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What happens when people sign up for your stuff

 

So you have this book that you wrote.

This newsletter you so carefully crafted.

This course you designed with attention and love.

….

You are ready for launch.

The world is waiting for you ….

…. well ….

NOPE.

No one is waiting for you.

Not even the people who registered for (tick the right answer):

  • your newsletter
  • your course
  • your e-book.

 

— But they signed up, right?

— Right…

 

Let’s break down the psychology of this, do you mind?

 

giphy (3)

 

Someone was online. Saw your ad, read your blog post, stumbled upon your site on his/her lunch break, and got excited. Signed up. It’s free. The opportunity is here to be seized.

He knows if he doesn’t do it now, nearly no chance he gets back here. (Today’s internet is a crowded place and you don’t come back very often to places). So he likes what he just saw or read, and in the momentum of the excitement, he signed up.

The moment he signed up, the pressure go down. The panic feeling that “I might miss out on something awesome for free” just left him. He knows he is safe now. He signed up. He knows that from now on, you are the one who will remind him, run after him and he can decide later on if he really needs it.

 

giphy (2)

 

Signing up for free shit on the internet became a lot like binge shopping.

 

It looks good, so you take it now. You’ll see later if you need it.

 

However, on the other side, someone’s tripping.

YOU.

giphy (5)

You think you have a new fan.

When all you have is someone who got excited about your free stuff and fear he might miss out on something so he signed up just in case.

You haven’t sold him yet.

You just started the conversation with that guy or gal.

You have not yet bought him.

All the work is still upfront.

 

 

It’s like when a girl (or a guy) give you her (his) phone number.

You got the other side’s attention, and you have an opportunity to build up the relationship.

So, don’t blow it up by saying non-sense over the freaking phone when you call that number!!!

 

How do you know you’re doing it right?

Once you understand this fundamental principal that a signup is just the beginning, it then becomes clearer you need to monitor how the relationship is growing, 

 

You're email open rate.

 

If it’s a newsletter, you will need to see how often they opens it, do  they click the content in there, do they pay attention over time. From newsletter to newsletter, you need to gain their attention again again.

If it’s a course, they needs to come back week after week, day after day and make progress. If they don’t come back, you need to see when do they stop, was it the content? was it the design? do they all stop at this same point? Try a different format of content, a different topic, a different approach, improve your bugs, fix your design, become mobile-friendly. In short, make sure your users feels at home and enjoy…

Remember, you are dating your customers, so put on you’re best dress, and make the experience unforgettable. Or, if you prefer to go casual, that’s ok too, as long as it fits the expectation. Not every date needs to be in a 4-stars hotel, you can also go to a burger… just make sure it’s cool with the other side. Test, and iterate. Test and iterate. Again and again, until you build the right approach, the right relationship, with your audience.

Content and context

CONTENT IS THE KEY – as you long as you keep the content relevant to the conversation.

The moment your content is getting boring is the moment they loose interest, meaning you’re out of the game because there is no conversation anymore.

Being irrelevant is how you build a huge database of dead-meat emails disconnected from any reality on the ground.

dead horse

 

So before you get to this situation, segment your data properly, analyse how your users consume the content they signed up for, so you can adapt to keep the conversation relevant – to keep your content in context.

Because NOBODY CARES – unless you make them care.

So make them care, each and every freaking time as if it was the first time.

And for this, you need to care about them.

 

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Design like you care

design-like-youcare

Design is at the core of everything you do.

The piece of hardware you are using to read this post has been designed.

The website you read is the result of a design process.

 

Design is about creating the experience that will allow your audience to enjoy from what you want to give them.

 

As a kid you’ve designed carefully this present for your mum on mother’s day.

As a teenager you designed your outfit/personal image to fit in the way-too-harsh world of highschool…

As long as you’ve cared about something you did your best, and it came out some way. It didn’t always work but you’ve learned from it and moved on.

 

Poor design

 

Poor design happen when we look for a shortcut. Something that can sorta ass the job but not quite.

Something “that’ll be good enough for now.”

And it is ok. Sometime a business need shortcut. Deadline are real. Your customers’ experience can wait.

It is true. But it is dangerous.

It is like when poor management decision become normal in an organisation, you just create an horrible culture for your company.

Poor decision happen from time to time in an organisation, and you cannot micromanage your team leaders, so everyone can survive for an other day.

But when it becomes the day to day of your company, the best people will leave, and inner politics will start to cripple the core of your organisation. So you try to fix it.

Same for your product & communication design habits.

If you keep doing what’s easy instead of what’s right, you will lose customers, and you will damage your reputation. It is a game you will lose in the long run.

Examples

No need to go very far.

We all browse the web, and stumble on these every single day.

 

Example 1: Sliders

 

Sliders don’t help end users.

It’s common knowledge.

 

0.11% of your audience will ever click on anything that is not the first slide. (Actually just 1% is expected to even click on this slide).

Yet, we still see them everywhere.

 

Why?

 

Because it was the easier not to make a decision to answer the following question:  “What should be the first thing your visitors will see when they open the site?

 

So you chose this abomination from a forgotten past.

 

While a you know it is just a bad idea…

 

 

And even without having the top designers telling you that on every venue available (like here, or here), you could have know for youself by simple reverse engineering your own personal experience.

You know you do not pay that much attention to these massive sliders, what you do? You just go to the next thing on the site.

So why expect something else people browsing your own website?

 

Example 2: Modal popup

Popup are evil since the beginning times.

Popup blockers were the first thing we invented to block spammy popup everywhere on our computers.

Today, we have this fancy thing called a modal popup.

Ah, and for those who don’t know what I am talking about a modal popup look like this one:

spamy modal popup

 

It usually will popup after a few second spent on a website, and shamelessly asking for you to:

  • Signup to a newsletter
  • Buy something
  • Download something

So while all these things (newsletters/downloads/purchases) are totally ok in itself, how dare you interrupting, like a total jerk, the person reading your site right now.

If you took the time to put content there (on your site that it) and  you expect it worth other people’s time, let them read it, FFS!

 

And if what you say in your popup is sooo vital and sooo important, then please, make it the first content item on the page. You don’t need to go full screen modal on your audience.

 

What is the point to harass your user with useless crappy gimmick that probably won’t convert anyway…

Be logical and pragmatic. The fact that you can technically do it, doesn’t mean you should.

 

Think about your users, about what they think when they see you annoying design choice… Designing is making  decisions on how people will interact with your product or with your site. It’s not a buzzword. It is the essence of the delivered experience and therefore, it shapes the perceived value to its core.

So, lets wrap it up:

We now know that sliders and unwarranted modals are to be use with care. (while that wasn’t the point of the article, I very much wanted to say this.)

But it goes far beyond some web usability.

Design is a core activity for every entrepreneur, business person, and everyone who is creating something to be used by other people. Be it a service, a product, an organisation.

What you do influence other people’s life.

 

Design should therefore embed the will to serve other people for their best interest. Because in the end, it is what is right, not necessarily what is easy, that matter.

 

Still don’t believe me. Read on.

How designers destroyed the world

I didn’t say it. That’s the title of Mike Monteiro talk. Watch it.

 

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NGO biz dev tip of the day

Hi there!

A quick tip today for NGO’s :

We live in a world with tight interconnections. It means that your cause, whatever it is you are rooting for – from handicap to poverty to your local social community service – chances are that people who don’t care for your cause are actually caring for a joint cause.

So, when you throw your next fundraising event, instead of doing it all alone and hoping for the best, go partner with an other NGO whose cause complement yours and share revenues from the event.

Examples:

Your NGO is into young adult education – go partner with a social inclusion NGO. You do food for Africa, go partner with water for Africa NGO. You run a church, go partner with a NGO that fight against drug or illiteracy.

Split revenue in half – or whatever make sense and benefit from a new audience that will view cause differently now.

Of course, we could go on and expand on how you can use storytelling to bring some extra humf to this partnership and impact your fundraising campaign, but we’ll keep it short for today.

 

Let’s be blunt

is-what-it-is

You don’t know me and I don’t know you.

However you are still reading.

There might be something you expect to get from reading me.

It’s ok, I am cool with that.

 

That’s why I am writing for.

I want to provide you value. One day, we might be doing business together, or we might not.

Hell, you might never come back again… making it even more vital, in this very short amount of time of asynchronous exchange, that I try to bring my best to the table.

Which mean that when I write, I need to cut the bullshit and get to the point. 

Chances are, you customers / clients / audience / people you interact with, also, want you to just tell them what’s up for real. It is saving everyone’s time.

Once you told you, they might not like you, maybe it also means they will not make business with you, but it is still worth it, because in the long run, you win. 

First, you are saving yourself a huge amount of time by working with the right people, the one who made a informed and educated choice to work with you, knowing who you are.

But also, you are doing them a service – because if they know who you are and what you think, they are not in for a bad surprise. Human expectations are set very early in the relationship, from the very beginning what you plan to bring to the table and how you roll. They will thank you for that. And they will trust you for that.

No one need your political correctness, no one need you to disguise your thoughts. Just be you, and try 100% to bring value to the other side.