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Alex Rampell

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Alastair (Alex) Rampell is an entrepreneur and investor, best known for being co-founder of TrialPay. Alastair sold his first product — a mini-screen saver — at age 10. He continued writing programs and found that people were willing to pay him for it. Alex studied Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at Harvard. He cofounded TrialPay in 2006, a payment and promotions platform that uses the efficiencies of the Web to pair online shoppers with ideal offers at every stage of the purchase process. Prior to TrialPay, Alex co-founded FraudEliminator, the first consumer anti-phishing company, which merged into SiteAdvisor and was acquired by McAfee in April 2006. Alex began his career at while still in school, writing and selling consumer software on bulletin board systems and the nascent Internet.

Companies and Investments

Lessons Learned

Converting Lost Sales

When founding a software company, Alex ran into the common problem of millions of customers downloading free or trial editions, but only a very small percentage of customers upgrading to the full version. He ran a few promotions where customers could get his company’s software for free by signing up for a music subscription or DVD rental service—and sales more than doubled, as revenue from these transactions paid for the software. The success of this promotion provided the inspiration for TrialPay: a bad customer for one brand may be the ideal customer for another company. The industry average projects a staggering 60 percent figure of abandoned shopping carts so TrialPay’s innovation was increasing checkout rates by offering an additional incentive to not-so-willing customers.

Beware Intermediate Metrics

Since there is a gap between advertising and sales, the two cannot be directly connected. So marketers and advertisers rely on intermediate metrics to measure success. How many page views did one get, how many times was an ad retweeted, how many Facebook likes a post got etc. However, these may be misleading indicators and in the worst case may only be symbols of achievement rather than the real thing. So it is important for companies to figure out the efficacy of the intermediate metrics they’re using and how it ties in with the final metric (sales).

Inspiring Quotes

With so much coming at us all the time, it is hardly surprising that our instinctive default is to do whatever feels most urgent and easiest to address. The consequence, of course, is that we often keep putting off what is most challenging and then lack the energy to do it by the time we finally get to it.

Tony Schwartz

Alex Rampell's Quotes

Non-scalable products are great, but scale is really being able to repeat something from a script with very little deviation. Everything is the same and you can repeat again and again and again to grow to something very big.

Alex Rampell

For any company — whether buying traffic or selling it — intermediate metrics are often a crucial strategy in building a broad revenue model and in having a metrics-driven approach to customer acquisition and retention. But it is unwise to divorce the intermediate metric from the final, and crucial, metric of the transaction — to ignore it, or to exaggerate it, is penny wise and pound foolish.

Alex Rampell

Influential Books

Tony Schwartz - Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys To Transforming the Way We Work and Live


Tony Schwartz