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Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009 at 11:55 am

Seth Godin’s Two Simple Web Businesses Rolled Into One

By Bryan Eisenberg
February 4th, 2009

How would you like to get business advice from Seth Godin? I did. But then again so did you. Let me explain:

fixed-price web podiatrists.”

Seth explained:

“So, a pretty smart web-savvy person could have a checklist of fifty items and work her way through a corporate website. She could come back with a simple, easy to execute list of things worth changing…

…Low hanging fruit, stuff that doesn’t need approval from the CEO to fix. Maddening idiosyncrasies, worth the few minutes it takes to fix them.

Second gig: Web analytics pro. Someone who can, for a generous hourly fee, set up analytics for a website and do weekly reports (by email) that are actually useful and actionable.”

Seth saw these businesses as “Neither will make you rich. Either might open doors for your next step in life.” I felt a rush of adrenaline that day, knowing with even greater certainty that FutureNow was already on to something big. We had seen a huge opportunity to scale our services to the the thousands of small-to-medium size businesses that felt like they couldn’t afford our services before and were already deep into molding that concept onto a software platform.

The OnTarget™ service-as-software program was meant to liberate businesses who couldn’t make sense of their web analytics. Businesses who didn’t know the next step they needed to do to improve their marketing campaigns and what to change on their website or campaign to increase their conversion rate.

In March 2008, FutureNow completed our acquisition of Elemental Business. In their software and wonderful team we envisioned how we could deliver not only highly impactful recommendations but actionable recommendations with precise directions. The recommendations needed to be good enough that anybody regardless of experience could make the needed changes and get results. By July 31st we completed our transitions to the software environment and announced the Alpha version, code-named “Dr Phil,” and moved into Beta in October.  By January 15th of this year OnTarget™ was out of Beta and ready to offer it to the world.

OnTarget™ clients have been thrilled with the program. The results come faster and more often than when we were just consulting. Here’s a just few samples from both ecommerce and lead generation sites, though there are dozens more:

  1. A retailer increased their conversion rate by 59.3% resulting in a financial impact of more than $70,000 per month
  2. A brick and mortar store increased their website referred sales by 31% while overall website traffic was down by 10%
  3. A travel destination site increased online booking by 10.13% year-over-year in this recession
  4. A retailer optimized their checkout page to increase conversion rate by 6.25%, leading to $150,000 additional revenue annually
  5. As a by-product of our conversion recommendations a retailer increased organic search traffic by 19.91%
  6. A subscription service increased their visitor registrations by 12.5% by optimizing landing pages and the sign-up form
  7. A retailer increased their overall website sales conversion rate from 3% to 7% (a lift of 133%) during his first quarter with us

OnTarget™ client Brian Schmitt explains it this way:

“I’d been staring at Analytics for months wondering what I was missing. I had to be missing some mysterious key that would explain it all and allow me to take action based on the data. After all, everyone else is doing it.

I finally found the key. It’s even got a classic “O” for a handle and a dangling tooth. OnTarget™ is Fischer Price simple and works like a master key.”

Brian Schmitt is keeping his goals “On Target” and we hope you do, too.

I want to thank Seth, the Alpha and Beta testing customers, and our own hard-working people at FutureNow for everything they did in helping OnTarget™ become a reality.

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Comments (9)

  1. I’ve recently been trying to establish a service based on “the second gig”:

    Having an analytics package installed on a small business website might be both cool and easy to do, but very few small business with no fulltime webmasters employed have time or knowledge to make sense of all the numbers.

    So I’ve made an offer that instead of the standard reports in Google Analytics I do a short monthly Traffic Analysis report for them, pulling out the key figures and trends and presenting them in a language everyone can understand.

    Plus add a couple of bullets of suggestions on how to improve things.

    The analysis is definately not something that’ll make me rich, may not even have a positive ROI.

    But it’s an extremely effective “way in”, and a way to generate better paid, more exciting work for you as a consultant!

  2. I Think this is a good post, but i must say that some of your conclusions are valid for a lot of different services / company’s. Do you have any objective experiance with this one compared to others (payed) ?

  3. Funny you should mention it. I saw my local gym was running some pretty lousy Google ads so I just poked my head in the manager’s office and gave him a couple hints. Lo and behold, they hired me to do some easy freelance Analytics stuff.

  4. I still don’t think I could afford your services because a price point is never established. Maybe that’s just the way it is.

  5. [...] Bryan starts a web podiatrist testing/improvement service [...]

  6. That would be kinda funny to have someone setup analytics and then email the results to the site owner each week. =) As the analytics themselves are the exact details the owner wants. Reformatting it would be a waste of time no? ;)

    Then again, I know from personal experience, some company owners want to see the same data in 6 different reports, 6 different ways. It’s the same data… but, well.. ugh.

  7. I agree with Søren.

    If not do not no very much about web-technology, it can actually be difficult to install Google Analytics (unless you use WordPress).

  8. Wordpress is great with Google Analytics.

    I use a plugin to manage the account.

  9. That would be kinda funny to have someone setup analytics and then email the results to the site owner each week. =) As the analytics themselves are the exact details the owner wants. Reformatting it would be a waste of time no? ;)

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Bryan Eisenberg, founder of FutureNow, is a professional marketing speaker and the co-author of New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling books Call to Action and Waiting For Your Cat to Bark and Always Be Testing. You can friend him on Facebook or Twitter.

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