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Archive for January, 2014

How an aspring startup named itself to reflect its founders values.

Should you choose a name that reflects your values as a founder or pick something a little less philosophical?


I had a very interesting discussion with a old and good friend of mine, Sajid Farooq — Founder at Ra’ed Entertainment about the name of his company. To provide some context to our discussion I am working with Sajid on strategy and marketing.

Finding the name a little awkward, our conversation began when I asked him if he was open to changing the company name to something more ‘sexy’, ‘buzzy’ (and perhaps generic?) like most digital agencies, start-ups and design studios out there. Its a trendy thing to do, I thought, so why settle for anything else?

As I mentioned this to Sajid, he replied thoughtfully that he was open to the idea, but perhaps I should hear him out first, since he had been asked this question many times and he went on to explain that there was a lot of thought that went into the name and what it should stand for. A lot of companies in Pakistan tend to select names that are ‘western’ or ‘sexy’ but without substance — something I agree with. With Ra’ed, he wanted a name that had purpose. Not only should it reflect the company values, but also its roots in the subcontinent.

Ra’ed is derived from an Arabic word which means Pioneer. This reflects Ra’ed’s ambitions to become a leading game development and creative studio.

The name itself, being a cross between read and raid, is meant to be awkward enough to encourage an unwitting memorization: It sticks in your mind. I am familiar with that, being with a company called Organimi, and correcting people almost every time they try to say the name.

The R in Ra’ed pays tribute to the company’s subcontinental heritage. If you look closely enough, it bears resemblance to an elephant, a very common image associated with the subcontinent of the Mughal Era, the golden-age of the Islamic-Indian empire.

The R is placed within a box to symbolize a screen. Ra’ed after all is in the business of digital games and entertainment.

The R itself is sectioned so that it can be moved around to spell out Ra’ed. I haven’t tried this myself but that’s pretty neat if I say so myself.

Most of all, the the company’s name reflects the companies value’s that are derived form the Islamic heritage, tradition and values, and a yearning to return the glorious days of the past of being a leader.

All this made my think deeply about what a company name means. Names like Google, Apple & Samsung have become household names. But what do the really mean? Do the names have a historical significance, and do they reflect the companies’ values and purpose? Admittedly Apple, Google & Samsung have become associated to certain values and bring forth an image in our head due to the products they make. : Google is omni-present in the digital universe, while Apple & Samsung make great hardware and software. However, those are brand-values, not values in the moral and philosophical sense of the word. I am trying to drive at the core “philosophy” behind the company name. With online name generators that play on synonyms and letters to auto generate a company name for you to cherry pick — to see a company putting such thought behind the philosophy behind a company name is refreshing.

As for our conversation — all I could manage to say after hearing him out was, well…’Lets keep the name’.

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Photo Credit: Stef Lewandowski (@stef)

A simplistic hack.

When was the last time you saw a thank you page and simply closed the window & moved on? Probably quite alot.

If you signup or subscribe to a service or product that requires you to confirm your email — it’s likely after signing up you’ll see:

‘Thanks for signing up please check your email for a confirmation link’

And that’s it.

There are two possible outcomes afterwards:

  1. Go back to the home page
  2. Move on to something else.

Why you should do more with your Thank You pages:

I recently ran an experiment with the Organimi page:

I added a couple of popular blog post links on our page.

Organimi Signup Thank You Page.

First column is the usual check your email for a confirmation link because we want to make sure your human.

Second column says while you’re here why not head over to our blog?

Re-engage your audience:

It is not necessary that the person who signed up came through your blog and had a chance to read the amazing content you put together.

For example: A chunk of Organimi incoming traffic comes directly through our landing page. After submitting the signup form most exit to some external site and we’ve lost a chance to keep them around for longer.

What the blog links achieves is:

It provides them with an opportunity to read some of our popular blog posts and hence increasing the odds that:
1)they share the posts through their social networks and bring in more organic traffic.

2) They grow to like us as people and as a company.

Results:

I put the links to the blog posts at the start of January:

60 new signups since then ~ 60 views on Thank You Page.

10 clicks on blog posts column.

P.S This is a great post on Google Analytic’s and all the cool stuff you can do with it like check where traffic comes from and where it exits by Belle Beth Cooper from Buffer.

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Photo Credit: Digital Trends

Be helpful. It is not a fire-hose but a steady stream.

Quora for user acquisition?

Approx 500 views on my answer in Quora

242 views on Homepage (Organimi.com and not the landing page for the signup)

48.5% conversion from Quora to page views.

And 50 conversions.

That’s a 20% conversion from page view to signup.

Cost: $0 and 30 minutes of searching and writing.


So what is this about?

I’ve had this conversation with a bunch of people. It goes something like this:

‘I am working on/have this product that helps ____ person with _____. I need to get some people on it or want feedback. Where do I start?’

Everyone would have a different opinion about this. Ryan Hoover wrote an excellent post on the same topic and as PG say’s do things that don’t scale.

In short: you can post on Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Google,Facebook ads, SEO, Content (SlideShare,Blog,Videos), Attend Conferences & Meetups or ask people you know who are in your target market out for a coffee.


Quora is often ignored.

Often overlooked or rarely talked about along with Reddit and HackerNews is Quora. Quora for Organimi hasn’t been a fire hose (Spike up then die down) of traffic and signups (which Reddit and HN can be if you catch the attention of the community) but more like a steady stream.


The Hypothesis

For Organimi; let’s go through the typical cycle of how someone finds us through Quora:

– Someone types into Google ‘What’s the best free of charge software for making an org chart?’

– First result is the same question on Quora.

They click on it and start reading.

So how does this help in user acquisition for Organimi?

Simple: I wrote a helpful but biased answer for this with a clear disclosure that I am part of Organimi — a startup in the same space. Since the question does not have alot of answers at the current time often time’s folks click on it, signup and end up either loving or hating our product. The key here is not to be spammy. Be genuinely helpful and dont put in link or click bait. Put in a clear disclosure. Most importantly find relevant questions.

So when folks ask me — “Where do I find people interested in my product/idea for feedback” I often ask ‘Have you checked Quora for any relevant questions to the problem your trying to solve and answering in a helpful, funny and manner with full disclosure?’ People do appreciate the honesty. Needless to say you can always ask some friends to vote it up to give you a leg up.

How does Quora compare to Reddit or HackerNews?

In my experience Quora community is more civilized. On Reddit or HN often times if you don’t secure enough up votes within a couple of minutes (hours?) of posting, you are probably lost in the depths of the community never to be seen again. Quora is more SEO friendly — especially for questions likely to be searched for through Google/Yahoo/Bing. Quora provides some SEO juice for search phrases posed as questions. Reason being Quora has an emmense bank of questions with really good helpful answers and Google seems to appreciate that.

Another hypothesis I have is if someone searches Google for a question and can’t find the answer — they post the question to Quora and ask the community for help or now post a picture to Jelly. I’ve done it myself when setting up a marketing automation system here at Organimi.

With Quora now rolling out analytic’s on how many people viewed your answer you can even measure the conversion rates and edit your answer to see if that effects upvotes and conversion in any way by doing some simple math.


So go ahead and use Quora for user acquisition. Don’t spam or self promote on every single question you find. The trick to this as with anything is to be helpful & relevant on questions relating to your product — a shameless plug in the end can be forgiven in that case.


P.S My answer has been relegated to number 4 from number 2 on the page so will try some experiments and write another post as a follow-up.


Top Image photo credit: http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/quoras-plan-take-world-includes-buzzfeed-secret-weapon/

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