Previous month:
June 2018
Next month:
August 2018

4 posts from July 2018

To address polarizing issues, let's keep it complicated

I'm very tired of listening to people belittle the people they disagree with. I want to avoid the trap and learn to understand more people, all the time. I recently found an article for journalists that explains how to frame a discussion in order to avoid having both parties retreat into their battle positions. 

How to complicate a narrative:

  1. Amplify contradictions
  2. Widen the lens
  3. Ask questions that get to people's motivations
        care, fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority, sanctity
  4. Listen more, and better
  5. Expose people to the other tribe
  6. Counter the confirmation bias (carefully)

Solutions Journalism Network: Complicating the Narratives, 2018-Jun-27 by Amanda Ripley

In the midst of conflict, our audiences are profoundly uncomfortable, and they want to feel better. “The natural human tendency is to reduce that tension,” Coleman writes, “by seeking coherence through simplification.” Tidy narratives succumb to this urge to simplify, gently warping reality until one side looks good and the other looks evil. We soothe ourselves with the knowledge that all Republicans are racist rednecks — or all Democrats are precious snowflakes who hate America.

Complexity counters this craving, restoring the cracks and inconsistencies that had been air-brushed out of the picture. It’s less comforting, yes. But it’s also more interesting — and true. 



Email loyalty

When designing emails, most companies don't give much thought to customer loyalty issues. Getting people to open and click dominate the process. However, there are a few simple procedures that prevent unsubscribes and signal our audience that we are willing to earn their attention and loyalty. 

  • Use a calendar to establish an emailing plan that customers can learn to expect
  • Segment customers by behavior, starting with the most loyal VIP types
  • Study unsubscribers and develop a heartfelt re-engagement campaign--but do let people unsubscribe quickly.

SendGrid Blog: What is Retention Marketing? And How to Use it in Your Email Program, 2018-Jul-13 by Kelsey Bernius

You don’t have to dive head first and try out every last retention email campaign tactic. In fact, it’s better to start out and test one strategy at a time so you can measure your results before implementing more permanent programs. 


How to keep a job you don't appreciate

No job is perfect but most of them are well worth doing, even if it's just to prove we can. And in the process, we will no doubt learn something, usually something about ourselves. 

Quartz: Want to love your job? Read this article, 2018-Jul-6 by Ephrat Livni

It’s not the job itself that gives us a sense of purpose, but the pleasure of work. Yes, that’s right. Pleasure. Because work at its best—whether it’s pouring coffee or defending the indigent accused in a county jail—is a kind of play. In the moment of doing, meaning doesn’t matter, just the task. That’s a relief from spending time dwelling on the big picture: who you’re meant to be and what you should try to achieve in your life.... 

It would be fantastic if we all found our best and highest use on the job. But dismissing all service work misses an important point. The puzzle we’re all constantly solving is survival, ideally with minimal friction and conflict and the maximum positive exchanges. When a supermarket bagger makes the effort to pack your shopping in a way that ensures the eggs don’t break, or offers to carry your stuff, that’s a plus.... 

Being adaptive is a critical life skill that’s practiced at work, whatever job. Understanding this, you can take an interest in pretty much anything for some time and, as a result, become more interesting and accumulate experiences that will inform your next steps. As Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck points out, interests aren’t inherently fixed. Having a growth mindset, being open, is wiser than pinning your hopes on a single passion; it makes you more resilient, creative, intelligent, and happy. 


Confidence and confirmation in customer relationships

The customer experience of paying online can be frightening. Any signal that the transaction is insecure or the seller is sloppy can destroy a budding relationship. Is the Transactional Email Experience Critical for Customer Loyalty?, 2018-Jul-3 by Laura Chieri of Mailjet

In our recent research study, we found that 93% of consumers would consider choosing a rival brand following a negative transactional email experience.

So, what aspect would lead to a dissatisfactory interaction? Fear not, we asked that too.

  • Spelling, grammar and language mistakes.
  • Emails that contained sensitive information.
  • Emails that don’t visually look like a brand’s website.
  • Emails that took a long time to arrive in the inbox.
  • Emails that reached the SPAM box, rather than the inbox.
  • Emails that got categorized by Gmail as a ‘promotion’ or not a focused email by Outlook.