Conversions on Signups & Tagging (Boss: Kevin)

Contact 100 foodbloggers via email and ended up within 12hrs with a 10% conversion for signups.

  • 100 Foodblogs (50 KevinText, 50 ChristineText)
  • 95 Foodblogs (correct email address)
  • 92 Foodblogs (active email address)
  • 43 Site visits (25 KevinText, 18 ChristineText)
  • 37 clicked signup link (2:32mins on site, 24.95 pages)
  • 13 sign ups (1 said no, but signed up after I explained what we do)



I’ve been tagging photos to help sort the recipes. A few thing I noted about tagging ingredients:

  • colour specific (yellow and green bell peppers can be interchangeable, but red onions for green onions can not)
  • brand specific (Worcestershire Pickapeppa)
  • name spelling (Monterey-Jack vs. Monterey Jack)
  • type specific (brown sugar, yellow sugar, dark sugar, light sugar)
  • country specific (dijon french mustard, english mustard)
  • spelling (yogurt, yoghurt)
  • listing of subsitute options (molasses vs. honey)
  • naming conventions (corn starch vs. corn flour, broth vs. stock)
  • complete ingredients (hummus vs. chickpea, lime, garlic, tahini)
  • grade (double cream 48%, heavy cream 40%, whipping cream 35%, half and half 18%, table cream 10%, light cream 5%)
  • ingredient parts (zest vs. juice, yolk vs. white vs. whole)
  • listed as singular (bay leaf vs. bay leaves)

Drip Campaign Schedule (Boss: Christine)

  • (0 days) Sign Up
  • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (BiMONTHLY 1st and 15th)
  • [auto opt in] Monthly results
  • [auto opt in] Duel of Week
  • (0 days) Application Received
  • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (BiMONTHLY 1st and 15th)


———————— MONTH #ONE———————— 

    • (+1 days) #1 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (15th)
    • [option opt out]] Tip
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week (2nd Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week 
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week (3rd Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography
    • (+1 days) #2 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (30th)
    • [option opt out] Tip
    • (+7 days) Duel of Week  (4th Friday)
    • www.knapkins.com/duelofweek
    • results from last week
    • [option opt out] Duel of Week 
    • [x] 10 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography


    ———————— MONTH #TWO ———————— 

    • (+1 days) #3 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (15th)
    • [option opt out]] Tip
    • (+1 days) #4 Tips: Tastiest Food Photography (30th)
    • [option opt out] Tip



    Noob Guide to Online Marketing by Oli Gardner (Boss: Christine)

    Kevin sent Christine a link on ‘Online Marketing‘ by Oil Gardner earlier in the week, so today we went through the 50 steps and divided the 6 month roadmap. We’ll aim to have this complete in 1/2 the time, although some elements are simply ongoing… 

    “Oli Gardner is the Director of Marketing at Unbounce. He is a former creative director & interaction designer and tends to use metaphor more than he probably should in his writing. Oli writes about conversioncentered design and is the voice of the Unbounce Twitter account.” Check out the www.seomoz.org/blog/the-noob-guide-to-online-marketing-with-giant-infographic-11928


    The new darling of the marketing community still gets grumbles from the old-schoolers. Ignore them for they know not what they say. SMM is a massive topic, so for the noob guide we’ll focus on a few key platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. And a few key strategies: developing a style and how to convert your social traffic.

    #1 – Claim your brand (done: July 3)
    #2 – Set up your Twitter account (done: June 29)
    #3 – Have something to say – define your style (ongoing)
    #16 – Build a following on Twitter (ongoing)
    #23 – Time your tweets (ongoing)
    #30 – Create a conversion oriented Facebook fan page (Nov 1)
    #31 – Connect your blog to Facebook (not doing)
    #32 – Seed some facebook fans (ongoing)
    #39 – Start networking on LinkedIn (Christine)
    #45 – Stay in the conversation: Leave Twitter tabs open for “live” social interaction (Kevin)
    #46 – Create a social media contest page with viral features (Christine & Kevin)

    Email can be tough and unforgiving compared to other online mediums (once you hit send, your message is committed to the ether, never to be undone – except through the use of the apologetic “I screwed up” follow-up email. Instead of talking about writing emails, I’ll focus your noob experience on cooler concepts like drip campaigns – which can make the difference between an actively engaged audience and a legion of prospects who’ve forgotten what you do.

    #4 – Choose an online email provider  (done: June 30)
    #5 – Create a branded email template (done: July 20 Blogger1,2,3, Badge, Duel of Week)
    #17 – Set up a drip campaign for acquisition, education & retention (done July 3)
    #24 – Segment and create lists (done: July 14)
    #40 – A/B test your emails (ongoing July 6, July 25, Aug 1, Aug 3)

    How do you do email marketing if you have no one to email? That’s where lead gen comes in. We’ll discuss methods for growing your email lists by writing eBook’s, presenting webinars and simply by asking people to follow your blog.

    #6 – Set up a Feedburner account to capture & track RSS readers (done: July 16)
    #7 – Gather emails for a product launch (done: June 30)
    #25 – Answer questions on LinkedIn & Quora (not doing)
    #33 – Give something away in exchange for customer data (Christine)

    I have to tread carefully here as the SEOmoz community is probably the most engaged and knowledgeable SEO crowd on the planet (yes I’m sucking up). Here I cover some of the techniques that I’ve used to be successful at managing my organic search and building a natural ecosystem that encourages link building success.

    #8 – Set up Google Webmaster Tools (July 3)
    #9 – Research and define your core organic search keywords (Kevin)
    #18 – Architect your blog for search – choose targeted categories (Kevin)
    #19 – Use SEOmoz campaigns to track your search progress (Christine) 
    #41 – Link building (ongoing July 20 Christine)

    Think of 5 lanes of traffic driving across a bridge. This is your inbound traffic (often paid for) wanting to cross boundaries just to reach you. If your intended destination page isn’t optimized for their specific needs, you may as well knock 2 lanes out of the bridge and let the cars fall into the river. CRO is all about making sure the other side of the bridge leads to optimizeville, where there’s only one thing to do and it’s really obvious how to do it.

    #26 – A single purpose and CTA for every page (Kevin)  
    #34 – Rate your pages with the conversion scorecard (Kevin)
    #42 – A/B test your landing pages (Kevin)
    #43 – Try a 5 second test (Christine and Kevin)
    #47 – Learn from your users using feedback widgets & live chat (Kevin)
    #48 – Segment inbound traffic sources

    There’s a reason analytics is represented by grey in the wheel. It’s dull. Until you get it right that is. Analytics contain so much hidden awesomeness, that when you get it hooked up everything else becomes much easier – including getting buy-in from management to do “fancy-pants” things like CRO above.

    #10 – Set up a Google Analytics account (Done: July 1)
    #11 – Establish conversion goals and funnels (Done: July 1)
    #12 – Annotate important events in Google Analytics (Kevin)
    #20 – Add custom reports to your Google Analytics dashboard (Kevin)
    #35 – Discover under-performing areas of your site (Kevin)

    Content isn’t king anymore – it’s more like the emperor. Content is the start, middle and end of your online marketing story and is critical to virtually everything you do. By the end of this course you’ll be writing on your corporate blog, guest blogging, writing eBooks, getting your publishing schedule organized with an editorial calendar and even attempting the mighty infographic.

    #13 – Start a corporate blog & give your knowledge away for free  (started Aug 1)
    #14 – Submit your content to social hubs (Christine)
    #15 – Bookmark your content on delicious (done: July 20)
    #21 – Set up an editorial calendar (Christine)
    #22 – Enable social sharing mechanisms (Kevin)
    #27 – Write an ebook (not doing it)
    #36 – Write guest posts for other blogs  (not doing )
    #44 – Write about others to build relationships (not doing)
    #49 – Create an infographic (not doing it)

    PPC is the fastest way to get instant traffic to your site. However, it’s hard to do well, so we’ll wait until month 3 to tackle it. The majority of Google’s AdWords users go bust on their free $100 voucher with nothing but a sour taste in their mouths. I’ll give you some tips on doing it right and a back up plan for letting the experts take over if you can’t figure it out.

    #28 – Create a Google AdWords account (done June 29)
    #29 – Send traffic to landing pages – not your homepage! (Kevin)
    #37 – One landing page per ad group (Christine & Kevin)
    #38 – Improve message match for a high quality score (Christine & Kevin)
    #50 – Get some help from a PPC expert (not doing it)




    Twittering (Boss: Kevin)

    Yesterday Christine played with Twitter (Day1):
    • create @knapkins_com twitter account
    • contacted both @knapkins and @knapkin as to see if they’d donate their abandonned accounts. No response
    • create a hootesuite account with relevant streams (ie. competitor @foodgawker, keywords #foodporn #food)
    • chatted with and made 6 new online foodie friends
    • received 1 feedback about the site

    Consider Automating Content:
    • How often each of our blogger updates their content? 5-10 times a month
    • How many bloggers have rss feeds? about 35-40% have feeds


    Here are the updated twitter account to adjust to standard wide and larger

    background 1280px x 800px

    background  1680px x 1050px




    User Case (Boss: Christine)

    Yesterday, we brainstorm different user cases. This was slightly challenging cause we haven’t completed figured out the value we provide, so these use cases may not be relevant to our end product. So the questions we looked at were
    • When do people look?
    • Example of what they need?
    • What stat to support this? (research or people’s comments)   
    • Why do people come back?
    • How can we test this?

    Christine based these questions on search and google ads. What keywords they were searching with and what information did they seek to find. I looked for combinations of keywords with had either high search volume, low competition, low cpc. I learned how people like to search for recipes.

    • keywords
    • key phrases
    • long tail search

    Kevin researched through facebook, twitter, food bloggers. Kevin thought of some really great ways to “bring people back” and how to incentives people to return.

    • Duel of the Day/Month
    • Top 10 photos
    • Social hooks

    However, we also must consider our community has a 70/30 women to men ratio. We were speaking to market researcher Joseph Carrabis about characteristic of women online communities. “When men approach a social network, one of the things that they tend to want to find out is one’s pecking order. In a situation where there is no hierarchy, they will begin creating one. Women form social network by and large, to create communities, to establish, not a hierarchy, but extensions of themselves.” He mentioned female have a very flat hierarchy and that any time any women rises above that it is the trend of the community to bring them down. Moving forward, we’ll need to consider recognizing and supporting all the members of our community, and less focus on a sole ‘Winner”.


    Monetization: I was thinking about how we can make money besides advertisements on the site. There are ways to incorporate brands very fluently into recipes with food products. Perhaps we can look at featuring a specific item at a grocery store like “Metro” and displaying relevant food porn.



    Who are they? Where do they “hang out” online? (Boss: Christine)

    One of the advantages of working in a space with competitors is they have done some of the research for us. At first, I looked at 100 companies that advertise on these competitive sites. Based on the text and theme of the ad I found the following:

    • purchasing influencer (cars, kitchen appliances)
    • has kids (huggies)
    • likes being stylish (colourful electronics)
    • likes entertaining (wine)
    • likes travelling (hotel, cruise, travel credit card)
    • likes gardening (green thumb)


    This qualitative content was confirmed, cause then I realized I could simply click ‘Advertise with Us’ tab. Based 10 competitors and their media kits, I was able to estimate a profile of our user. This will be a good starting point for us.

    • Female/Male  (%)
    • Median Age:  (years)
    • Median HHI:  ($)
    • Att College/Grad (%)
    • College/Grad (%)
    • Own a Home (%)
    • Median Home Value (%)
    • Principle Shopper (%)
    • Children at home (#)
    • Length on site (minutes)
    • Meals cooked at home (days/week)
    • Nights formally entertaining at home (days/month)



    Google Adwords – Explored more adwords based on where people might “hang out/HO” online and engage with food/cooking. A large section I missed was online newspapers which seem to have large followings in their lifestyle/food properties.  Anywho, so I created 4 campaigns.  I spent 3 hours building 50 ads by basing my content on the key words from HO.  I tried not to overlap keywords from each campaign (hopefully they don’t compete and drive cpc up).  I wanted to understand whether the target was really searching those keywords and not that the ad was just vaguely relevant to food in general.

    Food Recipe (found to be highest volume, target user)

    • Blog Sites
    • Celebrity Chefs
    • Other food property
    • Cook Book
    • Games
    • Medical, Health, Reference

     Food School (found to be highest conversion, target supplier)

    • Culinary
    • Photography

    Food Brand (sucky)

    • American
    • Canadian

    Food Entertaining (sucky)

    • At home



    Foodie Addiction (Boss: Christine)

    I have been posting “What I’ve been cooking” on Facebook along with some cost (ex. Taco’s cost $10.50 total). Pretty fun with 9 posts I really engaged people. I guess that is what food does for your, engage your tummy rumblings. As per Mike Kim, I wonder what the network size or Klout of the people who have commented and liked. It would be great to see a total impression size of the 23 comments and 18 likes.



    Thursday is Christine-Boss-Day. Decided to explore food blogs for the day. Ran a little competition again. Again we had no landing page and no specific product idea. Kevin took 1 hour to create the landing page below with some text.


    There are food blogging photo sharing sites out there, so we started with food bloggers there.

    Sample Text.

    “<foodblogger’s username from competitorsite>, you are invited!
    Knapkins is launching July 2011. Based on your contribution to the foodie websphere, <yourdomain.com> has been selected as a featured food blog. We’d would love to showcase your favourite entries and photos on our site. We have already uploaded 14 of your blog photos with links back to drive more traffic to your website. The best part: IT IS FREE. To give us permission to publish these 14 photos, please click your special link. www.knapkins.com?name=CompanyName Cheers, Christine”



    When a blogger would write back I’d say

    “Our goal is to encourage more regular individuals to upload their ‘own’ tries of the featured blogs recipes. These probably won’t be as delicious as your photos, but it can help add more social aspects to your blog. Not just comments, but photos of their version of your recipe. We will always give credit to bloggers and redirect traffic to the contributing writers. Do let me know if you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer! Cheers Christine”


    • 140 food bloggers contacted thru blogsite/email (100% – 75 kevin, 65 chris)
    • 66 unique visitors (47.1%)
    • 10 email responses (7% 7 kevin, 3 chris)
    • 15 sign ups (10.7% woohoo!)… updated to 29 sign up

    Kevin won!! David from Sapient recommended tracking the number of engagements per person and how it correlates to an increase in an action. (Example the 10 people we contacted with via email, how much more likely were they to sign up?)




      Lean Startup and Customer Interviews (Boss: Kevin)

      So I luuuv lean. Usually when I’m chatting with someone about their business idea, it just finds it way and sneaks into the conversation. I feel like needing to shout to the world. It is such a different way of thinking, I feel it is my responsibility to show the light 🙂

      So Wednesday, it Kevin-Boss-Day. We did customer interview to find frustrating problems in social media. In 9 hours, I:

      • contacted social media expert through Toronto meetups (worked really well)
      • 5 customer interviews (of which three were great about an hour each)
      • 9 scheduled interviews within the next week


      Seven Ways to Find Interviewees. blog.launchbit.com/how-to-find-and-interview-potential-customers by Elizabeth Y. I didn’t go through the list but thought I leave it hear from future reference.

      • “Spray and Pray” channels
      •    1) craigslist
      •    2) online groups (google, yahoo, facebook, ning)
      • In Person channels
      •    3) Malls & coffee shops
      •    4) meetups (meetup, eventbrite, yelp)
      • Targeted channels
      •    5) Linked In
      •    6) Alumni Networks
      •    7) Google Searches


      Sample text. Although tracking down their telephone numbers proved very useful. Sometimes it is so great to just PICK UP THE PHONE!

      “Hi <expert>,   Happy Wednesday!! I’m an entrepreneur in Toronto and I’m doing some research for a project on social media and am trying to learn how what frustrates people about social media. I’d really love the chance to chat with you, would you be free for a 12 minute call sometime this week. Please let me know, it would really make my day!  Cheers, Christine”


      I left my questions pretty open ended so that I wouldn’t skew the conversation (I often do).

      • What are the most frustrating aspects of ABC
      • If you had a magic want to help you with ABC, what would it do?


      Conclusion. Great conversations! I’ve done a few more interview since Wed, still most last an hour. Then I would followup with my mock which I created using photoshop in an hour. Helps people really visualize my thoughts. Just like it helped my clients visual my designs in floorplans for event planning.  I know people have mentioned this before, but damn. I’m getting pretty good at this customer interview stuff 🙂





      Playing boss

      Decided that we are going to take turns playing ‘boss’. Kevin has Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I have Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. So we are going back to explore Social Media. On Tuesday, I decided to create a little competition using adwords. We had no landing pages, no specific product idea, no adword accounts, no google analytics. Originally, I said by the end of the day 8 hours, but extended it for 24 hour period.

      • Impressions (worth 1 point)
      • Clicks (worth 1,000 points)
      • Sign up (worth 10,000 points)


      • $75 free credits from hostmonster 
      • assigned domain asidenote.com
      • used facebook, adwords, blogs, craigslist, forums
      • RESULT: $3.16 facebook ad
      • RESULT: 0 clicks, 600 impressions, $0 google ads


      • $100 free credit from google
      • assigned domain knapkins.com
      • used adwords
      • my resource restraint was time and soget my ads up as soon as possible
      • used content from industry expert Jeremiah Owyang
      • RESULT: 152,104 impressions, 15 clicks, $8.16 google ads
      • PS: I WON 🙂



      Step 2: Investigate Idea (Wedding Photo Sharing)



      Unique Value Proposition: 

      • curating of photo 
      • group ‘live’ album 
      • see other person’s perspective of event 
      • interact live 
      • remove duplicates 
      • consolidate all perspectives 
      • get better images 
      • easy way for brides to get photos (Trade off people use app instead of email)


       A few reason I like this problem:


      • we don’t face the chicken and the egg problem with marketplaces (unlike Well of Change)
      • one person’s problem (the bride) is motivate to persuade other’s (her guest) to help her solve this problem  (1+ viral coefficient)
      • I would be an end user and therefore understand the motivation (is there enough need?)
      • creates a new experience through event perspective (excited for this)
      • can test this idea using mvp, users can use Colour


      Kevin wants to drop this idea. He is unsure if it is a big enough problem and of our tech capabilities to make it work. I think we need a better way to evaluate how we are moving from Step to Step. Perhaps vote, perhaps criteria. Else I feel like chasing tails and running in circles. Back to Step 1…

      Sent through Evangee