Every Online Interaction with ...


You may be a company in the bowels of B2B.

The content may involve something as mundane as an email signoff or, in the case that I’m about to highlight, subscribing to a blog.

Every online touch point offers the chance for storytelling and making an impression that builds your brand. Keep in mind that my definition of storytelling in business does not mean building out a story arc with a protagonist, bad stuff and redemption. Just having fun with language can qualify as business storytelling.

The humble subscription to a blog makes for a good Exhibit A. While I’m using an example from Alcatel-Lucent, the reality is that over 90 percent of companies take the same path with their blog subscriptions.

When you click to subscribe to a Alcatel-Lucent blog subscription, you get this:

company blog subscriptions - storytelling

The content is perfectly fine, again taking the same approach that virtually every other company takes.

Which means even a slight deviation from the status quo can stand out like the following:

  • Well done! You’re close. Enter your email address and click ENTER.

Next, an email arrives with the confirmation link:

company blog subscriptions storytelling

An example of what fresh language might look like for the confirmation email:

  • Please take .00234 of a second to click on the link below to confirm your subscription.

After confirming the subscription, a profile page surfaces offering yet another opportunity to bring fresh language to the fore.

company blog subscriptions storytelling

Once the profile page is squared away, a final screen shot closes the loop.

Counting the blog promo, the process delivers five touch points with the reader, each one providing an opportunity to show the reader that there are human beings with a sense of levity on the other side of the interaction.

ALU Blog Subscription Flow Chart

Look, a prospect isn’t going to buy your product or service because subscribing to your blog stands out.

Instead, it’s about capitalizing on every interaction with the prospect no matter how seemingly inconsequential because in aggregate, they do make a difference.

Years ago Twitter CEO Dick Costolo wrote about ordering a product from a company called Moosejaw.com. The package came with the following note:

“If you are actually reading this note you should be super happy. First, you have received your order, reading is fun and getting something in the mail (even if you bought it yourself) has got to make the day better. Second, I put your order together all by myself.”

Here’s the punch line from Costolo:

“That’s a fun note to read. I like Moosejaw more because of that note. Is it silly? Sure, it’s a silly note. Why does the note make me like Moosejaw more? People like it when companies have personalities.”

That’s another way of putting it.

Show your personality in every interaction.

Side note: For more on this topic, I wrote a post on how we applied storytelling techniques to our own blog subscription

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