When You Are Hosting A Party, It's All In The Detail
It is very easy to get over-excited and want to include as many people as possible on a campaign to ensure for high uptake, maximum revenues, increased customer engagement etc.
Over the weekend, I received an exciting email from ASOS.com essentially inviting me to a surprise party where I could use a 20% discount code on every product on their site. Naturally, as any self-respecting, seasoned online shopper would be, I was extremely excited about this 24 hour offer and expectations were set high…
What did I expect?
- A seamless ’user experience’
- Quick loading of all pages and products across the site
- Smooth customer journey from home page to shopping cart to purchase confirmation
- High levels of customer service throughout my shopping experience
As has been widely reported in the media, unfortunately, the desktop and mobile device sites, iPad App, and iPhone App were down for a lot of the 24 hour party. Now this can happen to the best of us, and ASOS dealt with it well with consistent levels of communication across its social media sites. However, it did re-iterate to me the importance of a good Cloud Hosting partner to the success of any campaign / sale / party (bear with me on the party analogy)…
It is very easy to get over-excited and want to include as many people as possible on a campaign to ensure for high uptake, maximum revenues, increased customer engagement etc. At this point, you must think of:
- Theme: What are you trying to achieve with your campaign? Who are you trying to reach? Too often we have seen customers try to achieve too many goals at the same time which can be difficult to execute creatively and technically. Stick to a few success measures and communicate with your Cloud Hosting Account Team to ensure they understand and can build a solution that ensures attainment of these measures.
- RSVP: Do you want to send out all invites at the same time? Can your email tool manage to send these out all at the same time? Another little thought of process is the actual mail out. It’s important to have the right email tool in place and to consider, if you send out to your entire email base at the same time, can your campaign site or even main site, cope with the sudden and increased level of traffic.
If you were hosting an actual party, you would be physically limited by the capacity of the venue. Whereas, Cloud Hosting is built to be flexible and scalable, quite often a customer budget is not and as with in the real world, there are real dangers to over-flooding your sites without careful staging and testing of the campaign landing pages and sites. It is imperative to consider:
- Multiple Locations: Is your campaign cross-channel? Do you have any additional capacity built in to cater for plus ones? You may think that by having your sites available across multiple platforms will equal increased capacity to take additional visits… This may not be true. We set up solution planning meetings with our customers to ensure that there is consistency of experience across platforms (if we are hosting these elements) and also, to put additional measures such as offline resources that can be quickly powered on to cater for unexpected peaks in traffic or load.
- Front of House: Do you have a separate campaign landing page or are you using your main site? Do you have measures in place to check that their ‘names are on the list’? If you are directing attendees to your main site, it’s important to ensure that your every-day patrons are still going to get the user experience they expect. It may be worthwhile using a separate landing page that users click-through from their email or employing a queuing system that limits the number of visitors that can hit the site at one time.
I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but it’s important to maintain consistent messaging, communication and user experience throughout a campaign so that it does not mar your existing customer relationships. Is your business aiming for long-term customer engagement or short-term increased revenue? It’s possible to do both if you have the right budget and the right Cloud Hosting partner…
- Budget: What is your company trying to achieve with this campaign? How much are you willing to pay to achieve this? All too often, I’ve seen a fantastic brief for what a customer is trying to achieve which is coupled with an unrealistic budget. It’s not essential to have unlimited offers, however, if you work out how you want your customers to come away from the campaign and what your company is trying to achieve a good value solution can be achieved
- Friendly Staff: Do you need to put more staff on to uphold your level of customer service? How will you cope with negative feedback? We all hope that a campaign will go smoothly with no hitches, that there will be high levels of unique visits and that the user experience will be seamless. This is not always true. However, it is possible to salvage a less than successful campaign by ensuring that customers still feel they can get support or comment from your team during and after the event. Technical contingency plans we can take care of, but the customer experience is also tied in to consistent channels of communication e.g. help lines, social media, support email.
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