On "All Things Workplace" Steve Roesler is dedicating a whole category on the subject "Creating Changes and Smooth Transitions". The main train of thought on his latest series (4 articles so far) is how to get others on board when the change instigator has a mile-long head lead.
A week ago I mentioned working with (more testing out) the online software program of AWeber that will make my life as 'marketing' manager more easier (with a bit more automagical auto-responder emails to our prospects). I'm getting to grips with all the features the online program has to offer and I must say, I didn't find it that hard once you know the sequel you have to follow to start an email campaign.
On a monthly base we as Wood You Like send out an semi-automated newsletter and one of the features of AWeber is doing that fully-automated. Only thing is though, our existing newsletter readers have to confirm their subscription. Re-register their interest in our news, because we, as company, are changing one of our methods to communicate with them. We know it's for the better, but - and this is the reason for mentioning Steve's series - we are also miles ahead in this particular 'change-process'. Will our readers 'catch-up' with this and how quickly?
No better way to find out with a small test-group. I've just finished reading (on recommendation of the 'good doctor') Influence: Science and Practice by Robert Cialdini. One of the captivating researches mentioned in the book (more posts will follow on this excellent and sometimes astonishing book) is that most persons want to appear consistent, i.e. once they have agreed to something they are more than likely to back that decision again.
Counting on that human trait I mailed one group of 100 of our readers with a small newsletter, requesting them to re-register their subscription. The email contains a link to our newsletter page on the website where they have to fill in their name, email address and click the button "Sign me up!". Then an automated request to confirm the re-registering would follow, with the request to click the link embedded in that email. All in all 5 actions, very kindly asked, but 5 separate action nonetheless.
Another book (“The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing” by George Silverman) I read beginning this year talked about "Shortening the Decision Cycle". Making it very simple for a person to decide on anything really. AWeber also has a feature to import existing lists of readers, who will be sent an automated email - the same Request Confirmation email the first test group will receive once they've gone through the 4 other actions.
So I decided to test out if the combined ideas of consistency and shortening the decision cycle would make a difference to the number of re-registering readers. In AWeber I created a new campaign, edited the request confirmation email text to explain very shortly why the receiver was requested to click on the link in the same email to re-register for our newsletter - imported a different group of 100 existing readers to the online software and waited.
That was Friday afternoon.
Same wording used in our kind request, only the number of actions to take is different.
A clear winner - in this catch-up race for change - is showing its face: but is it laziness or life made simple?
The results so far:
3% of group 1 (5 actions) re-registered versus
25% of group 2 (1 action)
You tell me?