TechCrunch+ roundup: Make your CRO fly, cut cloud costs correctly, how to write a cold email


Landing pages are one of the first places startups go to run experiments and refine their messaging, but if you aren’t constantly iterating, you’re leaving money on the table

In his latest column, growth marketing expert Jonathan Martinez identifies multiple conversion rate optimization (CRO) experiments and explains how “to streamline efforts so you can… have a consistent measuring methodology.”


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Here’s the testing framework he uses:

  • Create a list of hypotheses.
  • Implement a stack-ranking methodology.
  • Establish a primary metric for each experiment.
  • Set up a baseline method to determine winners.

“CRO is so vital early on for startups,” Martinez noted on Twitter. “It’s when you can most easily find those 10-20% wins in conversion rates across the funnel.”

Thanks for reading,

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+
@yourprotagonist

Threading the needle: A peek at Paul Judge’s plans for Softbank’s Open Opportunity Fund

Image Credits: Paul Judge /

Dominic Madori-Davis interviewed Paul Judge, the incoming chairman of Softbank’s recently rebranded Open Opportunity Fund.

With plans for a new $150M fund that will support founders from traditionally marginalized communities, Judge is taking on the relationship-based model that defines venture capital.

“It’s been about getting a ‘warm intro,’ and people brag about that — ‘Oh, you need to know somebody in order to get a meeting with me,’” he said.

“My view is, that has led to the system being closed.”

Before cutting your cloud spend, consider sharing your bill data internally

black-handled scissors against a gray background

Image Credits: mrs (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Every startup is under pressure to save money in this macroeconomic environment. And because everyone pays for cloud-based services, it’s a ripe target for cost-cutters.

But it’s not an all-or-nothing game, says Naveen Zutshi, CIO at enterprise software company Databricks. He says his company slashed cloud spending by 25% — not by moving on-prem, but “by providing visibility into where and how the team was spending.”

In this TC+ article, he describes the methodology Databricks created to use cost allocation tagging, visibility dashboards and other tools to reduce its overall IT budget.

“It’s possible to find spaces to cut,” says Zutshi. “But don’t do it flippantly: Reducing cloud spend must be more about optimizing the budget for long-term ROI than cutting costs.”

How to write the perfect cold email to investors

Lots of missed arrows with only one hitting the center of target

Image Credits: Julia Lemba (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

With a bit of research, any hopeful founder can build a spreadsheet with names and email addresses for investors they hope to pitch.

A personal introduction is far more effective, but Haje Jan Kamps says cold emails can be effective, as long as you follow several basic best practices.

Rule #1? “Short is good.”

In this article, he explains how to gain a holistic understanding of an investor’s thesis and shares two email templates, one written by ChatGPT (spoiler: it’s terrible).

Executives say they’re committed to ESG, but data show otherwise

Green sponges on a pink background to symbolize green washing.

Image Credits: Serhii Shleihel / Getty Images

Consumers say they’re interested in buying products from companies with environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, but “the 2023 Google Cloud Sustainability Survey suggests that executive resolve is slipping,” report Tim De Chant and Ron Miller.

Pointing to overall economic conditions and pressure to increase revenue, “the report found that the number of sustainability projects being implemented, as opposed to merely planned, was down 8% from last year.”

But self-reporting is tricky: 59% of the survey respondents divulged that they also exaggerated their ESG endeavors.

To hold these organizations more accountable, “that’s going to take data, and startups could help with that,” write Tim and Ron.





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