Hi! I'm Andrew Crimer.

I do marketing for startups: I'm Marketing Director at Preferred Return. I love growth-stage startup problems because they require abstract problem-solving and a ridiculous number of tools, depending on the situation, so I get to flex my programming and data muscles just as often as my AdWords and SEO.

Outside of work, I co-publish the literary short fiction magazine delay fiction and play bass in the black metal band Floods.

I love reading, music, my cat Cat Basketball, and learning new things. If something is truly worth doing, I do it hard, so I'm always working on learning whatever's necessary to make it happen.

Looking for startup growth? Let's talk.

is seo real?

Potential clients often express skepticism about the "realness" of SEO (search engine optimization) as a practice. I've heard people call it "black magic," "mysterious," and "fake news." So, I'd just like to clarify a few things:

  1. SEO is real.
  2. SEO is a set of practices for implementing a search-focused strategy, largely consisting of reorganizing the way a website organizes and declares information about its content and purpose.
  3. SEO is not flashy and pays dividends over time, not necessarily instantly.
  4. SEO is not for people who get bored easily.
  5. I am very good at it. Being good at it largely consists of reading schema.org documentation.
  6. Move your blog off that subdomain. Yes, I can do that (even if it means building a new blog from scratch, in the programming language of your choice).

SEO is really, truly real. If you want some, email me.

data-driven advertising

Most traditional ad agencies fundamentally misunderstand programmatic ads. I learned how to buy ads on budgets that couldn't support frivolous spends or missed results, so my approach is a little different. First, we figure out what results actually matter and what your business can afford per lead/conversion. Then we find channels that lead to acquisitions within acceptable cost per result. Then we scale up. No waste!

How does my approach work so much better? The answer is: data. I don't scale up spends until I have found channels that actually work. Unlike other agencies, I don't try to tell you "impressions" matter (except when they really do)—I look for meaningful business results and audit platform-reported attribution constantly to make sure that a dollar in spend returns more than a dollar in results. The modeling is complicated, the platform numbers are usually wrong, and most agencies would just rather tell you that the ads are working than do the annoying and tedious work of figuring out whether or not they are. I do the work instead.

Do you spend money on Google Ads, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, reddit, or Quora? Let's talk about what would happen if someone put in the time to understand where that money was really going.

I build online ad campaigns that work at scale. Drop me a line.

work

delay fiction

gust launch financials page

gust launch demo video

summitsync demand gen

résumé

delay fiction

  • Challenge: Not enough good short stories in the world
  • Solution: Start a non-profit online literary magazine
  • Contributions: Developer, co-editor, executive director
  • Check it out: delayfiction.org and the source on github

delay fiction: online litmag

When my friend asked me if I wanted to start a literary magazine, I jumped at the chance to start and run something from absolute scratch. We kicked things off with a branding session where we discovered exactly what we wanted to publish, how we talked, and who we were as an editorial body. The concept we landed on was a five-times-annually online magazine that publishes stories at common travel times, focusing on well-written short fiction that exposes the interiority of its characters. The reading experience is like talking to the person on the stool next to you at a train station bar and gradually finding out that they're a total weirdo—so the weirder the characters, the better. Delay Fiction was born!

Over the next couple months I worked with my tech advisor Kara Bernert to build a Ruby build script that turns markdown into posts and issues, so we don't have to create static files by hand or deal with all the pagination. So far, it's working great, and since we coded it ourselves, I'm making incremental improvements as they occur to me or become necessary.

From a mission standpoint, we also knew we needed to pay our writers. We use Submittable (and direct outreach) to source stories and use the nominal reading fee ($3 per submission) to pay each author we publish $50 per story. It's not much, but it's something, and for a startup non-profit litmag, that's fairly unusual. Now we just need Ottessa Moshfegh to email us back.

gust launch financials page

  • Challenge: Gust Launch Start users needed recurring engagement to drive upsell
  • Solution: Create an expense tracker and cash accounting tool for startup founders
  • Contributions: Subject matter expert, UX researcher, marketer, supporting developer
  • Check it out: in Gust Launch marketing or by buying Gust Launch Start or Accelerate

gust launch engagement strategy: founder financial tools

As we were trying to grow Gust Launch from a transactional incorporation service into the go-to platform for founders running high-growth startups, we realized we needed to form relationships with our customers that would deliver recurring value and help them skill up as CEOs. As anyone who's ever run a business knows, the key to success is to keep an eye on your cash—so we built some simple, startup-founder-focused cash accounting tools on top of an expense tracker.

From a three-month, psychology-style market research project I'd led the previous quarter, we knew that startup founders wouldn't pay for accounting until they felt like they couldn't do it themselves, and that they were usually surprised at how much it cost to start late. But instead of paying accountants, they weren't using Quickbooks themselves—they were using spreadsheets or, more often than not, just ignoring their expenses completely. We could kill two birds with one stone by offering a simple way to track expenses and also help founders understand why they should pay a pro as soon as they can.

I spent some time with our accountants, learned a bunch about accounting on my own, and poked around the expense-tracking world to identify the features and functionality we could offer to customers: simple expense tracking, basic cash accounting stats, and as a bonus, tips about which startup costs and other expenses might be deductible from their corporate income taxes. Now we help founders avoid expensive accounting onboarding fees, pass them to our accounting partners sooner, and (most importantly) keep them coming back to Gust Launch.

gust launch demo video

  • Challenge: Prospects wanted a way to see what Gust Launch was like, but we couldn't demo it
  • Solution: Create a short video showing how the software helps founders incorporate
  • Contributions: Everything but performing the voiceover
  • Check it out: in Gust Launch marketing or embedded here

gust launch demo video: incorporate in under two minutes

Gust Launch starts with the incorporation process—a legal wizard that walks founders through creating a new Delaware C-Corporation. Because the software was built with the expectation that a founder would only do this once (and everything else the product does expects it to have already happened) there was no easy way to demo the software for interested prospects. To give them an idea of what the software looks and feels like, I created a video that shows the incorporation process.

This video is not exactly a live recording: it's a bunch of little screencaptures massaged, cut, and connected to simulate software use. The founder (Jacob Barnes) walks through the incorporation for his company (AppBlaster, a phone app that downloads five new apps a day (obviously not real)) in about two minutes, but in reality it would probably take more like... five minutes.

I shot the video using QuickTime, edited it using Adobe Premiere and Adobe Audition, and recorded about three minutes of off-the-cuff, highly ignorable guitar riffage for the de rigeur "inoffensive startup video" soundtrack. The voiceover was performed by a co-worker, but I wrote the script and produced the audio.

The outcome? Viewing this video quickly became one of the strongest predictors of purchase.

summitsync demand gen

  • Challenge: SummitSync was relying on SDRs for all leads
  • Solution: Build an inbound lead pipeline by any means necessary
  • Contributions: Strategist, developer, SEO, and ad ops for search and social
  • Check it out: at SummitSync's website

summitsync's inbound pipeline and funnel

SummitSync's meeting automation platform had a viable market but wasn't organically achieving traction due to low category awareness, and their main strategy for finding leads was through cold calls. They brought me in to beef up their inbound pipeline and reduce their reliance on SDRs running outbound by bringing more and better traffic to the site, converting it, and nurturing the leads to demo-readiness.

I started with an SEO overhaul that aligned the website with the search terms their audience was using, then peppered the site with conversion points and engagement tools (like a pricing calculator), CTAs, and embeddable download units, all packaged neatly and controllable from the systems their marketers already used. I also set up marketing automation software and designed a custom Hubspot/Salesforce selective sync that kept only marketing-ready contacts in Hubspot but preserved all data in SFDC.

Next I built out a landing page system designed to capture interest from paid search traffic, especially search users looking at SummitSync's competitors, and paired the conversion points with automated funnel emails designed to nurture converters into a demo-ready state. Lastly, I rebuilt their blog templates to work with Google's AMP. At the end of the project, even discounting search traffic, the website was pulling in about double the traffic, and the traffic wasn't just bouncing, it was engaging with marketing and scheduling demos.

résumé

experience

Preferred Return

NYC. Head of Growth, January 2019 to present.

  • Selling 409A valuations and building new revenue streams. More TK.

Gust

NYC. Marketing Manager, October 2016 to April 2018; Senior Marketing Manager April 2018 to January 2019.

  • Marketing/Content: edit all content, including social media, blog posts, educational email campaigns, and ebooks. Own all marketing automation. Contribute to data tracking and analytics to support marketing efforts. Contribute to development and maintenance of marketing websites. Co-developed blog software and produced a post per week during project duration, clearing 15k pageviews by week two. Oversee and edit contributions from other marketers and thought leaders. Produce product videos as necessary.
  • Product: defined direction for Gust Launch repackaging and development through 3-month research project, leading to sustained increase in higher-tier package subscriptions. Defined, researched, and contributed to development for in-platform financial tracking and education featureset. Contribute to product development and write copy for acquisition experience tools.
  • Strategy: completely own Gust Launch SaaS upsell strategy. Co-own acquisition strategy with Senior Director of Marketing. Designed and implemented 20-workflow mid-funnel email nurturing automation system for 200k+ contact database. Co-own conversion strategies and optimization. Defined paid search strategy for $20k monthly AdWords budget, reducing CAC from over $1000 to $66-$300 depending on campaign. Own SEO strategy.

Blank Slate Factory

Brooklyn. Brownstoner Product Marketing Manager, January 2016 to September 2016.

  • Marketing/Content: owned social media strategy, including posting 20-30x daily across multiple social channels to audiences up to 15,000 followers and subsequently overseeing social media marketing coordinator. Produced ad collateral as necessary. Executed social media advertising campaigns for Brownstoner and customers.
  • Product: built and operated MVP “concierge” service to drive leads to advertising customers, increasing customer retention and renewal rates by circulating average 30 new leads to customers per week (2-3x increase). Led UX analytics development.
  • Strategy: led rollout of rebranded Brownstoner, including writing copy and producing video assets. Owned community management and customer success efforts. Implemented marketing analytics systems.

Kindling

NYC. Marketing Manager, September 2014 to December 2015.

  • Marketing/Content: owned blog, social media, and email initiatives. Filmed and produced product and marketing videos as necessary (product photography, animation, and live action).
  • Strategy: contributed to implementation and rollout of freemium pricing model, including conversion optimization.

Winkleman Company

NYC. Writer/Social Media Strategist, October 2012 to August 2014.

Smarterer

Boston. Marketing Intern, April 2012 to August 2012.

education

Connecticut College

New London. August 2008 to May 2011. BA: Literature with Film Studies minor conferred May 2011.

Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst

Amherst. August 2007 to May 2008. English and Film.

skills

Technology

  • Marketing: HubSpot, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Periscope Data
  • Code: Javascript, Ruby, Golang, HTML, CSS, git, and SQL
  • Production: Adobe Creative Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Audition, Premiere), FinalCut
  • Ad Ops: AdWords, Facebook for Business, LinkedIn, Instagram

Techniques

  • Marketing: content marketing, email marketing, SEO, automation, online and IRL advertising
  • Production: video, audio, layout, and the classics: writing and editing

service & side hustles

delay fiction

NYC/Worcester. Co-Editor & Executive Director, May 2018 to present.

  • Co-edit and publish nonprofit literary magazine five times annually. Build and maintain website and handle all operational needs.

Student Activities Council

Connecticut College. Dorm Rep, September 2009 to May 2010; Concert Chair, May 2010 to May 2011.

  • Organized, booked, executed, and promoted both a weekly concert series ($18,500 budget), increasing average weekly attendance from 10 people to 60 through rebranding and social media avenues, and a school-wide year-end concert ($30,000 budget).

Roth Writing Center

Connecticut College. Writing Tutor, September 2009 to May 2010.

  • Workshopped writing for students across all majors to improve coherency and competence.

ConnColl OVCS

Connecticut College. Magnet School Tutor, September 2009 to May 2010.

  • Tutored local magnet students in AP Biology, Chemistry, Algebra I & II, and Geometry.

The College Voice

Connecticut College. Staff Writer, September 2009 to May 2011.

  • Pitched, researched, and wrote local news, opinions, and arts articles.
  • Edited other writers’ articles for content, layout and substance.

contact

If you need your funnel to work better, send me an email. If your inquiry is related to delay fiction, please email me at my delay email.

You can also find me on linkedin.