Interview with Linda Misiura of Ruby Red Design Studio

This week we spoke to Linda Misiura of Ruby Red Design Studio. Linda is a designer who has roots in journalism and can lend her hand to both Web and Print design. Linda took time out of her busy schedule to talk with us about how she works, finds clients and deals with winning proposals. 1 – […]

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Looking Beyond the Blog Entry

Eliot Peper, author of tech startup fiction thriller Uncommon Stock, talks with us about the carry-over lessons between tech startups and publishing a novel. We learned a ton about the new publishing options available, how he stays on track to get the writing done, and how he came up with the idea to do a tech thriller in the first place.

Show Notes:

  • Eliot Peper
  • FG Press (Feld's publishing co.)
  • Brad Feld
  • The Foundry Group
  • Startups Lessons Learned (Medium Collection)
  • Intro Song by Alex Koch of Digital Dust Studios
  • Outro Song: "Shark" by Wonder Wonder
  • Announcing the New CEO of KISSmetrics: Brian Kelly

    KISSmetrics CEO Brian Kelly

    We’ve got some big news.

    Brian Kelly has joined KISSmetrics as our new CEO. We’re thrilled to have him.

    Why We’re Excited to Work with Him

    Brian Kelly has been on both sides of data – building it and using it.

    He began his career at Teradata, analyzing customer data for retail and financial institutions. Then he built analytics tools at Intrepid and PeopleSoft. Later, he was the CEO of Quantivo, one of the first large-scale cloud-based analytics platforms. So he understands what it takes to build an analytics solution that people love.

    It gets even better. Brian recently was the CMO of a successful SaaS company. As a result, he fully understands the new demands on marketing to drive more revenue. He knows that buyers have taken control of the process and that you need to understand customers and be data driven to truly optimize marketing. If you don’t know your customers and understand their behavior, you can’t create the right messages that engage them and guide them to conversion.

    He understands that insights are the key to optimize marketing. Analytics must show you how to improve, not force you to spend hours sifting through a confusing mix of data hoping to find something relevant.

    We built KISSmetrics for marketers, and Brian’s been there. He gets the trends of marketing and where the industry is going and the pains we all go through on a daily basis to grow our businesses.

    His experience proves it. Here’s a short summary:

    • CMO of InsideView, which draws insights from data and news
    • Co-founder and CEO of Stampt, a mobile loyalty app that was acquired
    • CEO of Quantivo Corporation, which also was acquired
    • Founder and CEO of Proveer, a real-time analytics tool

    Why Did He Join KISSmetrics?

    Just the other day, I sat down with Brian Kelly and asked him point-blank: Why join KISSmetrics? There’s plenty of great companies out there, why us?

    He said he has “always been an analytics guy and has a passion for customer analytics. KISSmetrics has a people-first approach and shows marketers how to improve.” He just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join us.

    “Having just been a CMO, I learned firsthand that marketing analytics hasn’t evolved with the market shifts. There are huge gaps in the current analytics products, and KISSmetrics is filling the gaps. KISSmetrics is already a strong thought leader and is poised to disrupt this market.”

    Then he went on to tell me that he wants to be part of a great team. KISSmetrics has great people and a great product. Coming from him, that’s a huge honor for us.

    Most important in the decision was his vision for KISSmetrics. “KISSmetrics has kept true to its name by reducing the complexities of tracking and analyzing massive amounts of data to show marketers how to take action. So we’re not just presenting another pile of metrics and reports, we’re clearly highlighting ways to optimize their marketing.”

    Could you do me a quick favor and help us welcome Brian Kelly to our community?

    He has only a few followers on Twitter, and we think it would be a kick to flood his inbox with tweet notifications. Here’s a quick tweet you can use: Welcome to the @KISSmetrics team @bkkelly!

    One of our core values is to always look for ways to improve. And we love working with the best people in our field to help us raise the bar of what’s possible. We’re thrilled to have Brian on our team and to keep pushing the limits of analytics with KISSmetrics.

    From all of us at KISSmetrics, we’re looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

    Bootstrapped, Episode 51, “Special Guest: Matt Stauffer”

    Download this episode, in which we’re joined by special guest, Matt Stauffer, to talk about bootstrapping a SaaS while running a consultancy full-time, happiness, Laravel, structuring your day, hiring developers, work & family, gritty TV shows, and Star Trek!

     

     

    Discuss this episode in the forums >>

     

    11 Words that Enhance Trust in a Blog Post

    Every blog article is an attempt to secure the reader’s trust.

    • If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.
    • If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t believe what you’re saying.
    • If the reader doesn’t trust you, they won’t convert.

    Whenever you write, you should pay attention to this all-important subject of trust.

    So how do you do it? How do you build trust? I’ve assembled a list of 11 statements that have been proven to build trust.

    It’s important to remember that trust is a whole-package deal. You can’t simply throw in a few trust words and expect all your readers to automatically trust you. You have to use other trust factors such as detailed copy, authoritative tone, consistent output, high quality, social signals, and a good reputation.

    Along with these things, you can add in phrases and words that will drive that trust even further.

    How to use this list of trust words.

    The words and phrases in this list will improve the trust in your blog, regardless of how you use them.

    Keep in mind that these are intended to be used on your blog. In my study of what makes blogs trustworthy, I’ve found that it always comes back to quality content as the most important factor.

    Jeff Bullas conducted a survey, and asked people “do blogs themselves add credibility to a website?” Overwhelmingly, respondents said “yes.”

    blog credibility

    Image and research from JeffBullas.com.

    When he dug deeper into the specific factors that added credibility, “quality content” was at the top of the list.

    which factors add credibility to a blog

    Image and research from JeffBullas.com.

    To further drive the point home, Bullas discovered that bad content is the largest factor that ruins blog credibility. It’s all about the content — it’s quality and “trustability”.

    The logical conclusion is that the specific words and phrases that you use in your blog article will help to enhance trust.

    These words will help you achieve the level of success you need to in your blog articles. Here’s how you can use them.

    • Add them to the end of your copy. Roger Dooley, who writes on the subject of neuromarketing, explained it this way: “One short sentence at the end of your ad could cause a major increase in the level of trust customers place in you? Believe it or not, it’s true. Researchers found that placing…[a] statement at the end of an ad for an auto service firm caused their trust scores to jump as much as 33%!” The mere presence of these words helps to enhance the trustability of a blog article.
    • Sprinkle them throughout your copy. These are just single words. You can sprinkle them throughout your copy to create an overall sense of assurance in the article as a whole.

    Make these words a part of your regular vocabulary when you write, and you’ll be able to better gain the trust of your readers.

    1. Trust.

    Not surprisingly, the word “trust” enhances trust. If you want someone to trust you, simply tell them that they can.

    There are many ways to impact trust, but the most direct way to do so is just by saying “trust.” You can use this word in a wide variety of ways:

    • Trust us.
    • Trust me.
    • Trust the data.
    • Trust the research
    • Can be trusted
    • Trusted us

    2. Fair Price

    When discussing pricing, tell your readers that they’re getting a “fair price.”

    Every consumer has their guard up when they are making a purchase. Are they getting a fair deal? Are they losing money? Is it worth it?

    Inform your readers that the price you are producing is a “fair price,” and the trust factor of your site will increase.

    In Roger Dooley’s research, this phrase improved the trust factor by 7%.

    3. Caring

    People want to know that they are being treated right. Even though they are a reader, seemingly passive, they want to still feel as if they are respected, valued, and appreciated. The word “caring” can communicate this concept.

    In Dooley’s study, the word “caring” improved trust factor by 11%.

    4. Fair Treatment

    The term “fair treatment” produces an uptick in trust for similar reasons to “caring.” In tests, this word improved the trust factor of a website by 20%.

    “Fair treatment” is very user-centered. This idea of focusing on a user is essential in creating a good experience. User experience isn’t just about functioning menus and good design. It’s also about speaking directly to the user in the way that you compose your copy.

    5. Quality

    Quality is one of those words that just makes you feel assured. We all know the feeling that the product or service that we are receiving lacks in quality.

    When you assert that your product or service has quality, you can gain your user’s trust.

    In studies, this word improved the trust factor of copy by 30%.

    6. Competency

    Even though it’s a longer word, “competency” is a great one to use in your copy. In fact, as Dooley’s study indicates, it has the highest trust factor of any of the words he examined, improving the trust by 33%!

    7. Apologize/Sorry

    When you take the time and effort to apologize, people will trust you more. I’ve seen this happen in my own blogging experience. It’s amazing how people will jump on a simple typo or broken link.

    When this happens, I fix it, apologize and move on. The simple act of saying “Sorry” shows readers that you care, and that you’re humble and transparent enough to own up to your mistakes.

    8. Change

    When you tell readers you’re changing, this can grow trust, too. Change is hard and uncomfortable. It also reflects an effort to get better and to improve.

    Simple change-oriented statements will increase your trustability:

    • “We recognize that some of our previous articles weren’t detailed enough. We’re changing that now. Beginning in October, all articles will be 2,000 words or less, and be reviewed by a team of three editors.”
    • “Unfortunately, we had to let our marketing manager go. We are now changing our entire company structure to provide more care to the customer.”

    9. Never

    The word “never” is a negative statement, but when it’s used for a positive purpose, it can have a profound effect on your blog’s trustability.

    Here are some examples of how you can use the word “never:”

    • Never release
    • Never share
    • Never misrepresent
    • Never overcharge
    • Never leave
    • Never hang up
    • Never neglect

    10. Always

    The word “always” is a lot like “never.” It suggests a sense of stability, assurance, and protection.

    When you “always” do something, people have an easier time trusting you.

    • Always be free
    • Always protect your identity
    • Always have the lowest price
    • Always produce quality content

    Use the word always a couple of times, and you’ve enhanced trust.

    11. Privacy

    People value their privacy. This is especially true in an era of constant security breach, identity theft, corporate hacks, and data loss.

    When you tell people that you’ll protect their privacy, respect their privacy, guard their privacy, and honor their privacy, they are more likely to trust you.

    Conclusion

    The next time you write a blog, think about trust.

    Will people trust this content?

    Why will they (or won’t they) trust it?

    What can you do to improve their trust in the blog post?

    These simple words and phrases will go a long way in improving your blog’s trust.

    What do you do to enhance trust in your blog posts?

    About the Author: is the Chief Evangelist of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

    Unlock Your Marketing Data to Reap its Full Potential with the KISSmetrics Revenue Report

    The KISSmetrics Revenue Report ties your revenue to real people, allowing you to get key metrics like lifetime value and churn.

    Most analytics tools tie revenue to sessions, not users. Since sessions have a limited time frame, the only revenue they register is that which transacts during the time period. All the sessions (and their revenue) are independent of each other, meaning key customer metrics cannot be tracked across them.

    Since KISSmetrics tracks people, not sessions, each dollar transacted gets tied to a specific person.

    The Revenue Report automatically calculates the following key customer metrics for you:

    • Total Revenue - The total revenue received for the date range selected.
    • Average Daily/Weekly/Monthly Revenue - The total revenue by day, week, or month.
    • Lifetime Value - The total amount of money you should expect to receive from your customers. (This metric in Revenue Report provides an estimate of the lifetime value you’ll receive from each customer by dividing average revenue per customer by total churn).
    • Average Customers per Day/Week/Month - The average number of active customers during a specified time frame.
    • Total Churn - The percentage of customers who cancel during a period of time. When you set up the Revenue Report, you’ll have the flexibility to determine what it should consider a churned customer. We’ll see this in our next section.

    The Revenue Report also allows you to segment your revenue data by property. Properties indicate additional characteristics about each person who visits your site. Through this segmentation, you’ll get answers to questions like:

    • Which subscription plan is bringing the most revenue?
    • Which ad campaign contributed the most to overall revenue?
    • Which channels brought the most revenue?
    • Where should the marketing team be spending most of its resources?

    Throughout the rest of this post, we’ll see how Revenue Report answers these questions and provides the insights you need to grow your business.

    Let’s begin by setting up the report.

    Set Up the Revenue Report

    To set up the Revenue Report, you first need to pick the appropriate property. The property selected needs to be the one that records the amount a customer pays. This property is not automatically tracked in KISSmetrics, so you’ll have to set it up yourself.

    We have a number of ways you can send us data. You also can import your data from another source.

    When you begin sending your revenue data to KISSmetrics, you’ll set up and name the property that records how much a customer pays. For us, that property is called Subscription billing amount:

    picking-a-property-revenue-report

    Next, we pick our date range. We’ll pick eight full months – January 1, 2014 to August 31, 2014:

    setting-up-revenue-report

    Then, we’ll choose our Advanced options:

    setting-up-revenue-full-view

    We first need to choose whether to show revenue in daily, weekly, or monthly buckets. We’ll choose monthly:

    split-revenue-report-into-buckets

    We then choose how we want Revenue Report to calculate churn:

    calculate-churn-revenue-report

    Since we are choosing Event only, we’ll have to select an event that will be counted as a churn. In this case, we want a customer cancellation to be considered a churn event:

    select-churn-event-revenue-report

    If we had chosen Period only, we would have had to choose the number of days that would pass without payment before a customer would be considered “churned.” The churn would be triggered if KISSmetrics saw that the customer hadn’t paid during the selected time frame. (We can choose any amount of time up to 2 years.)

    SaaS and other subscription companies may want to consider churn an event, since most people need to take an action to cancel. When a customer cancels their account, this event will trigger, and KISSmetrics will record the customer as churned.

    E-commerce companies will want to choose a time period. Ideally, this should be whatever they’d like their repurchase rate to be. If you set a time period for churn to trigger, be sure your date range is at least as many days as the repurchase period:

    period-only-revenue-report

    If we had chosen event OR period, whichever comes first, we would have had to choose both an event and a time period:

    event-or-period-only-revenue-report

    Before we run the report, let’s take a final look at what we’ve set up:

    revenue-report-parameters-setup

    1. We’re calculating revenue from our previously set “Subscription billing amount” property. This property is triggered when the customer is billed and records the amount they paid.
    2. We’ll be viewing the revenue we’ve received from Jan 1 – Aug 31, 2014.
    3. We’ll be viewing our revenue across monthly buckets.
    4. Churn is calculated via an event, not by time period.
    5. The churn event triggers when a customer cancels. This churn event is not automatically set up in KISSmetrics. You have to set it up yourself.

    We click on Run Report and we get our data:

    revenue-report-kissmetrics

    This is the top level view of the Revenue Report. It shows revenue during our selected date range.

    We also can view our paying customers:

    revenue-report-customers-only

    This shows our total paying customers over time. Each month, we can see how many customers we gained and lost.

    We also can view both revenue and paying customers at the same time:

    revenue-report-paying-customers-and-revenue

    This shows both revenue and paying customers over time. It is useful for revealing how the loss of customers affects revenue. We can see that we lost many customers in April, but it didn’t have a big impact on revenue.

    Segment Your Revenue and Get Actionable Insights

    This is where Revenue Report really shines.

    When you segment your revenue, you uncover all sorts of insights about which sources are driving the most valuable customers.

    Beyond that, you also can learn which pricing plan size drives the most revenue. Or, if you’re running an e-commerce store, you can segment by product category to learn which product categories are the most profitable. We’ll run through examples of both.

    First, we’ll identify which channels drive your growth.

    Learn Where Your Most Valuable Customers Are: Segmentation by Channel

    We’ll first start off with segmenting revenue by channel. Channels categorize traffic sources into groups, placing our customers in specific “buckets”. There are a total of seven channels:

    Direct – These are people who come from a direct referrer. In many cases, these are people who come to you directly by typing your URL into their browser.

    Organic – People who come to your website via a search engine get included in this channel. Also, people who set up a UTM parameter and have the utm_medium as “organic” or “search” will be put in this channel.

    Referral – This channel is for those who come to your site via a third party that isn’t a search engine or social site. If they aren’t from those referrers, they’ll be put in this channel.

    Email – People who are referred via an email will be put in this channel. They mostly come from a campaign URL with the utm_medium as “email” or “e-mail” will to be put in this channel.

    Paid – This channel includes people who come from a paid campaign. They’ll be put in this channel if their referring URL has the gclid parameter or a utm_medium of “cpc,” “cpm,” “display,” “cpv,” “cpa,” “cpp,” or “ppc.”

    Social – These are people who come from a social network. We have a list of 276 domains and subdomains for such networks. If any visitor comes from one on our list, they’ll be put in the Social channel. Also, people who come from a campaign URL with the utm_medium as “social,” “social-network,” “social-media,” “sm,” “social network,” or “social media” will be put in this channel.

    None – People who don’t fit into any of the above channels will be put into the None channel.

    For more details on channels, check out our Channels Definitions page.

    We’ll be looking at the “first ever” channel, meaning if a customer first came to us via Google (but from different channels thereafter), we’ll see only Organic. Any referrers after Google are ignored in this list.

    To segment our customers by channel, we’ll first need to select Channel as our property. We begin typing the word “channel” into the search box, and then we click on Channel in the drop-down menu:

    segment-by-channel

    We get a list of the channels, sorted by lifetime value. In each row, we see the customers who came to us via those channels, and a bunch of other customer metrics:

    revenue-report-segmented-data

    Next to the Channel column, we see five more columns. Each column gives customer metrics for the customers in each channel. These metrics are similar to the ones you see when viewing revenue. Here are some specifics:

    Average Revenue/Person – This is total revenue divided by the number of people.

    Paying Customers – The number of people who are still actively paying. These are people who KISSmetrics has recorded revenue from and who have not churned.

    Total Churn – The percentage of customer churn in that channel.

    Segmenting your revenue by channel helps you make data-informed decisions. To help you make the best decisions from this data, we’ll run through our example revenue report and add some best practice tips along the way:

    Email

    email-channel-revenue-report-kissmetrics

    By far our channel with the highest lifetime value, Email delivers outstanding results. Its strong performance is largely driven by its low churn rate. Despite the fact that it has a smaller customer base, it brings in nearly $400 per customer and over $7,500 in revenue.

    Because it’s a good growth channel for us, we’ll focus on getting more people onto our list.

    As a reminder, we’re looking at the first ever touchpoint the customer had with us. If they came to our site via a referral link and then signed up for the email list, they’d be put in the Referral bucket and not the Email bucket since that was not the first touchpoint they had with us.

    Generally, email is not at the top of a company’s funnel. So, in our case, making Email the first touchpoint means that the company is likely doing a lot of promotion with conferences or partners to get them on the email list before anything else.

    Referral

    referral-revenue-channel

    Referral is another strong channel for us. Its lifetime value is a little over $13,000, churn is low, and total revenue is solid. Because it’s a great channel, we should continue to focus on getting links from other sites.

    Organic

    organic-revenue-channel

    Organic brings us the most customers and has the highest revenue, but it doesn’t have the highest lifetime value due to its churn rate. The churn rate isn’t necessarily high, it’s just not as low as our Email and Referral channels. If we can lower the churn, our Organic channel will become even more valuable.

    Direct

    direct-revenue-channel

    Our second highest revenue channel, Direct has brought us 22 customers. It has the second highest revenue per person, but it has a high churn rate. Since it’s a valuable channel, we’ll continue to work on growth through brand awareness.

    Social

    social-revenue-channel

    One of our poorer performing channels, Social brings us our second lowest revenue stream. The customers from this channel aren’t as valuable as others. If social isn’t taking much time the way it is, we can continue with it. But, we shouldn’t ramp up our efforts or invest any additional time or money into it.

    Paid

    paid-revenue-channel

    Our Paid channel has a low customer base and a high churn rate. Despite this, it still has brought us $5000 and over $330 per customer. The best course of action is to do two things:

    1. Check the ROI of what we’re spending per customer and see if it’s worth continuing our efforts.
    2. If we do decide to continue paid acquisition, we may want to change the messaging. Due to this channel’s high churn rate, our messaging may be giving prospects the wrong idea. Prospects may be buying the product because of our messaging only to find out that it doesn’t match the product. They cancel when they see the product isn’t what they had been sold on.

    If we’re running paid campaigns on multiple platforms (AdWords, Facebook Ads, etc.), we should also view the Channel:Origin of our Paid channel. This will tell us specifically which platforms are bringing customers.

    Here’s how Channel:Origin looks for the Paid channel:

    paid-channel-origin-revenue-report

    Selecting Channel:Origin for Paid will show us how each paid platform is performing.

    When we view the origin of our paid ads, we see that Facebook is really what’s dragging down the performance. Given this information, we’ll have to wind down our Facebook ads and put more resources into AdWords.

    None

    none-revenue-channel

    Remember that None is the channel reserved for people who do not fall under any other channel.

    What We Learned from Segmenting by Channel: Viewing our acquisition channels taught us which channels are driving growth and which ones are weak. We identified that Email, Referral, Organic, and Direct are the strongest channels, while Paid needs to be reevaluated and Social shouldn’t get any extra attention from us.

    Discover Which Pricing Plans Drive the Most Revenue

    Many SaaS companies have 3-4 tiered pricing plans. However, without looking at their data, these companies don’t know which plans are driving their growth and which ones are causing the most trouble.

    Segmenting revenue by plan will show you the metrics we saw in the last section, except this time revenue will be categorized by plan instead of channel.

    This example will feature a high cost, low volume B2B SaaS company. For this type of business, keeping churn low is critical to the health of the business because losing just a few customers can really put a dent in revenue.

    Let’s segment the data by Subscription plan level. This property is not automatically tracked in KISSmetrics. You’ll have to set it up manually. Begin typing the words “subscription plan” into the search box, and then click on Subscription plan level in the drop-down menu:

    segment-revenue-by-plan-kissmetrics

    We’re sorting data by the highest lifetime value. We also want to pay special attention to churn and total revenue:

    revenue-segmented-by-plan-revenue-report-kissmetrics

    We can see that the medium plan has the highest lifetime value and the second highest revenue per person. Churn rate for customers in this plan is a little high at 5.1%. Total revenue is the second highest out of all the plans. This is a great channel for growth. If we could get churn a little lower, this channel could easily become the one with the highest revenue, and lifetime value would really skyrocket.

    Our cheapest plan, small, has a great churn rate and a solid customer base. Its revenue per person is lower (because it’s the cheapest), and this likely won’t change much unless we can acquire more customers in this plan.

    The large plan provides a unique opportunity for us. If we can lower the churn rate for these customers, it could quickly become our most valuable channel.

    What We Learned from Segmenting by Pricing Plan Size: All the plans have their own strengths and drawbacks. The medium plan has a high lifetime value but churn is a little high. The small plan has a strong customer base and a healthy churn rate, but low total revenue. The large plan brings a lot of revenue but has a high churn rate.

    Our focus now should be on reducing our overall churn rate of 5.43%. If we can get churn reduced across the board (especially in our large plan), we’ll be well on our way to higher revenues.

    Identify Which Product Categories Drive Your Business

    E-commerce companies typically sell hundreds of products that fit within a few categories. They may know which products and categories sell the most, but it’s the metrics that go beyond those numbers that can really provide insights that can guide store growth.

    For this example, we’ll segment by the property called Product Line. This is a property not automatically tracked in KISSmetrics. Begin typing the word “product” into the search box, and then click on Product line in the drop-down menu:

    segmenting-by-product-line

    And we get our data:

    segmenting-by-product-line-revenue-report-kissmetrics

    In the case of e-commerce, you’ll want to set churn to a specific period. If a customer doesn’t order from you within a particular time, they should be considered churn, or inactive. In this example, churn is triggered at 100 days. So, the churn percentage indicates the number of customers who ordered from this product line but have not yet reordered any product within 100 days. If a customer comes back after 100 days and reorders, they are no longer considered churned, regardless of what product line they ordered from. Keep in mind that to get this data, we would have to set a date range so Revenue Report can see that a customer reorders after 100 days.

    The key metric to look for with this segmentation is the total revenue we’ve received during the selected date range. This metric isn’t necessarily our “best-selling,” which is typically calculated by number of items sold instead of by dollar value.

    Viewing it this way, we can see that the In-House Generic Tees is where we really bring home the bacon. It delivers over half a million in revenue, far more than our second most popular line. And, the reason it brings us this much revenue is a large number of people order products in this line. Given this information, we’ll want to ramp up this product line.

    What We Learned from Segmenting by Product Category: In-House Generic Tees is our most popular product line. We’ll want to ramp up this product line with a wider selection. Some of the accessory items we sell don’t bring in as much revenue, so we may want to spend less time promoting these and focus more on our top line product categories.

    Use the Revenue Report to Help Guide Your Growth

    If you want to grow your business, you’ll need to know where to find your must-have customers. The Revenue Report takes the guesswork out of which ad campaigns and channels bring you the most valuable customers. Just get the appropriate properties and events set up, and actionable data will start coming in.

    Knowing rather than guessing where customers come from can save you and your business from wasted marketing dollars. Use the Revenue Report as your sidekick to measure your ad campaigns and funnel more money into what works and skip what doesn’t.

    To get started using people data, login or sign up for a KISSmetrics account now.

    Signing Qt applications for Mac OS X 10.9.5 and 10.10

    I have written previously about signing Qt applications for Mac OS X. It all worked fine until I upgraded to Mac OS X 10.9.5, which broke my signing script. Those Apple chaps do love to break stuff. Grrr.

    The problem appears to be that the directory structure of the app bundle has changed and the Qt4 macdeployqt command does not conform to the new layout (I believe this is also the case for Qt5). Oh joy. I managed to work out how to get it working again after a bit of digging around. The good news is that Apple have also made the codesign command easier with a --deep option to traverse and sign the whole bundle in a single command. About time.

    So here is the basic process to build and sign your Qt .app on the latest versions of Mac OS X:

    # deploy Qt frameworks into .app bundle
    $QTDIR/bin/macdeployqt .app -verbose=1
    # optionally delete unwanted framework and plugin folders, e.g.:
    # rm -f -r <your_app>.app/Contents/Frameworks/QtDeclarative.framework
    # rm -f -r <your_app>.app/Contents/PlugIns/sqldrivers
    # correct .app bundle structure
    python rebundle.py $QTDIR <your_app>.app
    # sign .app bundle (including frameworks and plugins)
    codesign --deep --force --verify --verbose --sign "Developer ID Application: " .app
    # the 2 lines below are just for verification/diagnostics
    otool -L <your_app>.app/Contents/MacOS/<your_app>
    codesign --verify --verbose=4 <your_app>.app

    (Sorry about the small font, but I wanted to avoid confusing line wraps).

    I then invoke DropDmg to create a .dmg image file complete with licence and background image. This is all stuck it all in a bash script, which I can pretty much forget about it (until Apple break something else).

    In the above rebundle.py is a Python script  written by some public spirited individual that can be downloaded from github (thank you, ‘kingcheez’). Note that you can just find and replace all the ‘5’ characters in the script by ‘4’ if you are still using Qt4.

    On the subject of signing for Mac, Apple recently sent out an email stating:

    Signatures created with OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 or earlier (v1 signatures) will be obsoleted and Gatekeeper will no longer recognize them. Users may receive a Gatekeeper warning and will need to exempt your app to continue using it. To ensure your apps will run without warning on updated versions of OS X, they must be signed on OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later (v2 signatures). … Apps signed with v2 signatures will work on older versions of OS X.

    So you are going to have to start signing using 10.9, whether you like it or not.


    Filed under: Apple, article, MacOSX, qt, software Tagged: 10.10, 10.9.5, codesign, Gatekeeper, mac, mac os x, macdeployqt, qt, signing

    How to Use Conversion Optimization to Drive Growth

    Most people realize that conversion rate optimization (CRO) is important, but not all CRO leads to growth. With so many things to test and optimize, how do you find the optimizations that actually grow your business?

    In this webinar, Sean Ellis, CEO of Qualaroo and founder of GrowthHackers.com, shares how to find the optimization opportunities that really move the needle. Prior to Qualaroo, Sean held marketing leadership roles with breakout companies including Dropbox, LogMeIn (IPO), Eventbrite and Lookout.

    Sean says a common mistake he sees is when people separate out broader growth initiatives from their optimization initiatives. To be successful in the long run, it’s really important that growth and optimization are included in the process. How do you make that happen so you can drive transformative growth for your business?

    Growth Has Changed

    US-online-ad-spend-per-user

    In recent years, growth has changed a lot. When Sean started with LogMeIn 10-12 years ago, it was easier to spend money to drive growth. Today, there is about 3.5x more dollars going online per person competing for their attention. This makes it a lot harder and that’s why we need to re-think growth.

    evolving-customer-acquisition-channels

    When you look at the actual change of how marketers reach people, it’s amazing how different it is today than even what it was 10 years ago. Things that worked a year ago aren’t working anymore. The image above is just a narrow list of viral channels, but it doesn’t even include things like display, search and changing algorithms around SEO. You have a lot more money chasing attention and an unstable set of channels to reach people through. But at the same time, you have some massive companies that have emerged that are doing well.

    big-companies-with-no-traditional-marketing

    Big companies like Facebook and Dropbox have burst on the scene in the last 10 years. They really haven’t used much traditional advertising to grow, so the big question is: How have they done that and what can we all learn from them? The biggest commonality between all of them is that they engineered growth momentum. Growth was something they found through experimentation and were able to engineer and drive growth in a meaningful way.

    We all know LinkedIn today, but for this example, put yourself in the early 2003-04 time period when LinkedIn was just getting started. Imagine how hard it was to drive growth to LinkedIn then. It isn’t valuable without people on it, so how did they get the first people on their platform and drive growth from there?

    linkedin-user-get-user

    LinkedIn pioneered the address book importer and really changed the game. They were able to build in this relevant hook by asking people to share their contacts and connect their address book. For their contacts who weren’t on LinkedIn, users could invite them to join in the process. Most of us didn’t go for that, but it didn’t take very many people to say ‘Yes’ for LinkedIn to really get the word out and use the early seed of a base to spread to a lot more people. What LinkedIn did seemed very different at the time compared to how people had been approaching marketing online in the previous 10 years. Sean put a label on the ability of companies like LinkedIn to find unique advantages: “growth hacking.”

    growth-hacking-playbook

    When Sean thinks of a growth hacking playbook, he thinks of experimenting with all available growth levers. In the case of LinkedIn, they built the growth engine into the product onboarding experience, but they’ve also experimented with ways to drive more engagement on the site and more revenue optimization. Each of these different growth levers run different experiments. It starts with the realization that there are a whole bunch of levers you can use to drive growth, but it’s also important to understand what’s already working. When something’s already working you want to be able to double down and make it much better.

    What separates growth hacking more than marketing is the heavy focus on product, testing and optimization. It relies more on using the product to drive growth. Growth hacking has become an effective way to grow a business, but it’s only effective if you can take someone who comes to your site with a desire for your product and make it possible for them to have a good experience with you product. This is what conversion rate optimization is all about. If you try to grow without an effective way to onboard users into an experience, then you’re fighting an uphill battle.

    growth-hacking-without-conversion-optimization

    With CRO, it is really hard to find a growth channel. The problem is, not all CRO leads to growth. There’s a lot of people who go through the motions and sort of understand CRO, but are frustrated because it’s not impacting growth. Their process looks like this:

    frustrating-conversion-rate-optimization-growth-hacking

    They come up with some gut-driven test ideas, doing relatively small changes—maybe some button color changes. Over time, you’re seeing very little movement. When you do CRO this way, you lose momentum and people stop buying into it in your organization and you miss the opportunity to have something that would make growth and marketing work much better. So how can you actually gain traction with your CRO efforts and move the needle?

    Place Your Bets Wisely

    It all comes down to this. By randomly doing CRO, you won’t move the needle. But if you actually are very systematic and precise in what you’re trying to do, you can be very effective in it. It boils down to research. If you can do qualitative research (why people are doing something) and quantitative research (figure out what people are doing and not doing), then you can be in a position where you can make people do the things you want them to do. Once you understand this, the needle will start moving in the right direction.

    kissmetrics-funnel-visitor-behavior

    For quantitative research, Sean’s tool of choice has been KISSmetrics. He tends to use Google Analytics as well. There are a variety of products where you can get a good view on what people are doing on your website. Segment them by channel and get a clean understanding of where people are dropping off in the process of becoming a gratified customer or user. Ultimately, how do you actually get someone from that initial visit to becoming a valuable customer?

    quantitative-data-finding-your-magic-number

    For some products, you may find that it’s not just about getting users to experience the product once, but it’s actually getting them to become habitual customers. For some products, you may find that people use it once and drop off, so the biggest hurdle is to have people use the product again. For others, as soon as people use it once, they get it, so the biggest hurdle is to get them to use it once.

    The best way to understand this is to look at concrete examples. Twitter is probably one of the best examples out there.

    twitter-quantitative-data-core-user-research

    Twitter realized that the difference between their habitual users and the users that dropped off was in the number of people that they followed. They realized after a while that if someone followed 30 people, they would be active forever. If they followed less than 30, they were likely not to come back again. This gave Twitter the clear objective of getting users to follow lots of people. When you have that clear objective, you can run lots of test and optimize the calls-to-action. In Twitter’s case, this was giving users a list of interesting people to follow and getting them to that 30-people threshold. You can see just in the quantitative data, you can see direction of where you’re trying to lead somebody toward. If you can take the quantitative data and layer in ‘why’, then you have a very powerful combination.

    hotel-tonight-qualitative-data-understanding-why-leads-to-breakthroughs-in-growth

    HotelTonight is a great example of this. What they figured out is that it’s almost counterintuitive that people with a low-bandwidth connection actually seemed to be more valuable customers than people on high-bandwidth mobile connection. When they dug into why, they figured out that because they have a limited selection of hotels that they offered at a deep discount, it wasn’t just about the discount. It was about the simplicity of booking a hotel. That gave HotelTonight a lot more direction, from positioning to targeting people on low bandwidth connection and the types of messages to send. When you start to understand the ‘Why’, you have a pretty powerful way to drive context and connect with people that you can drive conversion.

    View The Webinar Deck

    Watch the Webinar to Learn More

    One of the most important areas to understand and unlock growth is a user’s intent. To learn more about this, the growth and optimization process and tying CRO to growth levers, watch the webinar here:

    view-the-webinar

    How to Build a Productized Service Business w/ Nick Desabato (Draft Revise)

    Really great show for you this week all about Productized Services. We talk about examples of Productized Services and the first step to productizing. Then we have a great interview with Nick Desabato, founder of Draft Revise.

    Check it, check it out:

    and the interview with Nick:

    Updates

    Brian’s update:

    Jordan’s update:

    • Too much travel on the personal front – stressing me out but back to normal now.
    • Trying to move things forward with CartHook – having trouble finding development help.

    In This Episode…

    Brian shared a few high-level concepts pulled from his course material, including:

    • Common scenarios for freelancers or bootstrappers to get into Productized Services
    • Types of productized services (consulting, scalable, and software/service hybrid)
    • 1st steps to get started with productizing
    • How to choose one service to focus on
    • How to choose one niche to focus on

    Plus plenty of examples pulled from Brian’s research interviews, like:

     

    Nick Desabato

    https://draft.nu/
    https://draft.nu/revise/
    https://twitter.com/nickd

    The post How to Build a Productized Service Business w/ Nick Desabato (Draft Revise) appeared first on Bootstrapped Web.

    How to get Paying Customers with SlideShare Marketing

    1-how-to-get-paying-customers

    Believe it or not, our firm has been using SlideShare as our only form of marketing this past year. SlideShare is low in cost, brings loads of qualified traffic, and is fairly straightforward to execute. Yet, people we’ve worked with have told us they experienced difficulties using SlideShare to generate profitable leads or conversions.

    Here are some of the most important practices we’ve followed when using SlideShare to get paying customers:

    1. Define Clear Objectives

    2-what-do-you-want

    The majority of SlideShare users do not have a plan or any measurable objective in mind. Purposeless posting typically does not translate into any tangible results, as we’ve seen with content on blogs or social. Similarly, with SlideShare, you have to decide where it fits into your business as a marketing tool.

    Users generally aim to get featured on the front page where they can expect massive viewership depending on their following. However, a front-page feature won’t do you much good without an objective.

    3-slideshare-of-the-day

    Choose Engagement or Conversion

    Power users on SlideShare use it for one of two reasons, either engagement or conversion. Each of these comes with its own set of metrics to measure for success. In this case, we’re aiming for conversion.

    4-convert-or-engage

    If getting conversions (e.g., more users to your platform) is your game, you’ll want to direct viewers to a call-to-action that will subsequently lead them to purchase your offering or sign up for your app.

    The role of SlideShare as a marketing medium in our case is first to educate (which is the whole premise of content marketing) and next to build brand authority in a selected scope or industry through this education. This eventually leads to conversions for us after viewers are adequately convinced.

    2. Create Optimized and Outstanding Content for SlideShare

    5-irresistible-gets-noticed

    This really needs no introduction as it’s a given if you want to succeed in content marketing.

    Maybe you’re already quite the content maverick yourself; but no matter how good your content is, it still needs to be optimized to the medium for maximum viewership and traction.

    (example of optimized content for SlideShare)

    Note: There are more detailed guides toward content creation. I’ll touch-and-go on the lesser-mentioned ones just to fill in the gap a little.

    Use Focused Content

    You may already be penning thought pieces on blogs or other relevant mediums, so how much content should you share on a single SlideShare?

    To avoid putting excess content in your SlideShare for an overwhelmingly long deck, focus on either going wide or deep into your topic.

    6-breadth-vs-depth

    For example, in Presentation Design, there are three main pillars – Structure, Design, and Delivery. You can choose to cover everything briefly or go more in-depth on one of the topics. This will give you more room to create additional content for different SlideShares and still deliver valuable bite-sized content.

    Provide Instant Gratification

    7-after-viewing-the-deck

    As with other mediums, like Facebook, if you want to engage viewers, you need to give them actionable content they can put to work instantly.

    In our SlideShares, we enjoy giving viewers tools and relevant links to chew on, some of which haven’t been heard of much in the community. Viewers find great value in these and reciprocate with a share or opt-in for more goodies.

    A good example is Prezly:

    By sharing the tools of their trade, they were able to give viewers a compelling reason to share their deck and trust their content. The deck got viewed more than 30,000 times.

    Another great example is TrackMaven:

    With an actionable guide to posting on social media, they garnered more than 100,000 views (and, we suspect, more new users).

    Use Links

    8-want-them-to-buy

    Links in SlideShare are the gateway for your viewers to your Internet presence. If you’re going to upload a SlideShare without links, the audience interaction is stifled and limited to the platform alone. Why would you want to do that?

    9-like-this-presentation

    Links can be used to share tools and to direct audiences to opt-in pages and viral enablers like Pay With A Tweet or Click To Tweet. If you’re not using links in your SlideShare yet, you’re missing out.

    3. Become a Thought Leader

    10-slide-guides

    It’s important to position yourself as a credible figure or expert when it comes to your topic of interest that’s related to what you’re selling. This is to cultivate trust from the SlideShare community as a thought leader on your topic.

    For us, we wanted to be the people to go to when someone needs an awesome presentation. As such, most of our content is focused on the topic of presentation design, with actionable steps to level up presentations.

    Note: A caveat to note is that becoming a thought leader means the content you put out has to be exceptional; but for the sake of this post, we’ll assume you’ve got that covered.

    Unfortunately, we see many users on SlideShare trying to be the jack-of-all-trades by cranking out content that is unrelated to their offering.

    11-so-who-are-you

    This backfires in the long run because they fail to establish a clear identity in the eyes of the viewers from the beginning, so their content becomes harder to swallow.

    People are more likely to buy from the experts over the “know-a-little-bit-about-everything” crowd. Period.

    Note: It’s not wrong to branch out to certain supplementary topics for your content, but it’ll be much easier to carry over credibility for a new topic if you’re already a trusted thought leader on another topic.

    4. Actively Collect Leads

    12-presentation-objectives

    Although a simple call-to-action at the end of your decks could work, they actually succeed less than 10% of the time. A more effective strategy for increasing your chances of conversion is to re-target viewers who are interested (or can I say, passionate) about what you share.

    It’s surprising (and unfortunate) how so few users actually have a lead-collection mechanism set in place with their SlideShares. They are losing plenty of opportunities.

    Note: There used to be LeadShare (lead collection) for PRO users, but the PRO plan has been discontinued.

    Although using SlideShare alone as a marketing tool (linking directly to our site or email) has gotten us customers in the past, it’s not easy to convert customers using SlideShare alone. SlideShare is not a sliver bullet solution (yet).

    Earn Viewer Information

    You can apply the same opt-in funnels used for content marketing on blogs to SlideShare as well. With the addition of a simple call-to-action and landing page, your SlideShare deck becomes an automated opt-in lead generation machine.

    Here’s one of our decks in action. (We got 500 opt-ins.) Notice the strategically placed resources:

    Just remember to give viewers something in return for their opt-in information. (Consider a digital gift.) These typically exist in the form of digital downloads that offer value to viewers. Here are some ideas:

    13-links-and-tools

    Who said you couldn’t build your list of leads through SlideShare?

    5. Automate and Feed

    14-automatic-feed

    It’s easy to get carried away with short-term successes on SlideShare. When our deck first got featured as SlideShare of the Day, we were thrilled. Views were increasing exponentially and viewers were sending us numerous emails to inquire about what we do.

    We got so busy with the stars in our eyes that we neglected the content that we worked so hard to optimize. We didn’t get our next SlideShare out until months later. As a result, viewership dwindled and eventually almost fizzled out completely.

    The lack of lead opt-in forms in our first decks also led to plenty of wasted opportunities. After replicating the results many more times, we decided to put in place a simple automated system to collect leads from SlideShare.

    15-presentation-objectives

    Here’s a back-end look at how we’ve used it to get more than 500 opt-in leads in a single upload (set on autopilot after the upload).

    16-slideshare-funnel

    SlideShare in essence acts as a traffic generator. Google Search loves SlideShare links, so you not only get traffic directly from SlideShare’s user base, but also from organic searches. This way, you get more users/customers quicker with a large distribution strategy.

    Recycle Viewership

    17-slideshare-cycle

    Users view your content because they enjoy what you put out. These views help your SlideShare become more viral through higher rankings on Google Search and create the opportunity for more shares. Don’t waste this potential!

    18-how-to-create-slideshare-that-converts

    We actively reach out to past viewers who opt-in to send them more of our content. They help us get the initial spike in views, and in return, they get to enjoy more of our content. It’s a fair trade, really…

    Using SlideShare to drive conversions isn’t such a big mystery. With the right approach and tools, you can start seeing results on your next upload. Many companies are getting into it, but few use it effectively.

    How will you use SlideShare to get more customers?

    About the Author: Eugene Cheng is the co-founder and creative lead of Slide Comet, a boutique consulting firm based in Singapore that provides presentation strategy and design services to multinational companies, government agencies, and soaring startups.