Inspiring Action through Automation

By Mark Eichler posted Apr 16, 2015 09:04 PM


For Higher Logic, engagement is at the heart of value. 

I made this point in a recent blog on Automation Rules. The initial payoff of automation, as described in that blog, was giving community managers the opportunity to “set it and forget it” for routine tasks that increase engagement. With automation made easier, touches happen more often. More user-touches by community managers yield more user-created content. 

But how do the emails sent by automation rules actually incent content creation? How do the attributes provided by a rule give the user incentive to continue taking the desired actions? The functionality enhancements I am writing about here build on the power of Automation rules. The My Contributions webpages that provide the visual and emotional payoff have been completely revised. The content created and attributes earned by a user are now showcased more effectively. Further, the incentives a user can receive show what can be achieved, rather than just what has been achieved.   

The My Contributions area of Profiles is now enriched to a three-page environment with Summary, Achievements and Content areas. These are the pages that receive content via automation rules and display the content created by the users. 

Contributions: Summary – a new personal dashboard

Users can see and assess the content they created via a graphically innovative chart of content. All past contributions are compiled per product area and color coded. Users can now instantly determine what kinds of content they are creating relative to all content types. Clicking on the chart areas or key provides a list of that content and links. Recommended content is now listed for the first time, and users see draft blogs atop their personal blogs list. Tiles display points to provide rewards and incentive to take action. 

Contributions: Achievements – badging and recognition

Gamification incents users to share and create content. The new achievements page shows users what they have earned and, for the first time, what they can earn. Badges and visual indicators of status can now be grouped together – those earned show as normal and those that have yet to be earned show with opacity to incent further action. Further, the awarding of a badge can be accompanied by a rule-based email that displays the badge won.

Contributions: Content – the access point for others

The past display of unique Discussion, Blog and Library Entry lists has been consolidated into a single list. This list continues to respect the access rights of others who visit the profile. 

Automation Rules – continued enhancement

Since my last blog the kinds of actions that could result from rules have increased markedly. Rules can have multiple variable parameters rather than just one. Rules to count “conversions” – where the action requested by users was performed – are also in place. The community administrator can be pictured and named in the signature block on the email – rule based email appear to be coming directly from the community administrator.

In combination, rules are more effective than ever. The email generated by a rule is more likely to incent action. The content resulting from action is more directly related to the poster. The visual rewards of action have never been greater or more noticeable to other community members.

Want more? Higher Logic clients can access the 2015 Spring release Notes document in the Announcements Community for complete list of what Higher Logic brought to production in the first quarter of 2015.