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Opt-in: Convincing Users They Want to Use Your Product

Users can't be coerced to use a product - they have to want to. Here's what it takes to make that happen.


Users can't be coerced to use a product - they have to want to. Here's what it takes to make that happen.

The military operates unlike most private sector organizations: they can order people to do things and they will do it. But when collecting any information from people, if they’re ordered to particpate, they tend to merely go through the motions – this is evident in the quality of the data. This is why we see so little measurable improvement in the results of the US Federal Climate Survey over the past seventeen years.  

The first touch-point many users experience when engaging with any product is often marketing content that encourages the first interaction. It’s critical with this first engagement to ensure that your messaging aims to instill the belief that interacting will benefit them or their organization enough that they are compelled to click-through and participate.  

The best way to do this is pretty straightforward: find a bunch of target users and ask them what they would need to hear to make them want to use your software. We’ve found that seeking out potential saboteurs, or users who think things like, “this is terrible, I would never use it” often yield the most compelling insights.  These users always have a reason for this opinion and you can usually find something they care about that will incite not only their usage, but to encourage their friends to use it as well.

We recently ran back-to-back studies with one military organization where one group was ordered to talk to our software, and we talked with the other group to figure out why they would want to do it and then customized marketing to speak to what they valued. Expectedly, after the initial marketing campaign, the first group gave us data about problems like, “the weather”  while the second was full of meaningful problems they wanted solved.  

Once you know how to market to your target users, you have to get them to read these curated marketing messages.

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