Attention Currency: How to Measure Message Quality

Posted by Josh Weissburg on Jun 4, 2015

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What is attention currency?

Customer attention is a kind of currency; you spend it whenever you ask your customer to pay attention to your business. When you send messages to your customers or prospects, you're spending attention currency. Like actual money, customer currency is finite and must be budgeted for just the right time.

When a new customer signs up for your product, they're showing you they are interested: you have some attention currency in your bank to spend now. The value of the currency naturally decreases over time unless they interact with your product and generate renewed interest. In fact, a recent study showed after the first hour, the chances of reaching a new lead are reduced by 10x. Some are interested enough on their own to engage with your company but others need a little help in the form of extra time, explanation or exposure to translate their interest in your product into a valuable experience. A little extra attention at this points can result in up to 45% more ROI

Why and when should you spend attention currency?

Use some of that initial store of attention currency early in the relationship — when you have a lead, an initial sale or a sign up — to generate more interest and affirm the relationship the customer started with your company. Offer information, resources, suggested products/services, tips or other things you know will be useful to them based on their history with your product and any profile info you've gathered.

Remember: your customer will only pay attention a few times. If you don't provide something useful, you're likely going to lose that currency pretty fast. The key is knowing what is valuable to your customer - what do they want, need or care about? Do you have the detailed, internal, customer data to support this type of targeted messaging?

How do you know if you're spending attention currency wisely?

As with any investment, you want to know you're getting a good return. The return on the attention currency you spend is measured in customer actions taken. Email opens and clicks show some interest and are a good start, but the actions with the highest return are the things you want people to do inside of your product: post, purchase, share. These are the actions that separate prospects from loyal customers who will refer others.

Because the metric for spending attention wisely is customer actions inside your product, you need to know how many people take actions because of the messages you send. (Remember that if you sent no messages at all, some customers would still take actions.) Control groups — which ensure that some customers don't receive a message, then track what those people do and compare that to the group that got a message — are your most important tool for measuring attention currency. 

Whether you realize it or not, you are spending attention currency with each of your customers every time you send a message. Make sure you know how you're spending it!

Topics: AB testing, Best practices