Welcome to Connectable #004 🧑🤝🧑
I am so thrilled to have you here!
I want to help your business succeed. I want to inspire change. I want you to question your current processes and align yourself with the needs of your audience / community. I want you to attract the right people, solve the right problem and create superfans.
The medium? Email.
Understand your audience
My topic for today came to me this weekend while I was doing some online shopping, both for myself and for my friend’s birthday. While this example comes from the world of eCommerce, I believe there are lessons here that you can apply to all your email marketing and connection strategies. 👇
So, after I had spent a few hours browsing the web and adding items to my digital shopping baskets, I finally decided on some new running shoes for me and some piano music for my friend.
But what happened over the next 48 hours was disappointing.
My inbox was filled with email after email asking variations of one over-used and vacuous question: “did you forget something?”
While eCommerce is not my usual playing ground, my copy and community brain told me straight away that something was wrong here.
Why do I dislike these?
Well me, like most shoppers, don’t actually want to leave their cart behind…
We want to buy all the nice things we put into our imaginary carts but what we don’t want is to be reminded of the fact that we don’t have the money to buy these things right now.
For many, the shopping cart also works more like a bookmark tool and so these emails become annoying.
Acknowledge what you’re trying to do, show you understand your audience and be up front with them. Use this opportunity to build a bond with your almost-shopper and make is more likely they buy from you in the future (when THEY decide).
No one likes being reminded that they can’t buy something they want or feeling pushed into making a purchase. Samar Owais shares some great advice on this:
“Acknowledge that they might have meant to abandon the cart - and be nice about it.
Then give them the option to opt out so that they don’t receive the rest of the emails in your abandoned cart series.
“But Samar! We offer a discount to people in the 3rd email.”
So be upfront about it! Ask them, “Would it help if we offered you a 20% discount?”
If they say yes, reward them with the discount you were going to offer them anyway and get that conversion sooner.
If they say no, then they obviously didn’t mean to buy it in the first place. Which btw, is totally cool because it frees you up to move them along to the next step of your customer journey.”
🌟 Transferable lessons:
Use every single email to show your audience that you understand them
Make your audience feel seen and heard
Don’t ever disguise your motives
If in doubt, always choose a moment of connection over a quick, thoughtless sale
Q & A with Kourosh Ghaffari
Continuing on with our Q & A series with interesting members of the community, connection and email space, I’d like to introduce this weeks guest: Kourosh Ghaffari.
Kourosh is the Co-Founder of Waves, a community engagement tool that matches community members into private subgroups and creates personalised community experiences.
I love making connections on Twitter, almost as much as I love building connection in my emails, and Kourosh is wonderful new addition to my network, someone who has great insights to share on online community building. I hope you enjoy his honest answers and be sure to check him out on Twitter.
1. Over at Waves you have been very busy building a product to make connection easier. What do you think are some of the most important factors for creating meaningful relationships online?
Something that I believe is more important than mutual points of connection between people is an environment that nudges people to speak up and interact. Often with matching systems you're mostly reaching the people who are already pretty engaged, active and loud in the community - that's cool and all, but what about the people who are always quiet?
With Waves my focus was always on turning non-speakers and lurkers into contributors.
To allow someone to take that first step into engaging and speaking, there has to be as little ambiguity about the community as possible. That means a new member has to be educated on what they should expect from the community, what kind of contributions are good, what stuff shouldn't be done (e.g. promotions), who they should speak to, how often they should speak... literally everything. The more you know about this new community, the easier it will be for the new member to speak →to get some responses →to build confidence and belonging and then repeat that over and over again. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the setup and onboarding for each member using Waves is probably more important than the actual Waves matching itself.
2. I really enjoy following people who are building things in public, it's so refreshing to have that honest and raw access to a person/business - it's also great for trust in the long-term. What lessons on audience building have you learnt along the way?
To be completely honest, I don't think I can give a ton of advice on this one as I haven't built a huge following yet. But what I learned so far is that it's definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. Consistent 'okay' tweets are better than one 'amazing' tweet a month. And to be able to be consistent you definitely have to enjoy the time you spend on building an audience. Do not try to build a persona, be yourself, enjoy what you put out there and you'll have a great time and make some good friends along the way.
3. What are some of the most interesting data insights you have come across on your journey to creating more successful community engagement that businesses could learn from?
This really varies depending on a community, but there is one thing that is pretty similar everywhere. We all inflate our engagement metrics by regarding literally any member action as 'engagement'. Like emoji reactions, or people who just open the community page for two seconds. I never understood that. The more brutal you are about what you regard as 'engagement', the easier it will be for you to find true changes in engagement once you switch up some things in your community.
Oh and another less important (but pretty funny) thing. You never know what kind of content can get your members to speak up. I used to run a little community for PhD students who were very deep into MedTech and especially machine learning that is focused on early stage cancer detection. Yes, new academic articles would get healthy levels of engagement but one day I just said 'fuck it' and threw in the single question of 'Do you think a sushi roll is a kind of burrito?' and the people went crazy. The most intense debate started and it was very very very fun! Real connections were made on that day.
🌟 Takeaway: Welcome and onboard new members. Be consistent. Be honest with the data.
Article of the Week
- Sahil Bloom
Few are taught the principles of storytelling - use this to your advantage.
Disney proved that storytelling can create a durable competitive advantage that builds pricing power and a legitimate long-term business moat.
Fundamentals of high-leverage storytelling: (1) Suspended Reality, (2) Multisensory Experience, (3) Details Matter, (4) Make It Shareable.
That’s all for this week, thanks so much for the support.
If you enjoyed this newsletter, please give it a like or share it with your friends/on Twitter. I’m still a newbie, so any help would be awesome! 💚
If you have any questions, want to say hi, or want to feature in my Q & As - my DMs are always open @LisanneNausner.
Have a fabulous week full of connection!
- Lisanne 🌻