Posts tagged Product
How to design engagement triggers for your new community

Increasing engagement is a big deal for most startups and brands. You might have a presence on a channel—Instagram, Facebook, Slack, email, or your own internal platform—but do people want to show up?

The more engaged people are, the stickier your product is, and the more reason they want to stay. The longer a customer stays, the more chances you have to ultimately make a sale. But without a strategy for increasing engagement, digital communities can easily fizzle out. This leaves you panicking for ways to get people to come back, which is not a fun spot to be in.

If you're a co-founders or marketer, here are the key elements of maintaining (and growing) community participation.

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How to grow a community from 0 to 2,000+ active alumni

Digital communities... Everyone seems to be talking about them.

At the altMBA, I had the privilege of building our community from scratch to 2,000+ alumni. You might have read that a community can increase engagement, build a moat around your product, and lower your cost of customer acquisition over time. All of that can be true.

You might be thinking, I'm sold. Can I skip the strategy and go straight to building my community? I want to start sending out Slack invites!

But wait:

First, having a Slack room does not equal a community. (That’s a topic for another post...) Second, you can skip straight to execution, but you might end up building the wrong thing. You could invest several months and thousands of dollars into a digital community that no one wants to be part of.

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To drive growth, focus on increasing desire—not just decreasing friction

As a marketer, salesperson, UX designer, or product leader, part of your job is to reduce the friction involved if someone wants to buy something from you.

For example:

  • Make the button bigger

  • Use brighter colors

  • Write shorter copy

  • Put everything on the homepage above the fold

  • Add the call-to-action button everywhere on the website

  • Send reminder emails about the sale

  • Use monetary incentives, e.g. discounts, bundles, promotions, and reverse promotions ("The price goes up next month!”)

The underlying assumption is, “If I make this easier (or cheaper) for you, you’ll eventually want it.”

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MarketingWes KaoMarketing, Product
Why the best technology doesn't always win [Future Tech podcast]

I meet so many smart, talented non-marketers who still believe their idea should sell itself. I'll break it to you now: no idea ever sells itself. You just don't see the leader behind-the-scenes working hard to make their idea seem to spread "organically."

The host of the Future Tech podcast, Richard Jacobs, interviewed me about why the best innovation doesn't always win. We discussed why technical leaders–scientists, engineers, researchers, innovators–need to embrace storytelling.

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33% rule

When you're launching a thing, it's helpful to think about the process in three roughly equal parts. What's considered 'a thing'? I define a product or project as something that you're creating to put out into the world.

It could be a web product, website, app, zine, publication, course, poll, physical product, blog post, album, video, collection, survey, directory, event, book, and many other items.

You might be setting yourself up for disappointment if you think that one part of the launch process is 90% of the battle, but it's really only 33% of it.

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Farmer's market vs Safeway

At Safeway, there are pricing signs everywhere that allow you to compare exactly how much something costs. Milano cookies are 2/$5, or a package that's $7 is actually 23.5 dollars per ounce if you break it down. 

There are coupon inserts in the front of the store. There are bright yellow signs saying peaches are $1.99 per pound this week, hanging over the sign that says that they're normally $2.49.

If you go to a farmer's market, GOOD LUCK trying to find how much that organic kale costs. There's typically little mention of price anywhere.

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The Complex Psychological Hooks I Used to Build a "Simple" Side Project

I recently shipped a product for Valentine’s Day called Good Morning Love. It’s a seven day drip email campaign where you write lovey-dovey notes that get sent to your partner every morning from Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2015. If you want to sign up, it’s not too late - click here. The concept might seem fairly simple, but there were a lot of decisions that went into shaping the product and user experience. I want to go behind the scenes to share how I built psychological hooks into the product and why it’s important to do so.

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