Best Practices for Emergency Notification Content
I think it’s fair to say that the past few weeks have been interesting and, in some cases, pretty difficult. Like so many of you, we’ve been keeping our global community in our hearts as we’ve seen the rapid spread and impact of COVID-19 in many places around the world. Whenever our collective community faces a hardship, especially with such uncertainty, I am more aware of and appreciative for how information is shared. Working within the DMO space, I love helping our clients brainstorm ways to share their unique travel experiences, as well as recommend best practices for ethical content. But I also find a great deal of meaning in the content that isn’t always the most exciting but provides vital information to the people who need it most.
As we’ve had a number of our customers recently use Bound content to share the latest updates about COVID-19, we wanted to take this opportunity to provide general information and best practice recommendations to all our customers for using emergency or other notification alerts.
Recommendations for content type:
Banners remain one of our favorite pieces of content for their diverse ability to directly provide information to audiences. This is especially true for emergency notifications, given that information can be provided in a calm, straightforward way when imagery may not be appropriate. Banners are some of our least intrusive forms of content and work well on both Mobile and Desktop, which makes them a great form to use for any type of notification.
Recommendations for content placement:
While your Homepage is typically a great starting place for sharing information with your audiences, it’s worth taking a thoughtful look at where notification content could be most appropriately visible. One factor may be which audiences will best benefit from this information. Recently, we’ve seen customers tailor their informational content to Trip Planning sections in addition to main landing pages, as this is especially relevant for out of market visitors. Main landing pages could be a beneficial place to highlight this information. As with all content, you can always expand this content throughout the site as it becomes appropriate.
Recommendations for content limitations:
Similar to being thoughtful about where we serve our content, we want to be thoughtful about how often to show this content. While we may initially want to show this information multiple times per session, we know it is a fine line between providing appropriate information and overwhelming visitors with content they are not interested in or engaging with. We recommend setting a limit on your notification content so that a visitor can become aware of this notification but is not greeted with the same content multiple times in one visit. One option would also be to exclude visitors who have already visited the destination URL to ensure your content is shown to the most relevant audience.
Recommendations for audiences:
Speaking of audiences, I love that emergency notifications highlight the absolute effectiveness and purpose of personalization: providing the best information to the right audience. We’ve seen this with our customer’s previous notification content for Hurricane recovery efforts in providing the in-market audience with relevant local resources, as well as the out-of-market audiences with guidance on how they can best support recovery efforts. Tailoring your content to your audiences is a sure way to increase engagement and connect your visitors with the best information possible.
We encourage you to keep these recommendations in mind when planning notifications of any kind to your audiences, and know that your Bound CSMs are always here to answer questions or talk through what content is most appropriate for your destination.
To those communities affected by COVID-19, tornadoes and other loss, please know that you are in our hearts, and we are with you in solidarity.