Startup Best Practice: Analyze, Test, Optimize and Repeat

With so many great analytics tools available, there is no reason why a startup isn’t tracking and testing its key marketing, business and user experience metrics. After a web site or web app, the very next thing to do is deploy analytics for funnel and customer flow, acquisition cost tracking and A/B testing. You should never launch a site and let it sit still – Google Analytics is not enough! Two favorites are KISSmetrics for traffic, funnel, conversion and user tracking, and Optimizely for A/B testing.

Whether your company is B2C or B2B, e-commerce or not, you need to understand traffic, visitor behavior, conversions and user experience in order to improve the customer acquisition process.

What are common web site/app events and experiments? 1. How long does it take from a visitor landing to signing up on my site? 2. Where are people bouncing or freezing within the app? 3. What promotional offers best drive back abandoned shopping carts? 4. What is the traffic source for my best customers, and what is the cost to convert a unique visitor to a customer? 5. What is the optimal “call to action” button color and text? 6. How many packages should I offer in my pricing model, and what should they be named? 7. Is my UX logically laid out so that users can read top to bottom or are users jumping around the screen?

For example, a call-to-action button for a financial tech startup was tested for text and color options. They were able to increase business loan sign ups by 25% within a few days by just making some simple tweaks.

Startups are typically short on cash, bandwidth, and time. You don’t have the luxury to launch with the wrong messaging, pricing model, user interface or application workflow. You can spend less money driving web site visitors, if you can improve your conversion rates. This effort requires discipline (e.g. daily review, develop a testing schedule) and coordination between marketing, product management and software development, but it is worth the effort, and it should be fun. For example, you can place bets on which test will win. Share daily performance with your team, and celebrate your successes no matter how small. It’s never too soon or too late to start analyzing, testing, and optimizing. Investors like to see data-driven decision making that leads to improvements in conversion rates and reductions in customer acquisition costs.

By Christy Hawkins, Principal at JumpStart Consulting.

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