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Site Reviews

Optimizely Review

Optimizely is a very cool A/B Test service. I've spent some time using it on my site for simple tests, and I really liked how the basics work. Unlike other services (in particular Google Website Optimizer), Optimizely only has one simple line to be added to every page you want to test. You don't have to go and add code for every single experiment. Making test pages is very easy too. As you can see in the image below, you can just load any page, and then click on any element to edit, add or change images or texts, or set any link as a goal.

After a test is started (which only takes a few clicks), data starts getting collected. After some time, you get a result page.

Result Page

I've used Optimizely for a few small tests. One was about changing the screenshot on my Print Folder product for a YouTube video tutorial. Results show that I get about 70% more downloads with the video version.

Conclusion

Since I saw the review of Optimizely on the Pro Web Design Course , I had to try. It just looked a whole lot better and easier than any of the other services. I really like Optimizely overall. It is incredibly easy to use, and require minimum effort for editing the page Рwhich is a major plus if you are not used to editing HTML and CSS.

If you don't care about that, Google WebSite Optimizer can be a better option. You will save money every month – US$19 for Optimizely's basic plan, which does not include multivariate testing – and overall it seems to have more features. However, you are going to be paying a price on the time it takes to learn to use it, as well as time creating pages and coding for even minor changes.

I've tried Google WebSite Optimizer, and I've gone back to Optimizely.

Optimizely has a free 30-day trial, so I recommend you try them out.

 

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Site Reviews

MailChimp new features

As I prepare to e-mail the newsletter to my users (yes, it has been quite a while…), I logged in on MailChimp – which I'm going to use instead of PHPList, which is nice and free but very limited – and I learned that since the last time I went there a whole lot of new features were added.

Facebook Comments – which allows any post to have user comments, that optionally appear on their Facebook walls and thus carry the conversation (and product ads) farther.

A whole bunch of stuff with version 5.3 – including free Social Pro add on for 6 months.

Pretty impressive!

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Site Reviews

Text-to-speech on e-mail newsletters

I'm looking into changing my e-mail newsletter from PHPList – which is pretty good for a free tool, but obviously lack features compared to pricy ESPs (e-mail service providers), and deliverability is of course smaller, as the ESPs spend a lot of time tuning theirs.

I'm checking out several ESPs, such as Mailchimp and GetResponse. One pretty cool feature added by GetResponse recently is E-Mail to Speech. It allows your clients to hear your e-mail instead of just reading it.

The quality of the speech is pretty good. I still prefer to read (which is much faster), but I can see busy customers – or customers on the move – opting to use it.

I'm pretty sure they'll post statistics eventually (unless they are awful ), and I'm very interested to see what the exact effect of this will be.