content, right? You wanna leave a good impression, so that’s why you group all your best content up into this resource page. That way if people click from a content page to a resource page, you’re putting your best foot forward. You’re not relying on your category page, which might be designed in such a way where your newest content comes up first, but your newest content isn’t necessarily your best content.

David: Right, right, right. So another thing that you did on Social Triggers, is that you feature the most popular posts, and you talk about removing the archives and even the search box, right?

Derek: Yeah.

David: So what was the thought process behind getting rid of search completely?

Derek: Man! I got a lot of flack for that search box, and I’ve run a bunch of sites. Back in 2007 I had an entertainment blog. I think in 2007 that blog did like 30 million hits or 40 million hits. It got a ton of traffic, alright? Of those 30 or 40 million hits, almost no one used the blog search bar. I started thinking to myself, “Why do I have a search bar on my blog?”
I put it there because I felt like I needed it. As a matter of fact, I was the only one who was probably using it, when I was trying to do internal linking. You know, to find articles I wanted the link to on my own site. Then I started testing not using the search bar and I got like one or two complaints, but overall no one even noticed it was gone. You know why?
Because people don’t go to blogs to search. People stumble on blogs from search engines. If they don’t find what they want on that blog, then they go back to the search engine and re-search again. No one stumbles onto your site, “Oh, let me check out this article. Oh, wait a second, this article is not what I was looking for. Hold on, let me type in their search bar.”
No. They press the back button and go search back to Twitter, they go back to Google, they go back to Bing. They search there. They don’t search your blog for anything.

David: Right, right. I think that’s dead on the spot. They go back to Google and search whatever they’re looking for and your site’s name or something. Even WordPress search, is not that great. You don’t always find what you’re looking for and you’ll go back to Google.

Derek: Exactly.

David: So, also on your site, you have what you call a feature box on the home page. Can you talk a little bit more about that, why you have that on your home page, and what it’s there for?

Derek: So last year, the feature box was kind of one of the things I became known for. The feature box. I made a mistake. My friend Marcus actually told me I should have called it The Halpern Header because it would have been better for branding. Let me tell you a little bit about that. Last year I started promoting the importance of building an e-mail list, and a lot of these social media people, dopes, what I call them, I don’t believe in social media people, they started, “Well, I don’t wanna put a pop-up on my site.” I was like, “Well, you gotta put a pop-up on your site.” More e-
mails means you’re gonna get more readers. Not putting a pop-up on your site only means one thing. People aren’t gonna subscribe to your blog where you’re creating great content, and then stumble on another blog where they’ll put their e-mail there. That other blog might not be nearly as ethical as you, so you not putting a pop-up on your site is essentially sending readers to other sites where they might have harm done upon them because you refrained from getting their e-mail address. I’ve been trying to change their behavior. You can’t change people’s minds, you can only show them a new way, right? I didn’t try to convince people to use a pop-up I stumbled on the idea of a feature box. I was like just put a big opt-in form above the content and it was converting really, really well. For some reason the social media people were cool with that. They were like, “Oh, that’s not a pop-up, that’s not that annoying, and it converts. Perfect. Best of both worlds.” Now, I stumbled on that by accident, because I actually was looking at Laura Roeter’s site and I noticed she had this big box at the top of her site, it was just a home page, essentially. She had a home page opt-in. I thought about what if I put that big box on top of a blog design? As I said, it’s one of the main reasons why Social Triggers was able to grow so fast, because it converts great.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So what do you list in the feature box? Basically what people are gonna get when they subscribe or?

Derek: Yeah. That’s actually an interesting question, I’ll tell you why. When you look at your Google analytics, you’ll find that your content pages are your number one pages. Not just any one piece of content but just content pages as a whole. When people stumble on the content page, what do they do next? They’ll either go to the home page, or they’ll click your About page. You have to think about that. People are often reading your content first, then going to your home page. Very rarely do people go to your home page and then explore your content. It happens, but you know your content pages first, next page, home page. So you want that feature box in. You gotta know that people are reading that, knowing they just read one of your articles, right? So your feature box should contain some content where you’re basically promising people more of what they want to learn about. You don’t have to be too specific. I think if you go to my site I just simply say, “Hey if you subscribe to Social Triggers you’re gonna learn how to turn traffic into leads in sales, how to get more traffic, and how to sell more stuff.” That’s all I say, but if they read a piece of my content first then go to my home page, chances are they wanna know about that, which is why it converts.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. You also mention the About Us page, the Home page and the About Us page. In a lot of the stuff you’ve written, in a lot of the site reviews I’ve seen you do you talk about the About Us page having an opt-in form a couple of times on that page, right?

Derek: Yeah, absolutely.

David: So what’s the idea there?

Derek: It’s one of your most visited pages. Might as well make it work for you, as opposed to just losing subscribers. Why not? Do you like e-mails on your list? I do.

David: I do as well, I do as well. I’m actually gonna implement that after this interview.

Derek: Nice!

David: So with pop-ups and people being against light box pop-ups or what have you, they convert, though. So why don’t people do them? Have you done any testing with slide-ins from the bottom of the screen where they come up?
Something like that. Have you done any testing around that?

Derek: Yes. So if you go to Social Triggers’ content page, you’ll notice I’ve got that New York Times box that pops up, and it works. People clicked on it, it doesn’t convert as well as a pop-up Let me tell you, the pop-ups are the best option, but I use the slide-in to promote other content. Then if I have a webinar coming up, I’ll make that little slide-up a link to my webinar page to send more traffic to the webinar page. I haven’t tested putting the opt-in in the slide-up yet.

David: OK. Gotcha, gotcha. Cool. So with your different calls to action in your sidebar, let’s talk about sidebars for a second. Because obviously that’s one of the places that people want to put calls to action in their site. You talk about, in the interview you did with Laura, using different colors that step out of the color scheme. Stuff that pops out. How do you choose your colors for your calls to action? And is there some psychology behind that?

Derek: That’s actually another hot question that people ask me. They’re always like, “Derek, I hear red converts the best, or blue converts the best.” It’s not about the color, it’s about where the color lives. If you have a strictly purple web design, you have a purple background behind your blog and then you’ve got a purple sidebar image. If you have a purple link, it’s not gonna get as many clicks, because it kind of blends in with everything else. So when you’re thinking about colors, if you want people to click on something, you want that color to stand out. You want that color to contrast with the rest of your design, right? So if you have a blue design, a red button will work. If you’ve got a green design, a purple button will work. You wanna contrast those colors. You kinda wanna just look at the color wheel almost. See the color on one side of the color wheel. The color that contrasts it the most is the color that’s gonna stand out the mos,t so you can just pick the other side and make that your call to action color. That could be something you can start testing. But don’t simply listen to me and say “In my experience green converted the best.”
But that might not be your experience, because your design might not support green as converting the best. You know what I mean?

David: Right, right. So I mean really, the only way is testing it and making sure that it does stand out, right?

Derek: Exactly.

David: Gotcha, gotcha.

Derek: That’s another mistake people will make. They’ll make their subheadings in their blog posts red and their links will be red and then you’re sitting there thinking, “I can’t click the subheading. Why can I click the link?” You wanna basically break it down to two different colors. You wanna have colors that people can click and colors that people can’t click. You don’t ever want to mix the two.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So on Social Triggers, you talk about font spacing, different font types and font spacing. On the blog you have pretty high line height, and the text is easy to read, right? Was that by design or did that just kind of happen?

Derek: That’s on purpose. I mean, I’m not gonna claim to be a line height expert. That was actually done by Chris Pearson. He created something called The Golden Ratio as it applied to typography. Are you familiar with The Golden Ratio?

David: Yeah.

Derek: So it’s all about how The Golden Ratio applies to typography and he figured out a crazy formula. He’s the math guy, I’m not the math guy. He figured out how to apply The Golden Ratio to setting type. And it just so happens that it looks great and it’s easy to read. The thing that I do on purpose, that you might notice, is that I have extremely short paragraphs. I have short paragraphs because people on the web really don’t like to read big blocks of text. It’s just the truth. I think about myself. I love The New Yorker. I read The New Yorker almost every week. I have a subscription to it on my Kindle. I don’t have the magazine even though I kinda wanna get the magazine, but I have a subscription. I love The New Yorker. I can’t read their website. I can’t do it. Their paragraphs are so huge and even though I love the content, I just can’t focus on such huge paragraphs. On the internet, people can’t focus on huge blocks of text. Actually, in that study I talked about from Elizabeth Silence , they actually found that big blocks of text could actually trigger distrust, so it makes sense. You wanna break up that text to small blocks of texts to make it easy to read, make it sound bites, make it digestible That way people can read, stop reading, and think, “Wait a minute, let me read the next sentence.” And before you know it, they just read the next sentence 45 times and they read the whole article.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So you talk about on a full width page if you’re using the full 980 pixels of space for your texts, the lines are too long and you say you should cut it down to like around 600.

Derek: 600 is an optimal reading width. That depends on the size of your font. If you have size 30 font, the 900 wide might be easier to read. It’s all about characters per line. There’s a lot of research to back this up. They found that people prefer to read between 45 and 55 characters per line. I wrote an article about it called “What’s The Perfect Width For Online Content?” I don’t remember the exact ratio right now, but I believe it was between 45 and 55 characters per lines., is what people prefer the most. However, while they prefer between 45 and 55 characters per line, they actually read like 75 to 105 characters per line faster. What people want doesn’t really necessarily mean they can read and consume it faster. What I do if you go to, and you look at one of my blog posts, you’ll see I have a half width image at the top, and then content to the left. That’s done on purpose, so I can truncate my line length. So I fall into the 45 characters per line for the first few sentences. Then, I’m taking advantage of a proven direct marketing principle. Where they said that if you can get people to read the first 4 sentences of your copy, they’ll read the whole thing. So my goal is to get people to read the first 4 sentences of my copy by giving them exactly what they want. The shorter line length and then widening it up to the 75 or 105 characters per line after the fact, that way the can continue reading at a faster pace. Now you said 600 pixels, it happens to be around 600 pixels or 550 pixels when you’re using like a size 14 or 15 font. In the end it’s all about the characters per line, and what font you use impacts how wide it should be, is what I’m trying to say.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. It’s very easy to read. Very easy to consume content and I think that definitely helps with getting more people reading your blog, right?

Derek: Yeah, I mean I just nerded out on characters per line. People watching this are probably thinking like, dude this guy’s..

David: We did kind of go overboard there, but alright. We’ll change it up a little bit. Let’s talk a little bit about social proofing. because it’s another kind of proven mechanism, or maybe disproven in some cases, in helping conversion rates, right? Can you talk a little bit more about social proofing? Different types of it that companies can use.

Derek: Yeah. Social proof is very important. You wanna demonstrate that you’re credible to random people who don’t know who you are. But your never wanna put social proof in the way of a conversion. As a good example at the DIY themes blog, we had a Get Free Updates. Over 20,000 people subscribed to us, e-mail form, e-mail button. We tested this. We found that if we removed the social proof before the e-mail sign up form, it converted higher. That’s interesting because that goes against common sense. I actually came to the idea that I believe that happened mainly because the social proof pushed the e-mail sign up form lower on the page, so people couldn’t see that e-mail sign up form. So I believe that’s what impacted the conversions. So, let’s think about this for a second. Yes, social proof works, but you never wanna put it in the way of a conversion, first thing. Second thing, what types of social proof works? Well, if you have anyone who says nice things about you, that’s a quote. That’s social proof, people like to see that. If you go to, I got a quote from Chris Brogan saying, “I’m totally loving Social Triggers.” I put that there because I assume that people know who Chris Brogan is, and I assume that social proof will push them over the edge. Notice on my site I put it below the button, not above the button.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So what about displaying your Facebook fans, or something like that? Have you tested any of that stuff out?

Derek: Yeah, so if you have a lot of Facebook fans, yes I do believe that it can help conversions. I haven’t tested it, but I think it can help. Just know that if you don’t have a lot of facebook fans, you have 500 fans or 400 fans, and all your competitors have 20,000 fans, I believe that would be negative social proof. To put this in perspective, think about a street cart, one of those food carts on the street. There’s one food cart on one corner and another on the other corner. One food cart has 15 people in line. The other food cart has no people in line. Which food cart are you gonna go to? I’m going to the one with people. You know why? Because I think the other guy’s got poison. So you’re in a business where everyone’s got 10,000 and you’ve only got 100, don’t be the poisoned food cart.

David: So you shouldn’t really display that until you grow the numbers, right?

Derek: Exactly.

David: Gotcha, gotcha. So what about showing traditional press mentions, or like “As Seen In, Featured In” It looks like you have that on some of your site. Does that help?

Derek: It does help. I’m not using it on my opt-in forms. I need to add it there. I wanna test it, but demonstrating that you’ve been cited by big media publications is huge. Most people don’t get cited by big media publications. If you can say that you were, that’s an heir of credibility. Even though, getting cited, and I’m not gonna name names, but I had an interview go live with me in one of those big magazines on their site and I got no traffic from it. Guess what? The traffic didn’t matter. I could say I was interviewed by this magazine. That’s a lot cooler than the traffic that’s gonna send. It sounds better, it sounds good and that’s an heir of credibility. So yes, those big media logos are great. I actually have logos on my about page, where you can see some of the places I’ve been featured.

David: Cool, cool. So let’s see here. What different psychology and marketing resources did you read up on, and would you recommend to people out there watching that wanna learn more about this stuff?

Derek: Well, first thing, they should read Social Triggers, because I’m a shameless self-promoter, and my content is amazing. Second thing, if they’re looking for some other content, I learned a lot of what I know through books. I read a ton of books. I think over the last few years they’re in the hundreds of books that I’ve read. I don’t just read them for entertainment, I’ll read a book, then I’ll sit back like I’m a king and think about how I could apply what I just learned from that book to my business. A lot of people will read the book, finish the book, start a new book. They never take that time to reflect on how that book might be able to help them on their business, so I read mostly books, some of the best books that you can start reading are some of the old books. Which are like
“Ogilvy on Advertising”, that’s a great book about writing copy that sells another great book is “Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz. I think that book was published in the early 60’s, and that book essentially walks you through how to get copy that gets people to buy stuff. Even if you’re not selling anything, remember, even if you’re not selling a product, you gotta get people to buy into your ideas so this book is gold. Everyone in the world needs to read this book.”Breakthrough Advertising” by Eugene Schwartz. Another great book is “Made to Stick” by the Heath Brothers. I love this book for one reason. Most people are bad communicators. I hate to say it, but it’s true, most people are bad communicators. Made to Stick will improve your communication ability 1000 fold. I don’t have data to back that up, but let me tell you, if you’re bad at communicating, you read “Made to Stick,” you’re a bad ass. That’s just what happens. Those are the 3 books I’d recommend.

David: So where can people find you online?

Derek: Well, they could find me on and what they should do is when they go to, guess what I’m gonna say? Sign up to my e-mail list. The first e-mail you’re gonna get is where I’m gonna ask you what you’re struggling with. I want you to reply to it and tell me what you’re struggling with. The reason why I’m asking you this is because I log all these answers. That’s how I help come up with content ideas for social triggers. So if you have a question that you would like me to cover on Social Triggers, the best way to do it is to go to, enter your email in, press updates, reply to that first email, and bam. You might see your article go live.

David: Nice, nice. That was actually one of my questions, but I felt like that fell under more like list building stuff. But I want to get you back on a future show, so yeah. Thanks for coming on, man.

Derek: Alright. Dude, thanks for having me. I hope I didn’t nerd out too much on characters per line, and made people fall asleep or something.

David: Awesome, awesome. Alright.