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.


* 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.

Five Years Weight

Check out my paperweight for five years of service!

I spent roughly 2.5 hours today on desk today. About 90 minutes of that was trying to write an email to a patron to ask for specifications about their print job. The joint was hopping though so a 3 minute email reply took 90 minutes to craft. I also learned the special kind of hell it is for a paper to be written in tables. Trying to format that into a legible format was very trying. It took about four attempts, but we finally got it converted to text and cleaned up.

Off-desk, I worked on a flyer for a very special program that’s coming up in January. The main thing I learned is that the public domain images for cupcakes, cakes, birthday cakes, and balloons is very poor.

Facebook Services

Courtesy of Darien Library

Do you know if you convert your library’s Facebook account into a business account, you can add Services to it? We made the transfer so we could buy ads on Instagram. Insider tip: this gives you an extra hurdle to do anything even something simple like post on your account.

I couldn’t figure out what I should really do with services. There is pretty much no info on FB itself (kept 404-ing) and the web wasn’t talking about. So I winged it.

Things to know:

* You can’t adjust the images’ location like you can for your profile pic.
* You only get 200 characters to describe it.
* I chose to use generic terms for services (i.e. not giving the actual name of our cafe) since I figured people would be searching for cafe instead of Cafe’s Official Name. I may even go back and change it out to Food and Drinks to be even more generic.
* I’m not sure what the best practice is for how many services to add, so maybe experiment with what looks right to you?
* Organize your services to be in most appealing order to your community.

The little bit of info I gleaned off the web is that Facebook Services is meant to be a way to connect users with local services. I hope it pans out for us! I’d like to talk with other libraries which are using the Services tab.

Elbow Deep in Design

I was pretty busy today working on three designs:

* Works in Town postcard
* Book Sale Yard Signs
* Touch ups to the Museum Passes brochure

I’m fortunate that our print house offers some handy templates to show me how best to setup InDesign for their needs. This was my first full bleed non-bookmark project, so this was a little intimidating to setup at first. The lawn sign took about 40 minutes. I wanted to just use our logo + black text on a white background. I rolled around the fonts a little to do different emphasis. It’s plain, but I think it’ll be easy to read as you drive past in January.

Friday’s Project: Stuffed Animal Sleepover Teaser Video

One of my questions in the LJ Successful Library Marketing class was about how to advertise something. I worked with my colleague Krishna to film this short video. When I uploaded it to Instagram, I realized that I had to go and make a change so it’d work in that square formatting. It’s still a little rough there since I was in a hurry, but it does the trick.

Press Releases Good News + New Digital Signs

This morning I spotted a copy of one of the local newspapers. The Town’s two newspapers are weekly, so we only have to check once a week to see if our press releases got in. Two did! I congratulated the departments on their good work. Then I fired up Asana where I added the details about which articles were approved in which newspapers. We’ll see over the next year if we can detect patterns.

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

I didn’t have many “regular” panels to make this week. However, I had to address the issue of how a digital sign with light coming from behind looks way different than a physical sign even if they have the same colors. I made a digital panel with 8 variations on the selected color then went upstairs with the not-right printed sign to do a comparison. Two of my colleagues lent me their eyes on this project. No winners the first time. I went back downstairs and made another test screen. This time we selected something which will “blend” (as my colleagues described it).

Then I spent quite a bit of time re-working a few of the signs. You can see an example of one of them to the right. My secret to designing things: public domain images. This art is by Nakamura Daizaburo.

Yesterday I talked with one of the admins about signage and branding for a few minutes. She said that she liked that our signs are within a certain color scheme. It really ties everything together when all the signs are somewhere on the blue-green spectrum. While evaluating the digital sign, I stepped backwards and looked around the first floor. Yes, I could see what she means. It feels like we’re a little closer to my ideal of having a consistent feel like Target does: your brand colors everywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll share the fun video Krishna and I made to advertise the Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Just got to find some fun holiday music for the background.

Shelf Marker

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

This is just the end of a shelf marker. The whole thing is the size of a bookmark which includes the following text:

* Title
* Author
* Description
* Reminder that this is an always available title

I spent a lot of time revising this project, then sending in a help ticket to get it laminated properly. I also met with my colleague to discuss revising the museum brochure, working on a publicity plans for museum passes and another one for the January book sale.

Feeling Good

I was buried again, but at the end of the day, I feel fairly accomplished. We’re launching a heightened focus on NoveList next week and I’ve been working closely with Reader’s Advisory on the launch. I made that mockup a couple weeks ago and found out the pricing for a custom sign last week. I sent my colleagues to the Noun Project last week to look for icon ideas. The press release was sent out last week today.

However, today was the first day I really dug into it. By working so closely with everyone, today we developed the icon that then went into the logo. From there we chose colors, revised our previous vision, and made the desktop wallpaper. Tomorrow I’ll take the final measurements and do a color test before designing that custom sign.

I also did a mockup for new semi-permanent signs for our first floor. We’ll likely meet next week to solidify the plan before I make the final designs. This project makes me anxious though I was told the signs may go up for only two years. The previous signs I made have been up for nearly four years!

Them I created bookmarks to promote our Lonely Planet travel guides. That’s the project where we have a year-long plan for in place to promote it steadily.

I did a lot of planning today. The final interesting thing that ties into this was going through the items to promote our latest book groups’ video. We’re really ramping up publicity there, so it’ll be interesting to see the turnout in hits.

Maniac Mondays

I got hit with a stiff neck today that crushed my skull which led to me slowing down in trying to comprehend what I was working on. A real delight. On the other hand, I managed to push through and…

* Checked Tumblr on behalf of my colleague who is on vacation
* Create, print, and deliver “library closed” signs for Thanksgiving
* Emails, so many
* Chatted with a patron about a genealogy program for 20 minutes that we’re coordinating
* Work on an upcoming project that premiers next Monday
* UX meeting
* Created this week’s events email
* Wrote up the publicity plan results from Mini Golf
* Wrote up two pages of things to address at the Public Services meeting from the publicity POV (I attend once a month)
* Made a poster for an upcoming art program and mounted it
* Attended the Public Services meeting
* Did video edits and some uploads
* Scheduled out some tasks
* Uploaded the Five Minutes with Jen video and inserted it into the Book Groups email. Hopefully I can send it out first thing tomorrow.
* Was consulted to ask about changing the name of a project and tweaking the proposed logo.