Saturday, March 24, 2018

What Do Crowdfunders Look For

Although crowdfunding can potentially be a competitor to Fund-House, in many cases, we recommend to clients that they use crowdfunding for seed money to kick-start their business.

Crowdfunding has been increasing. According to data from Pew Research, in 2015, total funds generated through crowdfunding campaigns totaled over $34 billion - and its grown from there. However, with this growth, it has become more difficult to make sure that your campaign stands-out among the thousands of others vying for funds. To ensure success, or at least, improve your chances, here are several things to do:


The average pledge amount is approx. $403. What this says is that people are willing to back that amount if they find your 'pitch' has value. So, if possible, center your pledge rewards in the $200-450 range. This will afford you a higher chance of exceeding your funding goal.

Pew Research also found that although large donations are not uncommon, with 21% of funders contributing $51-100 and another giving $101-500 to a single campaign, the vast majority, roughly 49%, contributed a lower amount, $11-50.

The key is to show your value proposition. You must get creative with your reward tiers. Finding the dollar amount that hits the right price point.


Male funders far exceeds female backers - about 85% to 15%. Therefore skewing your campaign to men greatly improves your odds of getting the funding you desire. This doesn't mean that the product or service you are pitching must be for men only as a female oriented product will do well if it is viable and compelling. What is does tell you is that in the community of crowdfunding male funders dominate.

Additionally, Pew found that 30% of funders are in the 18-29 age group, with another 27% in the 30-49 group.


Getting it right the first time is requisite in crowdfunding. Make sure you are hitting the right demographic, are pledging for the right amounts, and are addressing a male audience - and don't forget about the shipping logistics.

Stay in touch
Jim Lavoarot

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Landing Pages - Getting Them Right!

Landing Page: A standalone web page created specifically for marketing or promotion upon which a visitor 'lands' when they have clicked on an online advertisement or similar notice (referred to as a call-to-action - CTA).

A landing page correctly constructed has to convey information, encourage a CTA, and reflect your brand - if it doesn't do this it won't provide the experience or engagement your customer expects. Therefore, designing an effective landing page takes planning and great design.


Answer this question. What do you want users to do when they get to the landing? 
Watch a video? Enter information? Purchase something? Click a link? Interact?
BE SPECIFIC! Everything on the landing should be guide users to an end goal.


Landings MUST BE  AUDIENCE - CENTRIC! Therefore you need to have a very clear understanding of who your target market is. Gender? Age? Location?  The landing's design
must appeal to the audience targeted and engage them.


The landing MUST HAVE VERY ENGAGING GRAPHICS, VIDEOS, OR IMAGES  An element of mystery or  surprise goes a long way in engaging users.


All landing pages have various levels of copy. Each word of the narrative must be carefully scripted to move the users to the CTA.

Headline: a few powerful words that instantly grab attention. 

Body Text: the 'message', which must be concise, direct, and engaging.

CTA: A button or link that directs the user - it's the next step. Must be easy to see and execute.

Footer: The 'touch base' stuff - contact into., social links, blog direction, etc.


Think of navigation elements as KEYWORDS that provide user information and direction.  These navigation cues assist users in understanding of what you offer.


Every single user must know exactly what to do when they hit your landing. Clear CTAs are requisite. CTAs can be buttons, forms to fill, instructions, images, animations, graphics.


Landing should be specific, engaging, and important. They need to be focused and therefore CUSTOMIZED  and not look like an extension of your website. Take to time and effort to be unique and not have a 'me too' look.  Always be conscious of  your demographic.



Make sure the landing is relevant to your Brand by including visual cues that connect it to your overall business message - stay 'on brand'.  Include your logo and use the same font as is used in your website's header - users, are smart, they will know the landing is special and content different but they will also know they are still interacting with your Brand.


A well constructed landing makes usability obvious (where to go and what to do). The landing page must FLOW.  Add in levels of imagery, branding/logo, pictures, developing a tiered approach so users will know instantly how to engage with the page.

A landing page is NOT your homepage. Landings are fast becoming the first stop for website visitors. Designing the BEST landing pages will make your business shine in the vast and murky expanse of the web.

Stay in touch,

Jim Lavorato

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Millennials' Changing Consumption Habits

Millennials are fast becoming society's changing demographic with regards to their spending. 

They are more likely to share a car than own one, rent a home vs buy, and invest in experiences over material goods. Millennials don't like to commit, particularly when it comes to money and investments. Don't forget, the average Millennial is strapped with $30,000 in student debt and witnessed the economy tanking the during the Great Recession of 2018.

But circumstances change and as the 'Y generation' is gets older and matures their spending habits are beginning to change - ergo there are four sectors of the economy that stand to benefit.

1. Housing: in 2016 Millennials were the largest group of U.S. home-buyers, indicating their need to switch from renting to purchasing homes. In fact, affordable housing inventories are falling pushing prices higher throughout the country. Look for  developers, builders, construction,              businesses benefitting greatly from this trend.

2. Household Durable Goods: In 2017, a study found that over 75% of Millennials would rather            spend their money on experiences vs. material goods - this is changing. The home buying                    trend will increase Millennial spending on home furnishings, appliances, and all sorts 
    of home goods from lawnmowers to garage openers.

Fund-House Ventures :

3. Retail: Although purchases via the internet have grown exponentically it still only accounts for  about 10% of  all retail sales. The Millennials are going to push retail purchases much higher, and the businesses that will benefit most are those with operations in both the physical and virtual worlds. This is already manifesting itself. Walmart redoubled its online operations. Amazon, on the other hand, is going for brick and mortar with its purchase of 400 Whole Foods stores and building its own 'dash' shopping food stores.
Millennials spending habits are changing

4. Autos: Many Millennials rely of Uber and Lyft for transportation. As they start families, however, owning cars, SUVs, trucks, and minivans becomes a necessity. We are already witnessing the auto industry aligning with Millennials'  by manufacturing energy efficient vehicles that provide lots of safety features.

Despite their penchant for sharing, experience related activities, and online everything Millennials are moving into another stage in their lives which necessitates them changing their purchasing habits. That said, Millennials will continue to drive the on-going revolution in consumer spending. 

Stay in touch,

Jim Lavorato

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Net Neutrality Prize - A Follow-Up Post

As a follow-up to my recent post on the Net Neutrality battle being waged between the ISPs and the edge providers it appears that the recent neutrality rule rollback by the Federal Communications Commission has spawned  discussions on the internet of everything.

Both sides came to Capitol Hill in a discussion hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus, to discuss possible approaches to agreement. But, try they might the conversation proved  to be as much about what still separates the parties than it was about agreement on the issues.

Both sides do agree on rules preventing blocking and throttling of content, even restoring them to the FCC.  However, lobbyists for the edge providers are  pushing for a Congressional Review Act resolution to nullify the FCC's December rollback of the rules. Pro ruling advocates are also backing  State efforts to reverse the FCC decision through their own neutrality bills or executive orders mandating neutrality in ISP contracts.

The pro-rule activists want the FCC to be able to regulate broadband rates if said rates are a barrier to deployment.  While the ISPs say the FCC should not be in the business of regulating broadband rates, - which should be market driven.

So, as it now stands both sides are at logger-heads and the debate remains unsettled.

Keep in touch,

Jim Lavorato