This is Episode 2 of The Numbers Game. We’re still on the back-story, going now from the start of 2015 to the start of 2016. That was the period where everything got a little serious!

Story: Turning Full-Time, Finding Funding and Doubling Down on Content

First of all this is really when I (Colin) went all-in on the business. I jumped in full-time during 2015, and took on Matthew in August, our first full-time member of staff.

On top of that, I go through the funding that I managed to source during that year, all of which was the best type of money you can get: no-strings-attached grant funding.

Finally, we have a chat about how our approach to content changed during this time. I credit this year with the 4x growth in traffic we’ve seen since 2015.

Lessons: How to Find Funding For Your Business

In the lessons section, I bring out everything I learned about applying for funding during that time.

Obviously, I was applying for funds within the UK, so there are some specific suggestions if that’s where you’re based. But, I think this translates really well, wherever you are. The organisations that offer these types of funds are pretty similar, around the globe, so I’ve got a few ideas for you. At least I can point you in the direction of where you might start looking.

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For reference, the funding and support that we won during this time came from:

  • Enterprise Campus (~£3000)
  • The Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship (~£50k)
  • Converge Challenge (mentoring & prize money)
  • Engage Invest Exploit (training, networking & investment exposure)
  • Scottish SMART (~100k)

Experiment: Split Testing Headlines for Email Growth with SumoMe

In the experiment segment this week, we’re bashing on with our email optin work. I mentioned last week that we’re testing a range of custom leadmagnets right now. The main two we’re testing is a Skype Interview Checklist and a ‘Ultimate Kit Bag’ PDF.

I revealed this week that the Skype checklist wasn’t doing brilliantly so far. On the show I mention a 0.5% conversion rate, but that was actually for the general site-wide pages, not Skype specific. On skype-specific pages, it’s converting at a respectable, but not amazing, 1.8%, so it’s doing a little better than we thought. It needs a little more time for a good test, though.

Your Homework: Create an A/B Test of Your Own

Last week, you created a custom leadmagnet for your latest post. Now, it’s time to get it up on the site. We use SumoMe to run our sitewide opt-ins. It allows for click-triggered, exit-intent, scroll-based or time-based popups, so you can use it in any way you like.

We run site-wide exit-intent popups. Controversial with some people, I know, but I think exit-intent style isn’t too annoying, Thanks to testing, I know they convert way better than any of the less obtrusive types.

This week’s tasks:

  1. Set up SumoMe on your website
  2. Use the list builder tool to set up a popup to promote your new leadmagnet
  3. Create a campaign to display the popup on a category that’s relevant to the custom leadmagnet
  4. Optional: Create another campaign to display the popup on other, less relevant categories.
  5. Optional: Duplicate the popup from #3, alter the headline, and set up an A/B test between the 2.