How We’ve Used Crowdsourcing to Split Test (And Why You Should Too)

crowdIf you’ve been following us for awhile, you’ve no doubt heard us mention split testing a couple of times. We love having the ability to be pragmatic in our efforts, trying multiple approaches to achieve the best result. And we use split testing in various aspects of what we do, from trying different pieces of copy to generate website traffic in different regions, to trying out different email messages with subsets of the same audience segment. There’s a time for split testing nearly everything in marketing, but one of the most interesting and effective use we’ve found for split testing comes through crowdsourcing, which was a recent topic of discussion in a Preneur Podcast featuring Alec Lynch, co-founder of DesignCrowd.

Over the years, we’ve leveraged crowdsourcing in a few ways. We’ve used 99designs.com extensively to help us find designs for product packaging elements and Web properties that we’ve launched over the years.

Michael E. Gerber and the E-Myth [PreneurCast152]

Michael E. Gerber and the E-Myth [PreneurCast152]

Pete talks to Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth series of books and Awakening the Entrepreneur Within, about how he became a best-selling author and small-business guru. They also discuss some of Michael’s latest projects.

80/20 Sales and Marketing with Perry Marshall [PreneurCast Ep151]

 80/20 Sales and Marketing with Perry Marshall [PreneurCast Ep151]

Perry Marshall, AdWords Expert and Author of 80/20 Sales and Marketing talks to Pete about the 80/20 principle, how it can be applied to every part of a business, and why people often stop applying it too soon and miss out on the biggest wins.

A lot of people might know Perry as an AdWords guy. He was the prominent AdWords advisor and author of the definitive guide to AdWords when AdWords was in its initial peak/wave.

This year he wrote a book called 80/20 Sales and Marketing. I got an advance copy 12 months ago before its release, and just put it aside. I can’t remember exactly what prompted me to pick it up and read it when I got the physical book this year. And I have to say, this book is my Book of the Year.

It really surprised me, which might be the reason why it is so far off my list of must-reads for this year. It takes Richard Koch’s principles from the book The 80/20 Principle, and talks about them in the context of sales and marketing. It’s a definitive guide to working less and marketing more. There’s some absolutely gold nuggets in this book, so it was really great to be able to get Perry on and talk about those things.

In our conversation, Perry mentions what’s called the Principle of the Hyper-responsive Customer, which is that your very best customers have an ability to consume that exceeds your ability to supply. So how do you find them?

Bootstrapping with Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd [PreneurCast Ep150]

Bootstrapping with Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd [PreneurCast Ep150]

Alec Lynch is one of the founders of DesignCrowd, a marketplace for crowdsourced design services. He talks to Pete about the challenges (and benefits) of getting investment and also gives some great tips on using the DesignCrowd service successfully.

As a lot of you may know, a few years ago, Pete was one of the finalists in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards for the telecommunications business he’s involved with. Well, Alec went through the EoY program this year, and did a little better than Pete – he was named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in the Eastern Region (2014).

His business, DesignCrowd, is all about crowdsourcing design work. It’s one of those platforms where you can put a brief about your project (e.g. you need a logo, a book cover, or a banner designed), and then designers from all around the world will do a spec work and present you with their best ideas. You then get to choose the one you like the best. It’s like a smorgasbord of graphics!

Alec has grown his platform to be one of the largest in the world. If you’re not familiar with it, they talked a lot about the platform, the pros and cons, how to get good results out of it, and more importantly, how Alec bootstrapped and built his business. There’s definitely lessons in that for you to grow your business as well.

AdWords, Analytics + 8 Million Stickers [Noise Reduction .83]

Hey Gang,
     
This edition of Noise Reduction is a little Google lovefest. As I mentioned in the last episode, we’re rolling out the new earHeroSports.com.au project. So, the team has been doing a little refresher on setting up the tracking and tagging of Google Analytics and AdWords to make sure we’re hitting the “best practice” mark.

Whilst going through the process, we stumbled across a few great articles which we thought we’d throw together for this week’s blast. If you haven’t taken the time recently to review your data, this edition could be the perfect catalyst.

Enjoy,

Pete

Driving Massive Growth with Phil Barham [PreneurCast Ep149]

Driving Massive Growth with Phil Barham [PreneurCast Ep149]

Phil Barham took My Family™ Stickers from an idea to a business that has sold 8 million stickers in 23 countries. Pete talks to Phil about the critical elements of identifying his market, supporting his retail outlets and taking massive action.

From Australia, to Japan, and now North America, it seems the world can’t get enough of this episode’s guest, Phil Barham.

Well, more accurately Phil’s quirky idea – My Family™ Stickers.  You know, the stick-figure drawings you’ve probably seen on the back window of cars — everywhere.

Phil and his partner Monica have taken My Family™ Stickers from an idea to a business that has sold over 8 million stickers in 23 countries.

In this edition of PreneurCast, Pete talks to Phil about the road to his success — the critical elements of identifying his market, supporting his retail outlets, and taking massive action.

Seven Steps to Exceptional Email Etiquette [CONVERSIONS]

Ahh, anyone here remember that movie? Goodness! It was the Golden Age of the Web, and we were all (Internet) explorers, weren’t we?

Email is nothing new. It’s been around for decades now and everybody (including your grandma) is using it. But think about how much it’s evolved. Now, for a generation of young people, the meaning behind the title of the 1990s classic romantic comedy, You’ve Got Mail, is all but lost, as no one – repeat: no one! – is still using the once-familiar audio notification from which the film gets its name. In the years since that film debuted, email has morphed. Nearly everyone has taken to viewing their email messages in their Web browser.

And the rise in popularity of SMS messaging via mobile devices has caused many people to adopt a shorthand, TXT-style approach to hammering out emails, just as they rattle off rapid-fire texts to their friends. This is despite the fact that, for the most part, the semi-archaic terms and conventions, which themselves derive from the workplace memorandum of yesteryear, have largely remained constant. What’s more, lacking professionalism can undermine your professional emails, which still call for a certain degree of formality, or at the very least, form and function.

One email statistics report points out that workers spend as much as one quarter of their day, on average, working with emails. Add to that the fact that other research confirms what we already suspect, that people feel inundated by email messages on a nearly constant basis, and you can see how important it is to use email effectively. With all that in mind, we’ve put together this essay to bring you up to speed on the state of email at this point, with the help of seven essential email etiquette rules.

And, as a marketer, email is an essential part of your day. But the field is crowded, as an estimated 54% of emails are marketing messages. Unfortunately, only 17% of emails are opened. Still, more than 60% of marketers say they believe email marketing works (according to data from Epsilon). To cut through all the noise inside your recipients’ inboxes, you need to know and employ some best practices when it comes to email marketing. If you can beef up that 17% open rate with compelling emails, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your conversion rate by well over the needed 10%, if you’re following along with the 7 Levers of Business framework.

Creating Talent, Sneaker Marketing & Local SEO [Noise Reduction .82]

Hey Gang!

It’s a slightly little quieter Noise Reduction this week, as the whole team has been “heads down, bums up” focused on getting a new project ready for the public launch next week.

Platinum Advisory Board members know we’ve been working on this for a while — and it’s something I am super excited to be doing. If you’re a cyclist, here’s a little preview and an early bird discount –www.earHeroSports.com.au/PreRelease

Safer cycling is a project that’s close to my heart, and I am pumped to be back playing in that B2C space again as well.

Keep an eye out on the blog as we share some of the marketing test results and lessons learnt with this new project!

Speak soon,

Pete

Growing Talent with Dan Coyle [PreneurCast Ep147]

preneurcast-147-email

“As Pablo Picasso (no slouch at theft himself) put it,
“Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.”  ― Daniel Coyle

Dan Coyle is the author of The Talent Code, a book about how some of the world’s most successful athletes train and develop their talent. There are a lot of lessons in the book for all walks of life, not just sport, and we discusses these in this episode of PreneurCast.

Drawing on some crazy cutting-edge neurology, and firsthand research gathered on “field trips” to nine of the world’s leading talent hotbeds — from the baseball fields of the Caribbean to a classical-music academy in upstate New York – In the conversation Dan covers the key elements that will allow you to develop your talent and optimize your performance, not just in sports but business, marketing and entrepreneurship.

  • Deep Practice – Everyone knows that practice is a key to success. What everyone doesn’t know is that specific kinds of practice can increase skill up to ten times faster than conventional practice.
  • Ignition – We all need a little motivation to get started. But what separates truly high achievers from the rest of the pack?
  • Master Coaching – What are the secrets of the world’s most effective ? They all have “the right type” of coaches.

These three key elements work together within your brain to form what is called myelin – a microscopic neural substance that adds vast amounts of speed and accuracy to your thoughts and movements. Neuroscientists have discovered that myelin might just be the key: the foundation of all forms of greatness, from Michelangelo’s to Michael Jordan’s.

The awesome news about myelin is that it isn’t fixed at birth; no no no, it grows … and like anything that grows, it can be cultivated and nourished.

So how do you grow myelin? Listen to this episode of PreneurCast with Dan Coyle and find out.

“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.” ― Daniel Coyle

about-pete
Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

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