In the first post of this series Why your communications are failing to improve collaboration (part 1) I discussed how I used an email marketing campaign sent to 1,000 people who had previously received communications about Hive but had not taken any action.
In it I discussed how the campaign would track their responses to discover their key objections for collaboration and what messages they responded to. The campaign converted 38% of the audience and showed just how effective trust is to bring people on the journey to better ways of working. If you haven’t read part 1 make sure you do first!
In this post I’ll look at how the campaign worked in detail, what emails were sent and how they were used to measure success.
Let’s get to it
The campaign was 4 emails across 5 days, one per day with a break before the last one – so that’s an email on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Each email also contained a second subscription link – a chance to opt-into a three day quick start campaign that would take them through the basics of getting started in the community and collaborating.
Here’s how they looked:
|Story that endears the reader to the sender
||How the platforms being used now
||Providing value with tips to use now
||Give the readers a break, no email today
||Successes and how to take part
||Answers to objections
Opt-in for a three day quick start guide
The emails in detail
Day 1 – starting the story
This first email would be coming out of nowhere for the recipient, so it was really important that it wasn’t just selling.
Instead it was an introduction – a story about me, the collaborative journey I’d been on and how it changed the way I worked for the better. It was there to help people get to know me, that I’d be talking to them this week, give them some background and establish trust. It was also designed to create intrigue for future action or immediate action from people that connected with me straight away.
An excerpt from the email
Hi [first name]. I’m [your name and job title]. I’d like to show you how our community has changed the way I work – and could do the same for you.
Back in the day
Before I worked on [our community] I was in the [team name and description of what you did] – and it wasn’t easy. What made it difficult was the way we operated. I couldn’t find the information I needed. Everything had a process and business areas didn’t talk to each other. I couldn’t see what was being done and all the hurdles stopped me from working effectively.
Day 2 – showing existing value
Day 2 continues the story. In the first email they discovered how collaboration can make work better. In day 2, I shared how it’s already making work better for their teams and how they’re missing out.
Changing behaviors towards collaboration is about showing value, so I didn’t just linking to the homepage. The call to action linked to a specific group relevant to the recipient that they see immediate value in.
An excerpt from the email
Yesterday I shared my journey to a better way of working through [our community]. Today I’d like to tell you about all the ways [our community] can make your work better!
It’s already started
Did you know that over [number of your people on the community] from [name of teams] colleagues are already working on [name of work]? They’re collaborating through a group called [your group name and link to it] to [purpose of your group].
Day 3 – giving back
By day 3 they’ve already heard from me twice and if they haven’t taken action already, they could be getting annoyed. So day 3 was about providing value by helping them with time and cost saving tips. Not tips how to use the platform, they’re not on it so they’re useless at this point. Instead, I used tips that applied to the work they’re doing now.
But… I’m not just giving them tips, I’m giving them tips that came from the community and collaboration, while at the same time introducing them to people they don’t know and creating valuable connections for the future.
An excerpt from the email
Yesterday we discovered your colleagues on [your community] and how they’re making work better.
Today in my penultimate email I’d like to share some fantastic tips from the Hive community that’s making their work easier!
Adding public holidays to your calendar
Add public holidays to your calendar in a few clicks!
Go to Options > Calendar > Add Holidays, and choose the countries that you are working with.
– by Norman Taylor –
Day 4 – time to take action
Day 4 is the final email and if they haven’t taken action yet it’s time for them to take action. Whether they’re deprioritising doing it or they’re against the whole concept, I wanted to urge them into action and find out why they haven’t taken it yet.
On day 4 I took the people that hadn’t acted yet and randomly sorted them into two groups, half receiving one email and half the other.
Group 1’s email was targeted at people that are pro collaboration but aren’t convinced yet. It was designed to give them absolutely no doubt that there’s value in joining by providing them with a huge list of successes and links to find out more. Whatever their area and whatever they do, they’d have something that should interest them.
Group 2’s email was targeted at people that are against collaboration, addressing key objections head on. Objections like why collaboration isn’t just a flash in the pan, why it’s supported by our leaders, how it aligns to our strategy and how it supports our business. It challenged their anti-collaborative behaviour directly and prompted them to get involved or tell us why they were against it.
An excerpt from the Group 1 email
It’s my last email today so I’d like to talk about all the amazing things happening in the community! With over [total] colleagues online, it’s no surprise that the community has seen great successes already – here’s some highlights…
[Our community] gives everyone the chance to share their thoughts and we’ve seen real success for leaders that have used it to communicate. [Leader in their area] shares his thoughts to his teams via his weekly blog and [another leader in their area] is very active, starting and getting involved in discussions with his teams.
Feedback from the top
When graduate [name] asked us if we attended training after school, she received a great response from the community and support from [leader] to talk to a group of apprentices about his own experiences.
An excerpt from the Group 2 email
It’s my last email today and your last chance to join – so what’s holding you back?
It’s tempting to keep putting it off, there’s lots of work to do and it’s not a priority. But here’s why you really need to try itand why it’s so important to our business.
Why it’s the real thing
[Our community] is supported by [our strategy] to help our business collaborate more effectively. There’s over [total] colleagues on now and more to come. In short? [Our community] is real and it’s coming to you. Collaboration isn’t a buzz word, it’s happening now and you’ve got to try it to experience it.
How it’s supported by our leaders
The entire leadership team is on our community. Leaders like [X, Y, Z] regularly blog, share and input to discuss strategy and objectives.
In the last post of this series I’ll go through each of the emails and discuss exactly who responded to each of the emails and calls to action. There’s loads of great insights including how old they were, what grade, whether they were permanent or contractors, whether they completed the quick starts, what worked and what didn’t. Don’t miss the final one, it’s going to be good!
What are the key drivers for collaboration in your business and what’s holding people back? Share your stories in the comments.