Maximizing readership and responses: best practice for desktop alerts

Posted 16 May, 2016 in Internal Communications, Customer Webinars


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What's the best way to deliver your desktop alert software? To maximize readership and responses?  
Join us to explore best practices to maximize cut through and minimize irritation. At the same time, we'll go over: 
Templates for visual cues; time of day and frequency; matching display to importance of content; content that 'sings' and more.

 

 

Paula: Hi, this is Paula Cassin from SnapComms. Thank you so much for joining us today. We're here to have a half hour best practice workshop for anyone who's interested, and today's topic is how to maximize readership for alerts. We're going to get into SnapComms' popup alerts in a bit more detail and share with you some tips.

So just to get started, first off, my name is Paula, Paula Cassin, and I work in the customer success area for SnapComms, and I work out of California. And we have Kim Cooper and Philip Nunn out of our headquarters in New Zealand with us today too.

Kim: Good morning everybody.

Philip: Good morning.

Paula: Great, and Phil's going to look after chat and they're going to chime in too from time to time just to add more clarity. Yeah, and SnapComms, just so you know, we are an enterprise software company. I think we're up to about 1.4 million users now, aren't we Kim? And customers all around the world, and we're very focused on business customers looking to reach their employees in great ways so that's just a little bit about who we are.

Kim: Correct Paula. We have gone up to 1.4 million users now.

Paula: Yeah, we chatted about that a couple of days ago and...

Kim: We did.

Paula: That's been confirmed then. Good, fantastic. Growth is good. So, I wanted to ask you who's here today and I have a little poll question for you, really simple since we're in a webinar scenario. We're not going to go around the table or anything but let me just ask you a quick question. Are you using alerts now? So let me just launch this. One moment. I wanted to find out if you already are familiar with alerts or not, just so I know what kind of detail I might want to go through so that you have the right kind of context. Okay, I see a few results coming in here and I'll close that off. We only have half an hour so we're not going to dally.

And so half of you do use alerts and that's great. We have some people here who use other tools, not alerts, and I see a few new people who don't know that much about alerts so that's great. Thanks for that. That's what I needed to know.

And let me move along here. What we really want is to give you some depth on what's possible with this tool. We'll give you something practical as well that you can really use and apply when you get back to your office or even if you're just trialing, testing our software you can go in there and have a play and do something that you might not have found so...

You'll see there's a question area and please use that any time. Throw anything that doesn't make sense or any initial questions you have, please put them in there and we'll...hopefully we can answer them as we go rather than save them for the end. Makes it more interesting to have a couple of voices here.

So that, that's a little bit of setup, and now let's get into the content, what we're talking about today. In terms of our alert tool, so we have our popup alerts that lets you get a visual message out onto the devices of your audience, whoever you have on your distribution list essentially. What we're going to talk about today is, first off, the message itself. How to optimize that, what are some best practices around the information you put in the message and then the visuals, the template that you use.

Secondly, we're going to spend probably half the time on the fabulous delivery methods that we have for you. You pretty much can control exactly how that shows up on screen, how long it's available. We have fantastic features for you there, so we'll go into all of that and talk about some of the strategies behind that. And then at the end we're going to just touch a little bit on some other important pieces as well. Checking in with measuring what's working, what's getting you the best response, checking with your audience and then setting up your message so that you have consistency to help message absorption.

Okay? So let's get into the first piece, the message itself. For this, you want to make the information that you're sending out easy to absorb, and let's talk about the message body. What do you have in the actual popup alert that you're sending out and really, can you make it easy to absorb? Is the information you're sending, is it helpful? Is it really important? Do you really need to send that? You want to just have a sanity check on that. A lot of people you'll find with alerts sometimes, when a company adopts them and people start seeing them, you'll get a lot of demand. You'll get people saying, "Oh, my gosh. I want to use that. I'm the VP of this and I want to send this to my team." And you want to do a sanity check too on whether alerts...it's important enough to go into an alert, which is a potential interruption for your audience.

And clear call to action. That one, I just...when you have set up your message you want to look, is it easy to figure out what in the heck you want the person receiving this message, what do you want them to do? Make it really clear. This one, yeah. This one's okay. This is a demo. An example, a screenshot I have on this screen. It's not too bad. We can see the link, we can see in red what's important, we can see what it's about.

And the last point on here I wrote down cold, warm or hot, and I was trying to find a good way to talk about the emotion. You really...I think it is important to look at your message in terms of how does it come across. Does it come across as really harsh, does it come across as warm and inviting, does it match your culture, is it going to inspire people or is it going to turn them off? I think that's something really important to look at in your message too.

So now, we'll spend another few minutes on this. So here's a generic message, right? We can see this is about an outage. If you look at this message on the left, all the details are there. I'm sure...hopefully you're looking at that and you can read a bit of that. But listen, there's ways, just simple ways to make this easier to absorb. I think when you look at your message, try to figure out how many seconds is it going to take for them to figure out what it's about?

And if you look at the one on the right, we've got the date, we've got the name of the software that's down and we've got some bits in red. We've got a little list here and it's pretty clear what we want them to do. So the one on the right, just a little bit of formatting, a little bit of organization in the body of your message and you're going to give them something that's a lot easier to manage and process.

Now, call to action. That's another one too. Sometimes you're sending a message and you just want them to absorb this information. You're keeping them up to date, right? Other times, you want them to click through, you want them to take some sort of action. I mean even...maybe you want them to read this message and then close it out. What do you need them to do? Have a think about that and just make sure you build your message around the core of what you need your audience to do.

And that last one was a little...you could sort of tell what was happening, but here's another example. This one I think is extremely clear. It's a simpler message of course. The kind of message where...stay away from this area, stay away from building F. This one, I'd probably change the template. Having alert up there gives you three places to look. There's more we could do to make this even better, but hopefully you're getting the idea about what I mean in terms of making things clear.

And also visuals in the body...with the SnapComms editor it's up to you what you put in your message. We give you a great editor and you'll see here on the left, no smoking. That visual certainly helps that absorption, and on the right this is a message that's pretty simple. We're trying to get people to click through to read a new procedure, but imagine if you didn't have that lady there. I know it's a simple image but she's sitting there smiling. She's looking a bit warm and friendly, and if you have this message...if you sent this out without that image, it would have a very different impact. This is what I'm talking about when I'm saying cold, warm, hot. Have a think about that and see what you can do to make your messages more appealing to the people you're sending them to.

Right, so the editor...I just wanted to show you this. Here's a screenshot of the administrator portal, and in here you can look at putting your text, you can...this is a...the popup here that says product launch, this little screenshot I should say, that's for your little corner prompt if you're sending through a little corner read now, read later. You can customize that.

And then preview. You can preview any message that you've written. Here's an example of a reminder type of an alert. So that's something else to do to make sure the content of your message is really good and going to look the way you want it to when it shows up. Okay?

Now, so the body of the message, that's one thing, and let's talk a little bit about the visual template that you use. So hopefully you know that really we can take any design, any look and feel and put that into SnapComms. You can see the top right image has a photo background and we've got one in the middle here that has some different areas and hyperlinks, permanent hyperlinks in there so any look and feel is possible and that can help accelerate people's understanding of the message as well. And we have a lot of customers that will use message template families if you will, that have a whole series of messages. I'm thinking of some cable companies we have, where they do have different divisions using it so each division has their own logo and they just use that template for their messages, and on screen are some simple messages too. We have a lot of hospitals using it for code alerts and those are...the color is the biggest signal there.

And then outages. Red for an outage, green for all clear, blue for an informational message. That kind of thing is possible too, so think about that when you set up your alerts. And this page, we'll send you the PowerPoint afterwards. There's a link here if you want to know more about templates and how to build them and things like that. You're welcome to go look and these, we can make templates responsive. Most companies are doing that now as they're delivering SnapComms messages out to computers but also tablets and phones. So we don't have customers...I figured I'd mention this because it usually comes up as a question. We don't have customers uploading templates because there's a lot of work we do behind the scenes to map them out so they will scale and fit whatever you put in that message, whether it's full screen or a small popup, and we optimize them for different device types. So we take your graphics and upload them into your system.

All right. So that's all about the message itself, and now let's talk a little bit about the delivery and so just...you're sending out these messages in a bottle, and we've talked about the kind of bottle and the color of the paper and the message, but you can control the tides with our software. You can control how many bottles show up on the shore and pretty much control exactly where that bottle goes and how it reaches the person that you need to find it.

And so when you're thinking about how you'd want this message to appear to your audience, what time of day makes sense for them to receive this message? If it's an outage message like this or a service alert that's really important for a particular team, you're going to send that out immediately, but there's other messages that might make sense to send first thing in the morning when people first arrive to work. Also, of course, how important is it that they see it immediately or is it okay if they see it over the next two, three days? Is this something you want people to understand and absorb over the next week or over the next hour, right? All of those...all of that, you know that better than we do. It really varies for each kind of message that you send. But here's what you can do so that...here's an example of an emergency alert where we can send something that cuts through on every computer whether someone's active or not, goes full screen. "Let's evacuate the building." You can get that out to everyone quickly to maximize readership, and response.

So there's such a variety of how these things display. Let's get into it. So for the display settings, if you're in the administrator portal and I'm going to go there now but it's the advanced tab where most of this lives, and I think the simplest way to go through it is simply to follow the way we organize it in there. Standard, urgent and emergency. So let me come over to the administrator portal, and what I want to do is come in here to an alert message. So here's an alert message and I'm going to click over to the advanced tab. This is where I want to have a look.

Now, we've set up our message and now we've come over to the advanced tab. It gives us all the delivery settings and you'll see at the very top, we have a standard setting, we have an urgent setting and an emergency setting, and I'm going to start with emergency. Emergency, it's the simplest, right? Emergency, that's going to go out whoever you've targeted, whether it's a list of users or a list of devices. That message will show up full screen and it'll cut through anything that...if they're in screensaver mode or locked out or if they're in full screen mode in a presentation or some other application, it's going to cut through.

And Phil, I'm right saying that pretty much if it's in sleep mode, we don't cut through but if they're locked out or in screensaver mode it's going to show. Is that right?

Philip: Correct, correct. Provided they've been logged in before.

Paula: Right, that makes sense. You have to have been logged in before so we know who they are. Good. So that's emergency, and urgent is the next level down. So urgent, we're not going to force it to go full screen, and we give you some other options. You can set something to be any size you like, but with urgent it's still going to cut through on screensavers, and let me just confirm here. Yeah, it's very similar to emergency. You'll see in these notes here we talk about snooze a little bit. So snooze is a feature you can give your users if they want to turn off SnapComms for a period of time. So think an executive or someone who's in a major presentation for half a day and they really don't want any internal messages showing up.

With urgent, we're not going to disturb those people who have deliberately turned off SnapComms temporarily. With emergency we are, so that's why emergency's great for evacuations or really mission critical stuff where we want everyone who's in the building to know about this. Not just internal people, right?

And you'll see here for urgent, this is one of my favorite settings, top most. This is going to make sure that people...it shows up on their screen and they have to go and manually close it in order to remove it.

So let me just come over here. What I want to do is I'm going to pull up my SnapComms message history. I have a few example messages that are published. So this is my audience view. This is where I can see the messages that have been sent to me, and what I want to do is show you an example of something that has been sent urgent mode. So with urgent, this would've come through straight onto the top of my screen. You can see we have a few details here, and if I click out, if I click to another page, it doesn't go behind it, right? That's what top most does. It makes sure it stays on top. So in order for me to get back to work, I do have to interact with this message. There's no way that I was...this popped up on my screen and I was so busy, I clicked out and I didn't even read the headline. There's no way for that to happen. I do have to interact with it and close it.

Right, right, right. So Phil, Kim, do you guys have anything to add when it comes to how you see urgent used? Okay, so...

Philip: Sorry Paula. I just couldn't get myself off mute quickly enough. No, I was just going to say that I think the snooze feature in particular is probably something that's underutilized and that is something that we should perhaps expand a little more on in another session. It's a really useful feature that isn't turned on by default, and so I think that's something that people can make a lot of use of, particularly for those executives that, as you say, are in a half day meeting for example and don't require those alerts to be displayed to them. But at the same time, the flexibility between standard alert, urgent and emergency [inaudible 00:17:46] to ensure that you get across what you need to with regard to the type of message that you're sending. So I think that you've got that granularity to be able to ensure that the right message reaches the right person at the right time.

Paula: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. I mean, that's why we built snooze years ago, isn't it? Because there were people in situations where they really wanted to make sure they weren't interrupted or that nothing confidential showed on screen and it gives them that power to...

Philip: I think...exactly and I think that the important point here is that you can, as an administrative assistant, you could decide who has the ability to snooze the product and for how long they have that ability to snooze the product for. So it's not kind of a turned off permanently because that clearly goes against the SnapComms' value proposition but...

Paula: Exactly, and you lose all the power of it.

Philip: Yeah.

Paula: So yeah, it's person by person. Might be a few people that are allowed to do that or you just enable it for a conference or for two days or however long they need it and then...

Philip: Yeah, yeah. So it's pretty flexible in terms of how you use it but it's probably worthy of a separate discussion, I guess.

Paula: I think yes. Okay, so emergency's clear. Urgent. This cuts through to full screen, stays on until they close it and I think...I would say for urgent a lot of these cases we see outage notifications where it's really important that people know there's a problem with some sort of system or software. And weather as well, where, "We've got a huge storm coming, you can leave work early," or something like that or...out here it would probably be earthquakes, but I see it more in the Midwest and the East Coast in the U.S. for storm warning.

And now, let's see. This, I'm going to pop through this, I already described this. This will be a reference for you later, and let's look at standard alert. So a standard alert, now this is where you get all the...so much control over how interruptive you want to be. So standard alerts are the ones that let you send through a little corner popup alert, and what I'll do is I'll just send one to myself right now, let it come back over here and I'm going to publish this product launch message which I've set up with a corner prompt so you can see what this looks like on my screen. Then I'll hit publish and that should take a minute or so to come through. So we'll just wait for that to show up. There we go. Successful.

But let's go to the advanced tab and have a look at this while we're waiting for that message to show up. So instead of having something go direct on screen with all the information, the instructions, the call to action, you can use...you can do that with a normal, standard notification but you...sorry. A standard alert. I don't want to confuse you with my terminology here. But notification, that's what we call it when there is a two-step process. We're going to send through a little corner prompt, a notification that has your message header and it says, "Read now, read later," and right down here, these are all the controls for that. How long do you want that corner prompt to be on screen and you can see my settings and we'll see this come through in a moment.

Thirty seconds is how long we're going to show that read now, read later, and if they don't click on it, if they're too busy, it's going to disappear after 30 seconds. Maybe they just got up to get a cup of coffee and they're actually not in front of their screen. Well we'll...these settings right here tell me...we'll have it on screen 30 seconds. If they do nothing, we're going to try again in five minutes. In five minutes we'll try again and here's my popup. Do you see this is what we're describing? This is what I'm describing.

So this corner prompt is set for 30 seconds. If I do nothing it'll disappear after 30 seconds, but I can also read now to get to the main message if I have time, if it's appropriate, if I'm willing right now. But if I'm in the middle of something, if I'm too busy I can hit read later and that will send it back in five minutes. Now, I'm going to say read now so you can see the main message here. Close that. So here's my main message, and we have a link to click on. This probably looks familiar. I had a screenshot shot of it in before. So there's your two-step process. We're going to invite them to read our message if it's a good time. If it's not a good time we're going to try again later. That's really the heart of the standard alert when you use that invitation in the corner and notification.

Now, there's a couple other settings here too. You'll see frequency. Now we can come back every five minutes and pretty much bother you until you open it. I'm not a fan of unlimited though. Unlimited means we're just going to come back until this message expires, but I would suggest...you'll see it. Every once in a while you'll see somebody...it may be an IT person and it's a user that...where there's really nobody in front of that computer very often, or it could be someone who just refuses to click and they're never going to click through. They don't want to read it. So you can decide, "Look, this message is pretty important. Let's try it eight times. If they haven't clicked through after eight times, if they've hit read later or ignored it, they're probably not going to click so we're going to stop putting that up on the screen."

So this is where a lot of the fine tuning comes in in terms of how important is it that I reach 100% of my audience, 95%, 97%? How important it is that I see everyone interacting with this message, or is 90% okay? And we're still talking about insanely great numbers if you compare it to email or other methods of getting information out to your audience. Our numbers are amazingly high, right? You're going to reach a much higher proportion of your people than other methods. So this lets you fine tune all that.

You also have a notification sound here too. If you want to have a little notification audio sound play when that pops up, you can. Just be aware that if there's an open plan office and you've sent this to everyone in the office, over the course of a minute or two you're going to get a lot of sound coming out of all those machines, so this is something to use carefully I would say.

Phil, Kim, what do you think in terms of sound, the best time is to use sound?

Philip: So Paula, Phil here. So one of the things that we do see sound being useful is people that have certain accessibility requirements within the system, so ensuring that they're able to be aware that an alert has arrived and so on, and it also gets used in conjunction with screen readers and so on. So I think that's a good example of when you would use that.

Paula: Okay, great. And then keep notifying when read. That'll keep a message coming back even if someone's interacted with it, and that can be good for a shared computer situation or a retail situation, or you might have different shifts coming in, okay?

So let me...hopefully that gives you a bit of a sense here and what I want to do though is move on because I know it's taking me...there's a lot more I want to get through and we only have a few minutes left.

All right. So a lot of this is written out in the slides, and before we move on though, I want to ask you what do you use? For those of you who already use alerts, let me know which...have you used all of these? I've got a question here for you that...where you can select as many of the answers as you like, okay? And also, if you're not using SnapComms, which one do you think is the most appropriate? Which one would you most...do you think is the most interesting for you? I mean, we're not going to call you on this. I'm just interested to know which ones resonate. Okay. We've got very even numbers. Seeing some results come through. I think everyone is there. Okay. Let me close that and share the results with you.

Okay, so direct on screen. That's interesting. A lot of people are using that. I would say that's probably my favorite. There are so many types of messages where two steps...it's simple enough. Just get it on screen, get it in front of them. You need to absorb. That's great that I see some people using emergency as well. It's fantastic. Okay. I'm happy that all categories are used. We do build these things hoping that it's all useful, and it looks like it is. Fantastic.

Okay. Moving on. I hear something too and a lot of you...let's see. Did I skip a page? I did. Somehow I popped two pages up. So before we move on, let's talk about how long is your message going to be valid. We talked about how it displays on screen, but you can set the life span for your message. You can set availability. You can see here on this screenshot...and maybe you have a message that's really time sensitive. "Hey, we've got so and so on our campus. We've got a big VP or the president's here." Something like that. Send it out for the next hour and it's really only valid for a tiny, short life span, or maybe you have something that you want them to be able to go back and find in their message history and reference later. All of that is available here. You decide when that message goes out and when that message essentially expires, all right? So that's one thing to look like.

And then here, disable. You can go to your list of messages too and just turn off any message. This happens a lot for outage notifications, IT. The IT guys will send out an outage notification and they'll set it for a day. They don't know how long the outage is going to last. It turns out it's an hour and a half. Everything's back up to normal now. They can send out their all clear message and they can just come in here and hit the disable button to stop that outage notification from showing up on anyone else's computer.

And you can see where this is important. If you have people that have been away from the office and they come back four p.m. and you don't want them getting a lot of obsolete notices. Of course you don't. That's going to create more confusion. Or people that have gone on leave. They come back two weeks later. You don't want them to have a lot of information there that is no longer relevant. You don't want them to have to go through heaps of stuff. So disable combined with your expiry date. Your expiry dates, your published dates, that's what will make sure the content's available and not creating any noise either.

The last piece of this, we're back to the advanced tab and I like to mention this little tick box. Remove when read. This is a nice little box that will override...if somebody's read that message, they won't...it's great for reminder type messages where you're just reminding someone to do something. "Something's happening this Friday." They really don't need to go back and look at that again. Just hit remove when read. It's not going to be filling up their message history when they'll...they can't access it again and they don't need to, so that box is there as well.

Okay, so reports. Now I'm moving on. We've talked about the content, we've talked about delivery a bit. Now, how do you know what the right delivery is? How do you know what settings really are going to work for your message and frankly, you send some out, you send some out to yourself, to your team, to your audience, and you have a rich, rich store of information here. We've got our click through reports, our content display, our download reports, so you can track every little step along the way and find out what's really working for your audience. Did you get the result that you wanted in terms of reaching people? Did you send through a little popup alert and are people ignoring it? Is your average click through coming at five popups? That would be bad. And what I'll do, I'm just going to pop over here again and show you that.

So in terms of the content reports, you go into your folders. There's a little...this is the new view by the way. This is the view that we're rolling out to everybody. Our new interface that's a lot cleaner, but you'll...if you use our software now, you'll recognize these reports. So here you can come in and click into the report that you want and find the specific message and go and look down to the granular level as to who's clicked or who's completed, who's interacted with that. So that will give you a lot of fantastic data so you can see over time what time of day seems to work best, and you can even go in and have a look at which..."Oh, look. It's the same people who never read my messages." You can find that out if you look at some of our other reports.

Now, apologies for this. My report here has very little data because I've just been sending messages to myself, but you can see the kind of information that we give you and down here at the bottom, you can customize the details, pull up whatever columns and data you want and export it, do whatever you need to with the reports in here.

Okay. So the other thing too...just go ask your audience as well. I have my preferences in terms of visual messaging, how I like these messages to show up, but frankly it's so helpful to go out and ask your audience, the people you're trying to reach. Make sure you understand what they like, what they don't. There could be some context or some time of day that really doesn't work for them. Go ask them and it can be as simple as throwing up a question in your...on confluence in a forum if you use that kind of a tool, or do a formal survey, grab a few people, do a focus group, and I love the idea too of having a champion. If you can set up a sort of program where you have someone in each department that is there to give you feedback, show them how great SnapComms is, the alerts, explain why you're using them and how it's helping them and have them send you feedback from their teams. You can do that too, just work sort of with a longer term relationship. But those two things, definitely do that so you know what really is going to work for your company and your message and your audience, and then...Oh look, we're down to the end here.

Consistency. Did you know...hopefully you know this, but you may not. Under management, there's a section, a default section. That's what's in orange here on the left. You can set the default so when anybody creates a new message, the preferred settings, if you know that...if you see here 15 seconds, yep. Fifteen seconds works for us and we'll send a message back every 45 minutes. This is for the employee...the corporate announcements that come through once a week. If you know those settings work then preset them. You can go in and choose the folder where your messages live and have specific settings for that folder. This will give you consistency. It really is great if you have all the corporate messages showing up top middle of the screen. Popup and then maybe center of the screen is where the IT outages messages go. You've got the visual template and you've got the consistency in terms of how they show up. That's going to help too with your audience. Okay.

All right. Any questions? I've gone through the material that I prepared. Just hopefully give you some takeaways and things to think about. And Phil, have you seen any questions come through?

Philip: Not yet. So I guess that it shows that I think you've covered the subject pretty well. My only other comment really Paula, was just around the reporting side and the versioning, so when you look at the various alerts then...might be worth just touching on that.

Paula: Absolutely, absolutely. That's a great one. So every time...you can publish a message more than once. In fact, I have an example of that which I'll pull up here too. Let's see. I wanted to...this was an example that I created earlier. So quarterly updates, you can set up a message here. It comes out once a quarter, reminds people seven days before the end of the quarter to take some action. You can just have that go out every quarter and you would have different versions. Every three months you have a new publish dates and what Phil's mentioning is every time you publish something, you can come in...we do capture separate results for that. You can look at results across all publishes or go down to a specific one instance of a message and look at results from just that message. Yeah.

And actually, you've reminded me too...I have a lot of screens up here but let me go into this reminder message, because I didn't touch on that when we talked about your publish dates. That's another pretty powerful feature when it comes to delivering your message. If you have any sort of reminder categories of messages, we do have repeat scheduling where you set this message up once. It's the same message. You can see here we have it going out the 24th day of every three months. So once a quarter, and it's basically going to go out for a day, 23 hours. So there's a lot of flexibility there too in terms of getting your messages out and not having to spend a lot of time getting out what you need to. Okay.

Philip: So Paula, there's just a couple of questions here from Lisa and one of them...the first one was, "Any of you as a type of audience or distribution list see what is in their message history?" So I think what we're saying for that is, can we see what's published at any time?

Paula: To one particular person.

Philip: Correct. So I think the content calendar would give you those options. I would need to check if it goes down to individual users, but the content calendar would be where you would look for that. So Lisa, what I'll do, I'll just take a look at that after this call finishes and come back to you separately but I think the content calendar would give you what you require. If that isn't what you're looking for then just let me know.

Your second question was around...you said, "What do you mean by the need to be logged in before?" And I guess that was referring to whether an alert would display over a locked screen. So what I mean by that is that we target by a user's login credentials, so if the machine hasn't had anyone logged into it then clearly the machine doesn't know, or rather our system doesn't know who to target it to. So if you've logged into a machine and then let's say you've walked away and your screen's locked, then we are aware that you're a user on that machine if you like, so we're able to target that individual and display the message that's been targeted to it. But if it's just a machine that no one has been logged into, then there's clearly no one to target to in that scenario.

Paula: Yeah, because if you...isn't that true? If you're completely logged off, that sort of shuts down your session and SnapComms runs...that launches automatically once a user logs in, launches in the operating system, so yeah. That's a good point.

And here I wanted to show you, we have this user publishing schedule and this is under the calendar, the content calendar and you can come in here and you can have a look. You can see there's a search field, so you just search for whichever user or a machine that you're looking for, and this...what we're looking at here is a visual display of the messages that are currently alive on my computer, right? So yeah. You can look at that. And we have different ways to...different views as well here. You can click. Here's a list view showing...so you can see which messages are still alive and what's showing up for them or what they have going on. That's useful. I love that, especially if you have a huge audience. Let's just have a sanity check. What's out there on sales? If you have several administrators, it's great to be able to have this view of everything that's out there.

Philip: Yeah. There's just a follow up question from Lisa as well saying, "Will it then show when they've logged in and will I get a backlog?" So the answer to that is "Yes, provided that that message is still valid." So again, we're all about showing messages that are valid at that time, and what I mean by that is it hasn't expired or been disabled. So if, for example, it was an emergency and that emergency was then ended for whatever reason, then that messages was disabled. Then that will not display for someone who comes back in and logs into their machine, simply because it's deemed not relevant for them as they clearly weren't around when that emergency appeared.

If messages are sent to a user when they're not logged in, then those messages will appear when that user logs in according to the publishing schedule that's set for that particular message. So in other words, it will try and display, and if it can't then it will go into its recurrence mode and come back after 5 minutes, 10 minutes or whatever that recurrence frequency was specified.

Paula: Yeah. So I mean, it depends on what groups you have using SnapComms, right? If you've got...if there's an outage that happens to happen and there's an outage notification, then when they first log in, maybe they get it at noon after having a morning out. That is going to...we are going to try to reach them, even if it was published in the morning, we'll try to reach them immediately when they're active on the computer.

But for most companies, they're not sending out heaps during the day. If they're using them at a team level or a division level, they're going to be targeting just those people. We don't really see often a lot of messages stacking up where you end up with heaps of messages. Visually, when you log back in, that's really, really rare, I'd say.

Philip: And there's just one other thought Paula while we're there, and just jogged my memory. Again, thinking about wanting to be as user friendly I guess to your users, then for popup notifications you do have the option to specify what times of day they appear and do not appear, I guess.

Paula: Yeah.

Philip: So that's another...it's just another way of ensuring that the messages that you send are relevant, engaging and I guess are appropriate to the level of intrusiveness that you wish to have. So you can set those as well.

Paula: Yeah, that's down here, bottom of this screen. So that's great for those messages that are important but not urgent, where it's okay if they absorb them over time. You could reduce that down and this is going to be their local time. If you say 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. then it's going to be their time, that that...it'll suppress them and they'll only visually appear in that time.

Philip: Yeah, and kind of the use case here is you may not want non-critical or non-urgent or non-important messages to be displayed when someone first logs in in the morning or the last thing at night and so on, so it's just about tailoring that experience of SnapComms to the message that you're trying to send.

Paula: Absolutely, great.

Philip: Another question from Lisa which is, "What is silent publish?" Do you want to go for that one Paula?

Paula: You've caught me on that. I listed it out and I didn't say, did I? Anyway, I did list it out. Yes, silent publish. So this...we'll come back over here and have a look at that really quickly. Silent publish is available for a standard alert and what that means is the message that you send is going to be delivered to the machine. It'll be here in the message history window, but we're actually not going to visually display it. We're not going to pop it up. They're going to need to go manually into the message history and click on it, and there's a couple of times when that's useful. Sometimes you'll have, for example, new hires. Part of their onboarding, "Hey, we've got some resources for you. We've put them in SnapComms. You can go and click and get the phone numbers of the key people that you need to reach." You might have a resource available to make life easier and they just go into SnapComms to find it.

Yeah, and so...let's see. That's the main scenario I've seen where people can...we're going to silent publish something, some sort of resource. People know where to go get it and it's housed in SnapComms. Phil, what about you? There's a couple of other scenarios but that's the main one that I see most often.

Philip: Yeah, updates where you don't necessarily require someone to be reading it again if that makes sense, but should they come back to read it then you want to make sure that they're reading the most up to date information, so you would update the message. Excuse me. Send it via silent publish so if it's something that sits in their message history window, they can come back and read that and make sure it's up to date, but they don't necessarily need to be have...they don't necessarily need to be active...action I should say, in terms of an alert.

Paula: True, true. So you have a message like this and you find a typo or you find a link is broken, you didn't catch it beforehand, if everybody's already clicked on it but you still have it available you might silent publish. Silent publish would stop any visual popups though if some of the audience haven't seen it, but yeah. That is another scenario.

Great, thank you for the questions. Love it. Any more questions? I think that's it. Listen, I hope we've given you a little more insight into SnapComms and what you can do with it, and if you're in the content manager you'll see we've put a lot of info here under these little information icons to describe what everything is. We really want to give the message sender full control over how it shows up and so that's why there's a lot of options in here. But I would say get in there, have a play with it and thank you very much. Thank again for reading and that really brings us to the close. Come to the end. Thank you.

Kim: Thanks Paula. Thank you very much Paula.

Paula: Thank you everyone. Have a great day and also, two weeks from now, we are going to have a similar half hour diving into the Ticker, the Newsfeed Ticker Scroll, and go into all the fantastic things you can do with that and where that really is extremely powerful. So please join us for that.

Philip: Thanks Paula.

Paula: Take care. Bye everyone.

Philip: Thank you. Bye, bye.

 

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