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The Anatomy Of A Perfect Email Queue (starring Pyramid Brokerage)

How do our best and brightest marketers get their people sharing to social media? By sending out the perfect email queue. "Queues" are the email prompts sent out via ClearView Social to get people sharing. How do you create the perfect email queue? This is a question that plagues many ClearView Social admins. What if there are too many items? Too few? Will my team members think the content is worth sharing? What if they're skeptical about the utility of sharing entirely?

Today, we're going to take a deep dive into what one of our most successful customers, Pyramid Brokerage, does to make their ClearView Social email queues deliver like all-stars. We'll look at a queue from roughly a month ago that earned over $600 in earned media value, with nearly half of the recipients opting to share one or more pieces of content. Let's start with a screen-cap and then break it down.

Wow! What a queue. Let's break down everything here that was a good move, piece by piece.

Custom Branded Image (A)

While there's nothing wrong with ClearView Social's lustrous new pink-and-blue branding, it's still optimal to customize the appearance of your company's email queues with your own branding. This lets recipients, who might otherwise be confused by being asked to share things on their social media networks, understand that the email is corporate-approved and they are safe to follow its instructions.

Professional Image of the Sending Administrator (B)

Further reinforcing the idea that this content is corporate-approved and safe to share is a relatable, identifiable headshot of the administrator who's asking you to take this action on behalf of the company (in this case, Taylor Griffith). In a recent poll of our users, we discovered that nearly a third didn't know who the administrator(s) who send them content to share are. But, a familiar face makes the content seem relatable and authentic, plus it gives them somebody to offer feedback to.

Clear Expectations & a Leaderboard Summary (C)

What truly sets Taylor's queues apart from the pack is the careful effort put into the tailored message that accompanies each queue. A simple "Please share the content below" is not enough; Taylor lays out clear expectations for what is expected of the team receiving this queue. "GOAL: 1 shared article/agent/week" is explicit and lets her team know what is expected of them when it comes to representing Pyramid Brokerage on social media.

Even more importantly, Taylor mentions the Leaderboard. This is a gentle way to give the leaders some recognition while not being punitive to those who aren't as competitive. (Notice the gentle nod to "most improved" as well, which rewards people who are playing catch up). Studies have shown that while team members may experience mixed results from winners-and-losers style competition with real rewards at stake, bite-size achievements that are all-upside/no-losers and recognition-based are excellent motivators. Check out this case study on Omnicare from the CIO blog:

Omnicare was experiencing long wait times at its helpdesk. The employees were experienced and knowledgeable about the service. The company wanted to gamify a solution to improve efficiency... They issued cash rewards to employees with the fastest times on the floor. However, the results weren't what management expected. Immediately wait times increased and employee turnover spiked; people were quitting their jobs and customer satisfaction plummeted... When Omnicare introduced a scoring system as it did, these employees felt like Big Brother was watching them. "To a Target cashier, it's positive feedback to a high-end helpdesk rep, it's Big Brother," says Zichermann... So Omnicare iterated and changed the design of the system. Now instead of being all about time and motion, they set up a series of achievements that reps could reach. The reps are given a challenge at the beginning of every shift. As they progress through these series of challenges, they are given short-term rewards that are achievement and recognition oriented (non-cash incentives). "Time in their waiting queue was halved, customer satisfaction went back up and employee turnover was down. It's a very different design, but with the same core premise and with wildly different results," says Zichermann. The bottom-line is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Does this potentially sound like ClearView Social Badges?... because it does to me! Our badge rewards system gives little recognition awards to users who hit new milestones of sharing in ClearView Social. The Top Dog badge goes to users who hit #1 on the leaderboard, but there's no punishment or shame for those who lag behind. It's a fun contest to work towards without bringing out the ruthlessness.

Thought Leadership Content vs. Corporate Content (D/E)

Not every item in an email queue needs to be, or should be, internal content. In fact, we recommend a mix of one to two pieces of corporate content with three to five pieces of external thought leadership content per queue.

Nobody wants to just be blasting corporate content 24/7. Professionals would like to demonstrate that they have in-field knowledge, that they are current with what's happening in their area of expertise. Include the most cutting-edge content, things that have just been published in the last week that show what's relevant right now. Meanwhile, mix in one or two pieces of from your own firm, showcasing what kind of content you have to offer.

"Zeitgeist" Content (F)

Finally, the best content is that which touches on the zeitgeist (that's German for "Spirit of the Time"). Throughout the evolution of social media, there's always been a sense of "what the thing is right now". The rise of the blog, then the podcast, then the YouTuber. Memes. Pivot to video. The Arab Spring. Trolls and crusaders. These days, topics such as #MeToo, diversity and inclusion, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and, um... not eating laundry detergent pods... these are all part of the social media landscape right now and guaranteed to get traffic. If you're plugged into social media, you know that Taylor made a wise choice by including a piece about workplace diversity in her queue. Users who share this item will appear very current to their networks.

If you don't know what the current zeitgeist is, use social media more often yourself! You'll get a feel for it. Keep an eye on the ClearView Social blog, where we have our finger on the pulse ourselves. If all else fails, you-know-who probably tweeted something controversial.

Bill Boulden is the Chief Technology Officer of ClearView Social. The longest-tenured employee, he built much of the software and now leads the infrastructure into the future. In his spare time, he's a pink-haired EDM DJ known as @Spruke.

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