2018 reflection and 2019 direction

Well folks, 2018 is in the rearview mirror and we here at surefoot are fresh off the holidays with new resolutions and larger-waisted pants.

As we usher in a new year for surefoot, we thought we’d start a little tradition and share a few 2018 successes, as well as some of our more actionable learnings. We’re big on transparency and believe in mistake celebration over concealment, so hopefully you can learn from our “facepalm” moments. Who knows, this wee blog post might prevent a really uncomfortable conversation with your boss or spare your children from learning a slew of new curse words (hey friend, you’re welcome)!

After we’ve squeezed all the juice out of the 2018 orange, we’ll conclude the post by sharing an announcement about a decision we’ve made for 2019 – how’s that for a carrot dangler?

dancing carrot gif


2018 testing-specific stats:

  • ran 158 a/b tests and personalization campaigns to 18,448,151 visitors
  • impacted revenue by $13,647,847 across all clients
  • had a 61.25% win rate across all clients
  • ran 49% of tests on mobile devices
  • ran 56% of tests on desktop devices
  • 25% of tests were considered “easy” tests
  • 28% of tests were “medium difficulty”
  • 47% of tests were classified as “difficult” or “very difficult”

2018 general stats:

  • gained 5 new clients
  • gained 3 new surefooters
  • first partner to open source code for a partner’s template library
  • added 177 new custom emojis to Slack
  • sent 73,493 Slack messages
  • traveled ~124,279 national and international miles (for work and personal)
  • hosted 1 team holiday hangout where 83% of participants wore festive attire and 100% brought adult beverages

2018 learnings:

  • every client has their nuances when it comes to QA and results analysis, but outdoor retailers in particular have a significant one – the Pro Deal customer. These visitors are special unicorns with their own unique behaviors and site experiences. Don’t forget to account for them in your test designs and segment them in your results, or you risk making decisions based on muddy data.
  • just because Google is all the rage and is all-knowing because it has all your data and everyone and their grandmother has a login doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for the job. We migrated our program tracking documents to Airtable and it has been a real game-changer, allowing our clients to more fully engage with and track program success and ROI.
  • add a column to your test planning process to ensure you think through complex test activation or you could really bungle a test’s results. Does the test need to be triggered after a visitor performs some action (manual) or can it be triggered on page load (automatically)? This is an important distinction because it impacts how results are analyzed!
  • Github doesn’t send notifications when someone comments on a gist, so questions can easily go overlooked. Set up a 3rd party plugin (we use giscus.co) to watch for comments so you don’t miss important questions from developers.
  • it’s no secret that in life and in business, rainy days will come. However, it often goes overlooked how early and frequently they can come, which makes it unnervingly easy to wind up on your back foot financially. To account for those rainy days and make surefoot more financially efficient, we converted to a system called Profit First. We’ll let you know how that pans out in our 2019 update (although hopefully in the “successes” column!)


Looking ahead to 2019

When we set out to do this whole agency thing, we decided we’d try to do it a bit differently than we’ve seen, read about and experienced. While growth is necessary for any company to succeed, we feel it often comes at the expense of providing top quality service to clients. We’ve been told that our small, personalized approach makes our clients feel like they’re our only focus, which is exactly our goal.

To honor our commitment to that goal, we’ve decided to grow in a very methodical, controlled manner in 2019 and only onboard a limited number of new clients.

As of this writing, we have 4-6 slots we’re looking to fill with clients who:

  • are e-commerce focused
  • have at least $5-10MM+ in annual online revenue
  • are in the outdoor, active lifestyle, health, tech, education or travel industries
  • have an energetic team or stakeholder that is empowered to make decisions
  • enjoy moving fast, seeing results, and the occasional dad joke

If you or someone you know fit the above description and are looking for true partners who are “agile, smart and fast”, “feel like part of your team” and are “listening-focused, not sales-y”**, we’d love to chat.

Until then, we hope your 2019 is filled with laughter, winning tests and great learnings.

cheers,
team surefoot

**Actual client quotes. We’re pretty sure they accidentally omitted the adjectives “hilarious, down-to-earth, the best looking and extremely humble”  

surefoot team holiday photo
 

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