In the first two posts of this series [part 1 and part 2] I looked at the inner workings of an email campaign to 1,000 people who’d been previously communicated to but hadn’t registered on Hive. Their interactions would be tracked and their propensities to take action according to different messaging measured to discover the most effective ways to communicate collaboration.

In this final post of the series I’ll dive into the results, what worked, what didn’t, what people responded to and their backgrounds. This ones going to be good so read on! If you haven’t read the first two posts yet I recommend going back to them first to give these results the proper context.

The results – a summary

People responded to… and didn’t respond to…
  • Stories from real people
  • Value that affects them directly
  • Success stories
  • Answers to common objections
  • Urgency
  • Implications of missing out
  • That other teams were on the platform
  • Understanding how others are using it
  • Value that doesn’t affect them directly
Registrations… Sign up’s for the quick starts…
  • Were highest from those directly affected
  • Increased as level increased
  • Decreased over the age of 50
  • Are slightly skewed towards males
  • Are lower for contractors
  • Were highest for real stories
  • Are more effective with banners
  • Are effective when aligned with successes
  • Are effective for onboarding

Digging into those

So let’s look into those results a little. The expectation of trust being a key driver really showed in the results with response rates significantly higher for stories from real people converting the most colleagues overall. The sense of direct value was particularly prevalent in the results too. People responded to things that showed them direct value to what they do, day in, day out. This is the danger of trying to create too broad communities – if the community doesn’t have clear value in the day to day it’ll be far more difficult to drive engagement in the early stages.

One surprising area of the results was the lack of engagement with messages regarding missing out. Statements like ‘1,000 of your colleagues are already collaborating’ didn’t work. I’d track that back to the findings above again – if people don’t see value to them they’re not likely to get engaged. After all, they’re getting on with their work fine as they are, why complicate things?

Another area that was really interesting was engagement went up as grades increased, which I hadn’t expected. It seems defining ways of working for lower grades is absolutely crucial, probably because the lower you go the more process driven you can be and if something comes along which isn’t part of your core role and not a process you have to follow it can be seen as optional and therefore overlooked.

Conversion rates were way lower for contractors in it was only in the final ‘use it or lose it’ email that they started converting. That makes sense as they’ve been brought in for a specific job in a specific way and they’re here for a fixed period. Why invest in Hive if they’re not directed to? It raises an important area for communications; if you have a large contractor population, you need to be more direct with your messaging.

And the emails?

What was even more powerful was the insights into each email and the propensities to respond. Let’s have at look at what worked best.

Day 1 – about me and my story

The beginning of the story, outlining my journey to a new way of working.

The email performed well with high levels of registrations and quick start take up. As the link for the quick start was at the bottom, the high performance means people were scrolling to the bottom of the story and showing high interest levels in the content.

The email attracted colleagues across all grades, converting higher (proportionally) as levels increased.

Day 2 – showing existing value

The day 2 email had stronger calls to action and promoted other teams working on the platform. However, despite its large banners and mentions of high volumes of people in their area already working on the platform, the email converted lowest overall and of those conversions, only attracting lower grade staff.Its performance suggests colleagues need actions or stories that they directly affect them and aren’t motivated to action by highlighting a lack of inaction.

It also shows that universal statements on how Hive can support them are unlikely to convert and more detail is needed.

Day 3 – giving back

The Day 3 email was about surfacing tips and solutions for day to day tasks that had come out of the community.It performed well with the highest number of registrations, likely due to its diverse and universally applicable content. Registrations came from across the grades with no specific grade converting higher.

The results also support conclusions from the day 2 email around the need for actions that specifically relate to the individual and their day to day.

Day 4 – Group 1 – for people pro collaboration

This email showcased successes across the platform and hinted urgency.It performed very well with the second highest registrations to date, likely due to a high interest level for content and multiple links to the platform with each case study.

Registrations spanned the level evenly but saw a good uplift from the higher grades who indicated a real interest in the content.Quick starts saw good uptake from low to middle level suggesting that direct examples are effective at inspiring the mid-grades to get involved with and learn more.

Day 4 – Group 2 – for people against collaboration

This email included strong messages on urgency and answers to common challenges to collaboration.

The email performed best out of all emails to date, probably due to its high urgency. Registrations spanned the level and saw good take up from higher grades and contractors which had been previously difficult to convert.

Lower grades were the least responsive, supporting the conclusion that the mid-grades are most responsive to direct examples. Despite the call to action being at the bottom of the email, the quick starts also saw good take-up, indicating a high level of readership for the content.

In conclusion

You made it to the end! I hope this study provides some insights into what can work effectively for you and areas to consider for communicating and inspiring collaboration.

For me, the most important part of beginning collaboration is the journey – understanding where people are coming and making no assumptions about how they’ll work in future. The best collaborative communications understand that people work differently, but also appreciate that collaboration may be something they do (or believe they do) already.

The definitions of collaboration vary and it’s not something you do for the sake of it. It’s got to add value for the individual and teams and that value has to be seen in a relevant way to inspire others to do the same. Generic, universally applicable statements don’t convert. People want to see how it’s going to change their working lives and why they should make a change – after all, they’ve made it this far without it…

Do these results match what you’re seeing?

What’s different and how can we overcome objections to collaboration?