Launching a Successful Internet Startup – A Case Study with Certified Speed

Certified Speed

By Phillip Koo - Last Updated on June 24, 2018

Last year in 2017, we worked on a project with 2 developers from the WordPress community (Maddie Hauser and Matthew Nodalse) that generated more than $18,000 of revenue in the first two weeks of launching. 32% of that ($5,760 in the first two weeks) was driven by a completely automated social marketing feature.

To first give some context around the opportunity, this is the time when there was a lot of buzz around website load times and its affect on SEO. More on this and it's validity in a future blog post, but in this case, we (with the Certified Speed team) were hoping to create an educational resource for WordPress website owners to help them resolve some quick wins and get their websites load faster. The end-result would be a website where Maddie, Matthew, and their team could create and sell access to their courses through their website. Here was the scope of our project along with some specific details:

  1. Quick Branding Project
  2. Website Design and Development
    1. Front-end design that is on-brand
    2. Build on CMS that makes it easy for the client to add and manage course content
    3. No existing website or concept
    4. Website has to be ready to launch in 30 days
    5. Must be blazing fast (Less than 1 second load time for ALL pages)
    6. Implement and setup a CDN
  3. Website Hosting
  4. Facebook Advertising
  5. Build Media Inventory - Media Buying

The Website

We first went through a couple of iterations of the front-end using Figma and Sketch, two of our favorite technical design tools. Then, we scoped out the technical requirements with the Certified Speed team to determine how best to architect the website by taking the following into consideration:

  • Scalable CMS
  • Easy to hand over to the client after the build-out without too much training or ongoing maintenance
  • A back-end interface for the Certified Speed team to manage their courses
  • Every page needs to load in less than 1 second

Knowing both Maddie and Matthew's reputation and involvement in the WordPress community and based on the technical requirements above, building on WordPress with a high-customized LearnDash plugin was the obvious choice.

On the 28th day we had the website up and running and the next step was our marketing campaigns.

The Marketing

There were two marketing campaigns launched at start. For the first, we leveraged Maddie and Matthew's reputations in several Facebook Groups through a self-promotion campaign.

Maddie and Matthew are the admins of several Facebook Groups in various niches that focus on technical support for bootstrap web design budgets.

In this case, it worked tremendously well, as we were able to start the campaign with 200+ unique visitors per day.

The second campaign through Facebook Ads was started in the first week of launching the website with a modest budget of $400 per day.

Once we started getting a steady stream of conversions and interested prospects in the pipeline, we began to ask users for reviews, testimonials, and content for case studies such as this one:


The Results

In the first two weeks, we helped the Certified Speed team take an idea and develop it into a steady revenue stream online. The first two weeks were tremendous with $18,000 in gross revenue.

Some of the things we observed that worked really well was a pricing strategy that heavily relied on a social sharing widget that exposed a coupon code for the exchange of a tweet or a Facebook post, which effectively increased the LTV of each customer, as 16% of all sales were coming through organic Facebook traffic. At this time, we weren't heavily invested in Certified Speed's Facebook profile beyond running Facebook Ads so this was significant.

Here is a visual of that feature:


The competitive pricing and the significant discount that was so easy to obtain made this marketing feature a huge success.

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About the Author

Phillip Koo

Phillip is the Managing Director at Fluent and has been driving growth for companies in 15+ industries for 4 years through digital marketing, PPC, and SEO.

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