New Micro Report: Clicks in Weekly Events Email

I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing in developing reports, but this week’s attempt at finding meaningful information is to send a new micro report. It goes to the Head of Adult Programming and the Children’s events coordinator. I list the top 5 events clicked on per category. My ultimate goal is to help event planners be able to better predict their audiences based upon email interactions. This is part of my strategy in reducing descriptions in weekly events emails to just titles + date. If people want to know more, they’ll click through and thus provide us with valuable information.

Now if I can get a steady pipeline from people on their attendance stats…

First Time Experience with Facebook Live

In that LJ marketing class, a speaker talked about livestreaming with Facebook Live. We talked about it at work and finally the stars aligned when I was signed up to attend Stephanie’s Bullet Journal class. She emailed me yesterday and asked if I’d like to film her presentation. Sure! You can see her video below and my notes on the experience below.

Prep Work
I over prepared by bringing up a laptop, soundproof headphones, and my phone. My intentions were to film while listening in to the stream on the computer as a quality check. It quickly became apparent that the FB Live was about 5 seconds behind the real thing which was hard to handle. I eventually closed the laptop. My phone was plugged into the laptop to sustain its power hunger for the entire hour and seven minute presentation.

Setup & Camera Movement
Stephanie sat at the end of the table and I sat on the right side of the table about two feet from her. Since our Facebook page is a business account, you have to download the Page Manager app, not the Facebook one. The live button is hidden. You need to go to your account page then click on post. From there, you have an option to choose live. It seems to default to the camera facing you.

For the most part, my elbows were drawn close to my body so I could just see her from the elbows up. When she talked about something on-screen, I’d turn the camera and then pinch in on my screen to zoom. Then I tried to be fancy and pinch out simultaneously when moving back to Stephanie herself. The footage timed out twice when it disconnected from the staff’s WiFi.

Audience Response
I was able to very slowly like people’s comments and reply. At the end of the program, around 750 people had been exposed to the Live event, 220-ish had popped in, we had 16 likes, and a handful of comments. Not bad for a first adventure!

Health Hazards
It’s hard to hold your phone that long. My hands started cramping up. The worst pain was a stitch in my right side. At times I felt like I couldn’t breathe completely. This could be because I re-aggravated my previously impinged rotator cuff on Sunday. At the end, I was very, very tired.

January Hits Hard

We’re having a very busy time this month. January is typically a slow month for both people coming in the door and programming. However, things are bouncing in publicity. This week I’m dealing with trying to get less mass emails sent out, pushing five major projects out the door at once (timing guys, we gotta do better next year), and so many emails. Drowning in them.

My colleague is giving a talk on fake news tonight. She sent me her slide deck to go over. I’m grateful she got the general layout and composition done. The formatting of it took 90 minutes for 45 slides. I’m eager to hear how many people attended the event. We got some traction from people about 30 minutes away.

Our videographer and I had an hour-long meeting with the Head of Public Services today. We presented her with three different video projects. Two are immediate and one is longer term. She gave some highly needed feedback which substantially shifted the direction of one video. The best part of the meeting was her lighting up as she discussed romance as a genre. She’s an absolute delight to listen to with how passionate she is about the power of readers’ advisory. I have zero skills/interest in that area, so it’s great to see an expert go.

Four Versions of Email Text

This week I’ve taken on something that I wasn’t sure about doing — ghostwriting text for other people. I started doing this because it’s the fastest way to get things written. We’re sending out a fundraising email next week and I rewrote the copy to be more like a personal letter in the voice of my colleagues who usually write the text. They’re not really here this week, but I’ve been typing up their newsletters for 3 years so I’m familiar with their style.

Then this morning, I realized that I hadn’t heard back from a colleague for her opening paragraph in this week’s events email. She was on desk and I realized the fastest way to handle this is to simply type up a few different versions and let her select one. I hoped she’d personalize her favorite, but she did not. Can you guess which one she choose?

Take One
Can you spot fake news? Social media has made it harder to determine if something is true or not. In this one-hour class on Fake News or Real News, I’ll show you how to determine for yourself if something you read is a credible piece of information.

Take Two
As librarians, we are asked every day to verify if websites, books, or articles can be trusted. Is the information they contain factual, an opinion, or propaganda? In this one-hour class, I’ll show you how to determine for yourself if something you read is a credible piece of information. We’ll look at tall-tale signs that information may be inaccurate and how to find out where the information came from.

Take Three
Win online debates by backing up your statements and debunking false ones! In this one-hour class, I’ll show you how to determine for yourself if something you read is a credible piece of information. We’ll look at tall-tale signs that information may be inaccurate and how to find out where the information came from.

Take Four
How do you know if an online story is real or fake news? It can be tricky with emotional words tapping into the high stress of the 24/7 news cycle. Learn how to spots the signs of inaccurate news and how to find out the truth via credible sources in this one-hour class.

Answer: Take Four

Note: I just remembered that I did my first ghostwriting about a month ago.

Old Twitter Accounts

Twitter randomly showed me an old forgotten account associated with my library yesterday. It hadn’t been updated in four years. I did some digging around today and found out whose email address it had been associated with, contacted the department head, and we made the decision to delete it. A few minutes later, she emails me back and asks if I know about this other account. No. This one hadn’t been updated in five years and had twelve tweets. It felt good to delete them.

What was better: documenting the decisions in my work spreadsheet.

Current Publicity Workflow

I’m feeling a little better about how I’m doing at this new job. Using Asana to track projects is working well. My current workflow is such:

* Get a request for publicity help. If it’s complex, I schedule an in-person meeting.
* We meet in person. They tell me the scope, their dreams, and desired outcome. We discuss how to reach their audience. We sketch out our plan of attack.
* I go back to my desk and put it in Asana. Simultaneously, I cross-check due dates with my Google Calendar where I track the blocking out of time to work on projects.
* Then I use Asana’s project-level print view to print out the plan and deliver it to my colleague. It seems to impress the hell out of them to get a physical sheet of paper in hand.

I’m also trying to live up to the advice I got from the Cecily Walker interview I co-did with Michael Schofield on behalf of Circulating Ideas. The advice: pad your time. When I’m setting up my schedule for the following weeks, I block out an hour a day called “Downtime.” This is really code for “wiggle room” as things come up as they always do. Yesterday for instance, my day got hijacked for three hours. However, at the end of the day, I managed to get all my major tasks done thanks to the set aside time.

No Idea What I Did

My day was very full and I wrote around 20 emails, but at this point in the evening — 6 hours after leaving work, I have no idea what I did today. Something about the help desk, planning out new email campaigns, finding an image for an email campaign, coming up with a new short video to share…

I’m mostly updating this to say that I’ll be sharing my Web Writing class slides soon. Just need to get something verified before I can post them up.

First Week of A/B Testing a Split Email List

Last week I decided to split our weekly events email list in two: those who had opened an email in November and those who had not. The emails were identical for each group. I used A/B testing of subject lines for them to try and get the most opens.

Results:

* One list took one subject line and the other the second one
* Opens for the openers was ~40%
* Opens for the non-openers was ~15%
* Clicks for openers was 4%
* Clicks for non-openers was 2%
* As far as what each group clicked, the results were almost identical.
* Unsubscribes for the non-openers was higher than usual while we had no unsubscribes for the openers.

I reported the above and was asked what do we do next. Earlier this year I read about some major company making a major decision: they cut loose anyone who hadn’t opened an email in the past year. They lost a big chunk of their mailing list doing it, but it was dead weight which just dragged down their open and click rates. Once they were clean, they saw a real benefit in having a healthy and responsive mailing list.

I don’t think my library will decide to be that brave. The test will run for a month. Where we’ll go from here is unknown at the moment. I’m taking it as an opportunity to experiment and get to learn more about our email readers.

If you recall which company did that cutting block job, hit me up.