What’s Rype Journal
Rype Journal was created for you.
Rype Journal is an inclusive space where we pull back the curtains every month to give you an inside look at the backstages of Rype by sharing our updates, learnings, and resources used for the month stated.
Each month, you’ll find in our published journal: what’s new for the month, what we’ve learned, and what’s coming up in the future for Rype.
Why We Share a Monthly Journal
As we’ve shared in our Manifesto, education and learning is at the core of our mission at Rype.
Our goal with Rype Journal is to spread the knowledge, lessons, and resources we have learned to our supporters (whom we refer to as “Rypers”), so you can learn from our lessons, and increase your chances of success.
We’re doing this because we know how difficult it can be to start something new, and we believe in the power of passing along the knowledge we have gained along the way through teaching.
After all, teaching is the most important foundation of Rype.
The journal is not just for entrepreneurs or businessowners building their own businesses, but it’s for creatives, language learners, and anyone who has the curiousity to learn about the backgrounds of a startup company from the groundup, resources you can adopt to improve the quality of your life, and lessons in business & life that are rarely talked about in the media.
If you missed last month’s Journal entry, click here to read it.
Ready… Steady… Rype!
Key Highlights for July
This month was focused on specific experiments with goals to improve one goal: improve the sign up rate (visitor → schedule lesson).
We decided to optimize this specific metric after realizing that customers need to personally experience Rype through a trial lesson in order to understand our value and differentiator.
We also had numbers to back it up as the % of people who tried the trial lesson to those who became a paid member was over 30%+.
In other words, the goal became to get as many people who visit the website to experience the trial lesson.
To perform this experiment, we used the following 3 tools:
Tool #1: Typeform — Beautifully Designed Forms
Tool #2: Optimizely — An A/B Testing Platform
Tool #3: Youcanbook.me — Calendar Scheduler
How the Experiments were set up
The core of the experiment involved the userflow of how potential customers were going through the scheduling process.
We didn’t change anything except the ordering of the userflow.
Our original flow looked like this:
i. Visitors clicked “Get Started” button on the landing page
ii. Arrived in our personal assessment form
iii. Arrived in the Thank You Page (upon completion of the form)
iv. Were redirected to the Schedule Page, where they can schedule their lessons with their matched teachers
After doing some analysis, we realized that it either unclear for users to head to the Schedule Page from the Thank You Page, or users were too lazy to take that extra step.
So, we wanted to explore the following experiments.
Experiment #1: Remove the extra step by including the scheduling inside the form, so users don’t need to take an additional step.
Flow #1: Personal assessment + Schedule → Thank You Page
Experiment #2: With the second experiment, we wanted to further optimize Experiment #1 by reversing the order of the userflow. In other words, instead of getting users to fill out the personal assessment form first (which took around 2 minutes), we got them to schedule first.
Flow #2: Schedule → Thank You Page → Personal Assessment
Review of all 3 experiments:
Original: Personal assessment → Thank You Page → Schedule
Experiment #1: Personal assessment + Schedule → Thank You Page
Experiment #2: Schedule → Thank You Page → Personal Assessment
After two weeks of gathering data, here were the results:
*Conversation rate from landing page visitor to schedule*
Experiment #1: 3.2%
Experiment #2: 6.7%
Now, the numbers are sure to change as we increase our traffic levels, but the winner is clear. Although it seems obvious looking back, the closer we brought our end-goal (scheduling) closer to the beginning of the process, the better our results were.
Key Lesson: Whenever you’re experimenting, have a key performance metric in mind, and use that as the lever to perform your experiments. For us, doing a 180 and putting scheduling in the beginning rather than the end of the process increased our conversion rate, customers, and revenue by nearly 3x.
Updated Our Site Content
After much feedback and finding the time in the schedule, we finally updated the content of the website and added the following sections.
a. Teacher application
With the number of teachers (~100+) coming to us asking to become a Rype coach, it became increasingly difficult to record, manage, and filter the teachers we wanted onboard.
We wanted to streamline the process by creating a dedicated section, where interested teachers can learn more about becoming a Rype coach, and apply.
In order to maintain our value proposition and quality, we have an extremely competitive process to enter the Rype community, and setting this system up will save us hours per week filtering through applicants.
With that said, if you want to become a coach for Rype, learn more here.
b. Story & Manifesto
The best brands in the world have a story to share with the world, and we wanted to make it clear what our story is. We took it one step further to clarify to future customers, coaches, employees, investors, what our core values were in our Manifesto section.
c. Referral Program/Affiliate Program
With love shared, comes love returned. As we continue foster our Rype community, more of our members have been referring their friends and family members to join Rype.
As much as we appreciate the love, we feel it’s necessary to reward behaviors that help us spread our mission. With that said, we’ve established a referral/affiliate program that current members and bloggers can sign up to spread our message, while being rewarded for their efforts.
If you want to become a Rype partner, click here to learn more.
Lessons Learned in July
Lesson #1: Numbers don’t lie
No matter how strong we felt that something was going to work, once we put it to the test, we turned out to be wrong. Sometimes, way off.
And our biggest lesson was: numbers don’t lie.
I am a strong believer that for certain grand decisions, data may not always be the answer. But when you get down to the nitty gritty of how your customers are interacting with your website, it’s the only thing that matters.
Question to you: Are you making the most out of your data to make important decisions in your business? We recommend a tool called QuillEngage to integrate with your Google Analytics. It has allowed us to easily tap into data we’ve never had access to before (due to the complexity of Google Analytics).
Lesson #2: People need to try before they buy
This may not apply to all businesses, but in a new, upcoming business like ours, it does.
For two reasons:
1. Rype is currently not a global, well-known brand yet.
Recognized brand such as Apple don’t offer discounts nor do they offer “2 for 1” deals because they’ve built a premium brand with raving fans that will line up for days to get their hands on Apple’s products.
2. Our value proposition is an experience, not a tangible product.
Products like Macbook’s can sell itself through its slick design and branding. Sure, customers will appreciate the experience of its simplicity upon using the product, but Apple’s A-HA moment comes from its design.
For Rype, our value proposition of bringing personalization, speed, and convenience into the language industry needs to be experienced in order to have the A-HA moment. This is why we provide free trials for anyone looking to experience how we’re different.
Question to you: When is the A-HA moment for your potential customers. Is it after the first few days of trying your product, after 30 days, or is it after reading successful case studies of your previous customers? Knowing the answer to this question can help you strategically reconstruct the flow of visitors on your website to maximize your conversion rate.
Lesson #3: Unwind to rewind
This doesn’t mean you should pick up a bag and travel to Argentina (then again… why not?), but you could take a weekend trip near your city and come back refreshed with new ideas. Rather than bringing your labtop, just bring a good book, a pen, and a notebook to jot down your ideas.
As simple as it may sound, it’s incredibly powerful.
Question to you: Are you in need of unwinding? Assess your state right now: are you overstressed, stuck, or feeling uncreative? Think of a few places you could go exploring to this weekend.
Article/Blog Post of the month:
Ben Horowitz: Don’t Follow Your Passion: Career Advice for Recent Graduates
Book of the month:
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
Favorite post of the month at Rype Academy:
How to Learn Any Language in Less Than 90 Days
Podcast episode of the month:
The Tim Ferriss Show: Tara Brach on Meditation and Overcoming FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
Tool of the month:
Intercom.io — Easiest solution we’ve seen that combines live chat, email, targeted messaging, analytics, and a CRM system all in one solution.
This month will be focused on guest blogging, with a goal to write 50+ guest posts by the end of September.
Content will include everything from language hacking, learning strategies, travel tips, goal setting, and more. It’s possible we may not hit that number, due to the level of research and depth we dedicate to our content, but we’ll always prioritize quality over quantity. Nevertheless, it’s a goal we’re aiming for!
If you have any feedback or tips on what type of content you’d like to see us write about, please share in the comments or you can email me directly at email@example.com.
Making scheduling seamless
Before we move on to improving our next metric: activation (ie. schedule to trial lesson attendance), we want to make sure that the top of the funnel is optimized.
We’ll share our experiments and its respective results in next month’s Journal entry.
Website design update
Although we’ve updated the content of our website, it’s still miles away from being the ideal destination we envision for customers.
This month will be focused on redesigning the website to make it as seamless as possible for new visitors to understand our value proposition, and to navigate through the website with ease.
Keep on the lookout for the new design, we’re always looking for feedback, so feel free to reach out at anytime!
Challenge to you
This is one of the many new sections of our Journal Entries, but we felt that rather than making our entries a one-sided conversation, involving you to take action would be much more powerful.
With that said, here’s our first challenge to you for August:
Step 1. Think of one goal that you’d like to improve in your life or business. Make sure it’s as specific as possible.
ie. Losing 3 lbs (health), increasing revenue by 8% (income), finishing all my daily to-do list for 30 days straight (productivity).
Step 2. Pick one experiment you would like to try that has a good chance of achieving your goal.
*the key here is to pick an experiment that is dead simple, doesn’t interfere with your regular routine, and easy to measure.
ie. Going to the gym for 20 minutes everyday, increasing your pricing by 10%, not checking email until 1pm and only twice a day.
Step 3. Give yourself at least two weeks to stick with the experiment on a daily basis. Then measure your results.
Did you improve your outcome? If so, then stick to it and find ways to further optimize the experiment. If not, move on to the next experiment!
“Life is an experiment in which you may fail or succeed.
Explore more, expect least.” ― Santosh Kalwar
Share your thoughts
What is something in your life or business that you want to improve?
What will your experiment be to improve it? What would you like to see in next month’s Journal entry?
Here is last month’s entry: Rype Journal June 2015