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A few principles to keep in mind when trying to create email messages to connect with your audience.

A few principles to keep in mind when trying to create email messages to connect with your audience.

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  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
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  • Engagement is a word that means many different things:What comes to mind when you hear the word “engagement”?
  • it can be an appointment, a new job, connecting two things together…
  • Often we view our online engagement as a battle: we need to overcome the resistance of our target, and get them to sign up for… whatever it is that we’re talking about.Image source: http://au.movieposter.com/poster/MPW-35329/Rules_Of_Engagement.html
  • When trying to reach a large audience, the best advertising creates a character that we can care about, and ties them closely to a brand. In this case, it was possible via social media to have an actual conversation with the character from that advertising.Is this the best example of online engagement yet?Some commentators think that its combination of social media, advertising, and product placement makes it so.
  • I don’t want us to spend our 20 minutes thinking about these kinds of large-scale social media campaigns, though I’m happy to talk further about them during the question time.
  • Instead, I want to talk about something that relates to all of us.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/7941044@N06/2865644230And I don’t mean: let’s take our existing content, put it up on the website, and let people find it.
  • For my example, I’m going to talk about something that we use every day: email.
  • I want to suggest that the way we use email (and any other digital means) should be that of a courtship.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/This isn’t quite what I’m talking about.
  • But how does that apply for us, trying to represent a big institution to individuals?Photo:
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/acousticskyy/3651475141/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/acousticskyy/3593761024/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/if you propose – if you make that big request - without building the connection first, you'll get nowhere.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/fncll/135465558/
  • Ideally, you want to find a time when they’re interested in reading something, and they’re not overwhelmed with a lot of same-y emails to work through: that gives you the best chance of having your message read.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/montage_man/1473232665/If someone is checking their email then, they’ll likely be inundated with emails from any overseas sites they’ve subscribed to.If you have a way of getting their day off to a good start, this might be a good time to send a message out.
  • Late at night, they probably have other commitments to worry about.How internet savvy is your target audience?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanl/4365558047/Google breaks down mobile users into three behaviour groups:"Repetitive now“ – waiting for the latest update to a piece of data"Bored now“ – time to kill"Urgent now” – need to know something *right now*
  • We like to imaginethat people are sitting down with a cup of coffee, have cleared their desk, and are concentrating on what we’re telling them. In reality, they are battling any number of distractions.Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tallkev/4082110101/
  • When you read a brochure, it’s generally the only thing that you’re doing.When you use a computer, there are all kinds of built-in distractions – perhaps more than you think!Here is an example of a power-user working on their computer.The blue circle grows in size the longer they look at one thing on screen.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/64419960@N00/3545127104The biggest trap that a message-sender falls into is over-estimating how important their user finds the message.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tallkev/4082110101/It boils down to this.
  • http://newyorker.tumblr.com/post/862788932/cartoon-of-the-dayYou don’t want to go on someone’s “ignore” list.
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/3346955081Before you send a message, have you worked out how you’re going to respond if your user tries to get in touch?Have you made it easy for them to contact you?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/35444427@N00/4801604476the right amount of information – not too much, not too little
  • Nothing false, nothing for which you lack evidence.
  • be relevantYou can use what you know about the person to include or exclude content.This helps cut down on the parts of the message that will just bore or irritate them.
  • Not obscure;Not ambiguous;be brief;be orderly
  • If you can get past their spam filter, and perhaps their executive assistant, this might be as far as you get in your communication with them.Are you giving them a reason to open the message?
  • Does your message still work if the images haven’t been downloaded?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/82862943@N00/367490867/Don’t smother them – give them a way to end the relationship.If you try to hang onto them too tightly, you’ll lose them.Unsubscribe links can also help you get past the “spam” filter.
  • Use headings where you canUse images and formatting to allow people to get an overview of the message, even they don’t read it all.
  • What do you want them to do – is it clear to them?
  • Does this help them see the world in a new way?
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/Don’t just think that everything is fine in the relationship because they signed up once upon a time.
  • after slide 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLTIowBF0kEafter slide 5http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-fLV28SkZ8
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/Don’t just think that everything is fine in the relationship because they signed up once upon a time.

Online engagement Online engagement Presentation Transcript

  • engagement
    Engagement is a word that means many different things:
    What comes to mind when you hear the word “engagement”?
  • diagram
    it can be an appointment, a new job, connecting two things together…
  • Battle?
    Often we view our online engagement as a battle: we need to overcome the resistance of our target, and get them to sign up for… whatever it is that we’re talking about.
  • Online engagement
    When trying to reach a large audience, the best advertising creates a character that we can care about, and ties them closely to a brand. In this case, it was possible via social media to have an actual conversation with the character from that advertising.
    Is this the best example of online engagement yet? Some commentators think that its combination of social media, advertising, and product placement makes it so.
  • It takes a big team to do something like this.
    http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_old_spice_won_the_internet.php
  • What about us?
  • beyond“let’s put our old stuff up on the web”
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/7941044@N06/2865644230
  • Keeping it simple
    For my example, I’m going to talk about something that we use every day: email.
  • online engagement:using digital means
    to generate interest in
    your message
    I want to suggest that the way we use email(and any other digital means) should be that of a courtship.
  • Did you get my email?
    This isn’t quite what I’m talking about.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/
  • how does an institution build a connection with its audience?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24100730@N08/4014629377
  • Onecleartailoredmessageat a time.
  • you might think you're talking to a crowd.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/acousticskyy/3651475141/
  • you're not.
  • you have an audience of one
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/acousticskyy/3593761024/
  • online engagement is a courtship
    If you propose – if you make that big request - without building the connection first, you'll get nowhere.
  • how do we build the connection?
  • Get to know your user.
  • What does their online life look like?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fncll/135465558/
  • When do they access your message?
    Ideally, you want to find a time when they’re interested in reading something, and they’re not overwhelmed with a lot of same-y emails to work through: that gives you the best chance of having your message read.
  • Are they online from the start of the day?
    If someone is checking their email then, they’ll likely be inundated with emails from any overseas sites they’ve subscribed to.
    If you have a way of getting their day off to a good start, this might be a good time to send a message out.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/montage_man/1473232665/
  • Are they checking their messages late at night?
    Late at night, they probably have other commitments to worry about.
    How internet savvy is your target audience?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/62337512@N00/1427324899
  • Google breaks down mobile users into three behaviour groups:
    "Repetitive now“ – waiting for the latest update to a piece of data
    "Bored now“ – time to kill
    "Urgent now” – need to know something *right now*
    What deviceare they using?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanl/4365558047/
  • Do you have their complete attention?
    We like to imagine that people are sitting down with a cup of coffee, have cleared their desk, and are concentrating on what we’re telling them. In reality, they are battling any number of distractions.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/tallkev/4082110101/
  • How they use a computer
    When you read a brochure, it’s generally the only thing that you’re doing.
    When you use a computer, there are all kinds of built-in distractions – perhaps more than you think!
    Here is an example of a power-user working on their computer.
    The blue circle grows in size the longer they look at one thing on screen.
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/06/06/business/kord-pano.html
  • Your message:more important to youthan to them.
    The biggest trap that a message-sender falls into is over-estimating how important their user finds the message.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/64419960@N00/3545127104
  • Have a good relationship?
  • They’ll read your message.
  • Ignoring everyone?
    http://newyorker.tumblr.com/post/862788932/cartoon-of-the-day
    You don’t want to go on someone’s “ignore” list.
  • Are you listening to them?
    Before you send a message, have you worked out how you’re going to respond if your user tries to get in touch?
    Have you made it easy for them to contact you?
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/3346955081
  • What to say.
  • Conversation:Quantity
    The right amount of information – not too much, not too little.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35444427@N00/4801604476
  • Conversation:Quality
    Nothing false, nothing for which you lack evidence.
  • Conversation:Relevant
    You can use what you know about the person to include or exclude content.
    This helps cut down on the parts of the message that will just bore or irritate them.
  • Conversation:Manner
    Not obscure;
    Not ambiguous;
    Be brief;
    Be orderly
  • Subject line
    If you can get past their spam filter, and perhaps their executive assistant, this might be as far as you get in your communication with them.
    Are you giving them a reason to open the message?
  • Does your message still work if the images haven’t been downloaded?
  • Breaking it off
    Don’t smother them – give them a way to end the relationship.
    If you try to hang onto them too tightly, you’ll lose them.
    Unsubscribe links can also help you get past the “spam” filter.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/82862943@N00/367490867/
  • write for scanning,not reading
    Use headings where you can.
    Use images and formatting to allow people to get an overview of the message, even they don’t read it all.
  • every message needsa call to action
    What do you want them to do – is it clear to them?
  • Practice this every time you send an electronic message
  • Write the message your user wants to read…
  • …and wants to share with others.
  • CHECKLIST
    Before you hit send:
    is this a message they want to read?
    • is this a message they want to share?
    Have you told this in a human way?
    Have you made it as uplifting as you can?
    Does this help them see the world in a new way?
  • And one last thing
  • Checking the health of your relationship
    Don’t just think that everything is fine in the relationship because they signed up once upon a time.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/undream/2100521994/
  • Analytics
    Are people opening your message?
    Are they clicking through?
    Keep improving your messages
  • final piece of the old spice story
  • Summary
    Get to know your user
    Send messages they want to read
    Be ready for the proposal when the moment comes