Want to build engagement? Think like a marketer. (Part 5: Copy and Design)

I’m devoting one segment to the last two elements that drive engagement in your program—Design and Copy, each representing 5% of the formula described in Part 1 of this series. It might seem reckless for me to take a little poetic license to equate Design and Copy in the marketing sense to building engagement in the HR program sense, but hear me out.

Communication is key to the success of any program you create. It’s a far too passive strategy to guarantee success if you simply expect a majority of your employees to find, let alone use, a benefit. If you want world class engagement, you have to communicate. We see an increase of ~50% points in our clients that use push communication once a month to promote LifeSpeak. Design and Copy are key elements of the communication, and we work on those elements to optimize response. However, even a simple text-based email once a month will still have a huge effect. That’s why we subscribe to the notion “Build it, and they might come. Tell everyone you built it, and you can make certain they will come.”

The design of your communications goes beyond what pictures you might use or infographics you want to display, and where they are located. It also means making sure the program is accessible and advertised in many places—posters on information boards, emails in inboxes, placement in a portal, links in newsletters, tent cards in the cafeteria, etc. Design a multi-channel campaign, and engagement will improve. Many studies in marketing talk about the positive effect on response rates and revenue when using multi-channel marketing versus single channel marketing. I believe the same concept holds true in the response rate to your program.

As far as copy goes, there are many, many more accomplished copywriters out there than me, all with books about how to write optimal copy, so I will leave it to them to provide you the best advice. I will just say this from experience:

  • Benefits, not features, drive people to buy.
  • Make sure you have a clear call to action in your copy, and place that action “above the fold”, meaning place it in the area where they first start reading your copy—in an email, that would be before you have to scroll.
  • Images and graphics make copy more effective.

Both design and copy will influence the ultimate response to your communications, but you must also make sure the program is easily accessible. You and your company just invested in this program (or better yet, set of programs), so make sure you optimize their success by maximizing opportunities to communicate the program to your employees. In the final segment in this series, I’ll sum things up and give you an example of why looking after all of these engagement drivers works.

More articles in this series

Written by: Doug Berkowitz, SVP of Operations at LifeSpeak