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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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The 1 thing you need to make your marketing work

Patience. Grit. Perseverance. Borderline Stubbornness.

<sidenote>

Successful Startup founder are usually painted as stubborn asshole who don’t want to hear anyone else advice. While some are like that (anyone can be a startup founder, especially these days) the one who succeed are not usually stubborn, but they have grit, they do not give up easily. However, pure stubbornness wouldn’t work since they need to be able to learn fast and listen a lot… but I’ll leave that for an other article.

</sidenote>

So, you need to stick to the part of the plan that said keep doing it.

The number one reason people failed, especially when it comes to content marketing and organic reach, is a lack of patience and will try one more time.

The beauty of digital marketing is that it brings you statistics, and you know pretty much what’s happening with your content, which at the beginning, is not much.

It is very tempting to let it go, drop it slowly, miss a few milestones until your plans to post on your page daily are gone, or your twitter engagement is running at an all time low.

Statistics will be your first enemy, and you’d be tempted to drop because of it. Instead, ignore statistics in the first 6 month to a year of your activity, until it become significant, and keep doing it. Every single day. And if you miss a day or a week, who cares, just get back to it, no bad feeling.

For every business owner, the day to day is soooo packed you’d be tempted to drop it entirely, or delegate it totally to some external agency to deal it for you, but even if an agency can come to help you with both the strategy and execution at scale, there is nothing that can replace you own personal involvement in your own company communication.

You have to do it, to be it and to sweat it.

Because in the long run, it matters. For real. To a point you cannot even imagine when you are at the beginning of the way.

So now go and get some of your marketing content done.

Yalla, davai, go do it… stop reading the internet, and go make the internet.