This month, as part of our Startup Tools series, we’re covering Visual Website Optimizer.
Visual Website Optimizer makes it easy to A/B test your site. Why should you care about A/B testing? A/B testing (sometimes called split testing) is comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs best. You can compare two web pages by showing the two variants (let’s call them A and B) to visitors at the same time. Then you can measure what the visitors do on the site with heat maps and conversion goals.
Cazoomi has been part of Founders Space since the beginning. Many of you will recognize Clint Wilson, Cazoomi’s CEO. He’s grown his business dramatically over the past couple years, and we wanted to feature some of the great work his startup has been doing.
Here are some of the problems Cazoomi solves:
Marketers know what works: email marketing. But once you email your customers, leads and prospects how do you tell which email lead to the most conversions? To answer, you need Email Marketing metrics synced back to your CRM to see the results.
Ruben Corbo, Freelance Writer
In this modern age of the web, designing a website doesn’t have to rely on trial and error. Once the initial concept, building, and launching phase is done, there are tools you can use to tweak the design here are there to make sure your web shop is getting those much needed conversions. You may not have to spring for that expensive re-design afterall, if you discover small adjustments to the elements on your pages lead to conversions.
Here are some tips for bringing home the bacon when you launch your iPhone or Android game.
1) If a player attempts to make a purchase a virtual item but lacks the currency required, always ask them if they would like to purchase more virtual currency. This has been proven to greatly increase monetization.
2) It’s smart to price IAP bundles of virtual currency between $2.99 and $49.99. That will maximize revenue.
3) Don’t overwhelm the player. Limit currency bundles to 4 or 5 options max. Providing too many choices will overwhelm the user and increase the likelihood that they will buy the cheapest package.
WishList Member is pretty amazing. It transforms your Wordpress blog into a full-blown membership site, allowing you to create free, trial and paid membership levels — or any combination of the three.
We were impressed from the start. WishList Member is a snap to install. Just download a typical Wordpress plugin and follow the instructions on their site. Within minutes, you’ll be able to start customizing your memberships. You can create “Silver”, “Gold”, “Platinum”, or any other “levels” you want. Then you can charge more for higher levels of access – all within the same blog.
So much has happened in 2012 in the App Store. Tons of new apps, a new iTunes Store design on iOS6 and the Mac. We thought now would be a good time to get some perspective and look back at this very healthy and very busy app economy.
Before you dive into our insanely amazing and priceless infographic, here are some of the observations:
- The App Store is a very healthy ecosystem with well over 1 million apps ever created and approved by Apple
That’s right! Founders Space has just secured a special deal from WebFaction.
They offered to give any of our startups 6 months of totally FREE web hosting. All you have to do is mention Founders Space.
Okay, so you’ve got your iPhone 5 and you’re looking for cases, like every startup founder is right now. We just tried out two cases from STM, and they are really nice.
The first is the STM Opera for the iPhone 5. It’s perfect for anyone who wants a simple, lightweight case that affords pretty good protection.
Tile pattern inspired by the Sydney Opera House.
The opera iPhone 5 case is designed to be slim and comfortable. The form fitting design protects your iPhone 5 with impact resistant thermoplastic polyurethane. All ports are accessible, while the case front edge wraps slightly around the glass bezel to further guard the screen. less
Ruben Corbo, Freelance Writer
Multivariate testing does sound a bit too technical and daunting especially to those who don’t know a thing or two about algorithms, traffic, web design and software operations. But rest assured that once you understood the core of the process, going through the complexities of the test would come across as a breeze.
Everything becomes easier when you get the right kind of help.
With this said, it is imperative to fill your self with materials that simplify the discussions about the procedure.
Simplest Definition of Multivariate Testing
by Igor Royzis, Hands-on CTO
Not having a well defined methodology. Would you attempt to build a house without following a specific set of rules, best practices and sequence of tasks? Then why so many development shops think they can just through 5 or 20 developers into a room and let them decide how to approach the project without any clear direction and methodology? Introducing methodology from day one is the most important success factor for medium to large projects. So please, don’t accept “we’ll get to it later” or “we don’t have time to introduce a methodology right now”. Stick to your guns and insist on clearly defined methodology if you want to improve chances of success.
One of the best and the most challenging parts of what I do is the constant upgrading and self-educating of my…professional self. In the field of online marketing, SEO and internet advancements, this world is spinning so fast it is hard-(really hard! )to stay ahead of the curve. Forget ahead, actually. I figure if I stay somewhat abreast of the most important elements — the things that are going to impact my clients, my own business and the future of our industry, I am doing my job. And it’s continuous! And it’s all good!
If you’re running a startup and need an audio editor, check out Amadeus Pro. Nothing beats having a Swiss Army Knife of sound tools when you need them. We’ve reviewed other audio editors in the past, but none of them has as many features as Amadeus Pro. It does just about everything you can think of, including providing support for a variety of Audio Units and VST plugins.
To start with, Amadeus Pro is a fully featured multitrack editor. Each track can have its volume and panning adjusted independently from the others. Each track can be split into multiple audio clips that can easily be dragged independently of each other. In addition, Audio Units can be applied to individual tracks in real-time without requiring any destructive editing.
So you’re a startup scrambling to make a demo video for a trade show, and you desperately need some audio effect. With Audio Hijack Pro by Rogue Amoeba, you can record any audio, from any source, at any time.
Audio Hijack Pro lets you record calls in Skype and iChat with one click of your mouse. It also lets you gather audio from microphones, Skype, iTunes and other audio sources into one file for distribution through RSS (podcasts).
You can even digitize your old tapes and LPs and effortlessly bringing them into iTunes, mixing the audio from separate programs into one usable file.
With Fission, you get lossless editing of audio files, including MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV formats. That’s right, you can edit compressed MP3 and AAC files without any loss in quality and without worrying about going back to the master copy. This saves time.
As you know, we’re always looking for new tools that make a founder’s life easier. Well, we’ve found a gem. It’s called TwistedWave, and it’s an easy-to-use and powerful audio editor. The interface is simple enough for any non-techie to understand but powerful enough for professional sound editors. Whether you’re tweaking sounds for your new marketing video or preparing a demo for a trade show, TwistedWave makes it easy to manipulate and edit sounds.
It supports Audio Unit plug-ins and many file formats, including wav, aiff, caf, mp3, mp4, FLAC, Ogg/Vorbis and ambisonic sound files. It also offers excellent multichannel support. You can easily add, remove or reorder channels. You can also apply Audio Units to multichannel files, or to a selection of channels.
If you’re looking for exceptional screencasting software, Screenium is it. It’s perfect for Mac users who want to record video and audio captured from their desktops.
You can use Screenium for all sorts of things, including creating software demos, recording online gaming sessions, making how-to videos, and providing tech support.
The first thing that jumps out at you is the flexibility. Screenium let’s you record a fixed area, full screen, a mouse area, or a single windows. You can record exactly what you see anywhere on your screen and make it a screencast with a few clicks. It’s very intuitively laid out, so you don’t have to wade through menus to figure this out.
For any of you who attended our session on “How to Create & Market Award-Winning Apps,” you’re already aware that having a great-looking app is not a luxury any more. It’s a necessity. And if you ever hope to get featured by Apple, it’s a must have. A poor looking UI or not-so-great icon can kill your chances of ever getting to the top of the App Store.
According to Wikipedia, Flash has been in existence since 1996 and, because of this, has a strong base of developers and users. According to Adobe statistics, Flash has reached 99% penetration on Web browsers, while HTML 5 has a 40% penetration.
The latest version of the Adobe Flash Player runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android 2.2+, RIM QNX and Google TV. Earlier versions run on PlayStation 3 (Flash 9), and PSP (Flash 6). Adobe Flash Lite runs on Wii, Symbian, Maemo Linux, Windows Mobile, and Chumby. In contrast, some video sites, including YouTube, Vimeo and blip.tv, have implemented a degree of experimental support for HTML5 video. Steve Jobs noted that Flash is not an open standard – it is controlled by Adobe Systems, whereas HTML5 is largely controlled by a committee (WHATWG) made up of three companies: Opera Software, the Mozilla Foundation, and Apple.
Question: My startup is launching a new website. It’s in “alpha” right now. I need to test it out before it goes to public “beta”. What’s the best way to test a new website on a budget? I can’t afford costly focus groups or expensive usability studies.
Answer by Naomi Kokubo, Editor of Founders Space
Just heard about App Cooker from a friend, and it’s a pretty nifty tool. Whether you’re an indie developer, an established company or an amateur, App Cooker helps you shape your iOS application ideas.
It’s pretty easy to use. Just start with an idea, a sketch or an icon, then utilize the App Board to organize and inspire your work as you go. It’s easy for anyone to use yet achieves professional standard results. App Cooker is a good solution for planning and perfecting your projects until they are ready for production.
Code Racer is a multi-player live coding game that teaches newbies how to code a basic website using HTML and CSS, and tests intermediate and advanced users on their coding speed and agility. Players race against each other and the clock to complete coding challenges, unlocking weapons and rewards along the way.
I think every founder will want to try this one out. BetaBait is a great idea. It’s a way to get early adopters to beta test your web, mobile and social applications. The service is 100% free and only takes a few minutes to submit your beta bait. I think I’ll try it out right now!
How it works:
Every day startups run into a major problem before they can publicly launch. They need beta users and testers. These people play an important role in helping the startup work out bugs, create new features and even turn into the first customers. However, in the past, founders and marketers have not had an organized and convenient way to find these testers without spamming email databases, social networks and personal contacts.
* Great operating system
* More flexible than iOS
* More customizable than iOS
* Many more phone choices
* Phones support LTE, while iPhone is still stuck in 3G land
* No shortage of apps
* More carriers support Android
* Most Android phones have bigger screens
By Naomi Kokubo, Editor of Founders Space
Excellent question for Founders Space!
I love Stackoverflow. It’s a great forum for getting answers to technical questions.
Also, check out Codewi.se — they’re a new service I came across that does exactly this. They’re also a startup and a Member of Founders Space. I’d definitely check them out. It’s always nice to help fellow Members.
If you really get stuck and need to hire a freelancer to help you out, a good resource is eLance.
Over the past 10 years or so, we have been subject to an escalating swath of socially suffocating technological wizardry. It seemed as if we had to “adopt” a new piece of hardware or software every day, and it has been boggling our minds on an ever-overwhelming basis. Many have opted to “opt-out”, and are happily ignorant of many or all the fantastic advances available to them: the mobile weather apps, Smartphones, advanced networks, streaming media, 3D TVs, ebooks, tablets, subcutaneous bar codes (ok, I made that last one up…maybe).
So you’ve built your website, launched it and are now adding new features and slowly enhancing the site. Suddenly, you get contacted by one of your users. He says that he loves the site. He has a business idea for a different site in a different industry and he feels that your site has more than 80% of the functionality required by his “idea”. He wants you to customize your site for his needs for a nice chunk of change.
Sounds good, right?
by Mitch Posada
Lured by the possibilities of a stickier site, soon you will you be asked what can Gamification do for your business? But what does that mean and how should you think about it? Here’s my first pass at answering this question.
ga∙mi∙fi∙ca∙tion [gay-muh-fi-kay-shuhn] — Integrating game dynamics into your site, service, community, content or campaign, in order to drive participation. (source: Bunchball)
Think social media headlines not long ago and still today, just type into your search ‘is social media good for your business?”
Can you recommend screen capture software for creating videos for marketing presentations & investor pitches?
by Naomi Kokubo, Editor of Founders Space
Using screen capturing software is a great way to show off your product or service. You know what they say when you’re trying to sell something… “A video is worth ten thousand words!”
Videos are actually becoming the preferred way to market any Web 2.0 site or service online, and there’s nothing easier to use than a good online screen capture program.
Here are a few worth trying…
Each of these have their strengths. Try them out and let me know which you like best?