Getting Started: Notifications
Notifications are an integral portion of your content strategy, so much so that it's hard to untangle the two. When your digital workplace is getting off the ground, notifications will be one of the first ways that people interact with it. That first impression matters, so you want to ensure that what they're receiving is concise, relevant, and in tune with your overall digital workplace strategy.
You can use notifications to drive members into your digital workplace, to send out vital messages to people's inboxes, or push alerts directly to the mobile app. Collect them into digests for morning updates, or manage weekly notifications for tracking changes to large areas. What's more you can do all these at once, based on various areas and Groups in your Igloo. Subscribe a Group to your knowledge base, and they'll get an update every week with links to new articles, for example, or use a Broadcast on an announcement to draw people out of their inboxes and explore your new digital workplace.
Focus first on who you want to reach. Reaching everyone with everything is too much, and will cause people to tune them out or unsubscribe. Sending notifications based on smaller Groups in your digital workplace, like specific teams or departments can dramatically boost engagement. Save the All Members Group for major announcements and organization-wide policy updates. There should be a clear cut case for the relevance of any group subscription, and the subscriptions for any individual Group are available from the Manage Groups area.
One way to ensure that notifications stay relevant is to encourage team leads to subscribe people to content, rather than relying on Workplace Administrators. the closer you move the the ground floor of your organization, the deeper an understanding people will have of the areas they need updates from. Another is to ensure that social areas feature prominently in the site architecture, but to let members opt in and out of those Channels fluidly, rather than saddling everyone with a subscription to each one.
Another important choice is what type of notifications to leverage for your purposes. Broadcasts have the advantage of letting you write and send a short summary, as well as providing a link to draw members into your digital workplace. Targeting specific Groups in your digital workplace, they can be sent on publication or afterward using the Broadcast option at the bottom of the page for re-sharing later. Subscriptions let you automate the notifications, subscribing particular Groups to Channels. They send out the full text of your articles, and members can reply to them to add comments to posts.
Often a hybrid approach works best, using subscriptions for key Channels for teams to ensure that people have the information they need, and using Broadcasts for major announcements and news Channels, ensuring that they reach the right people, but without sending a notification for every update in the Channel. When drawn to a Channel, people always have the option to subscribe using the Follow button, and an opt in strategy for notifications ensures greater engagement, because the emails people receive are the ones they chose, rather than being chosen for them.
Subscriptions have four options for cadence: instant, daily, weekly, and monthly. Instant notifications are the most common, but there's an advantage to a daily subscription to all news Channels or similarly grouped items. Members have a digest every morning that consolidates new updates in your digital workplace, rather than a dozen emails from various Channels. For high traffic Folder or Wiki Channels, a weekly subscription will provide a record of updates while keeping their inbox clear. Remember that for time-sensitive items, Broadcasts can always send out a notification immediately, letting you instantly notify teams for certain items, but not all of them.
We are often fierce guardians of our own inboxes. Emails can boost engagement, but just as easily push people away, so the cornerstone of your notification strategy should be to ensure that all notifications are relevant to your members and their needs.
If you have questions about the Igloo platform, workflows, or best practices, you can leave a comment here, or ask a question in the Community area.