Getting your career back after the worst happens


Life is complicated, and sometimes a crisis pulls us out of our careers for a time. Coming back from a crisis is HARD but it’s not impossible. I’ve been there. It took time (years!) and a lot of patience. Below are tips on how to get your career back after the worst happens, and how these tips worked for me.

Just a little background…my late husband and I were vice presidents in the same tech company in Tel Aviv when he was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. We loved working together. We drove to work together each day and even shared an office. We had three small kids under six and a wonderful nanny. Partners at home and the office, we were living our dream. And then it was a nightmare.

Within 10 days of his diagnosis, he entered the hospital for surgery. He was only supposed to miss a week of work. There were complications and he ended up staying a month. Neither of us went back to our jobs.

1. Take your time

Often with a crisis comes money concerns. How much time away can you afford financially and emotionally? How much time do you need? The latter is not a question you can answer in advance, but you should know your rights and maximize your entitlements. Check with your company’s HR and your insurance agent.

2. Stay in the game

It took several months, but once the right treatment protocol was chosen, we fell into a routine and I found freelance gigs in my field – more junior than I had been in years – that gave me the flexibility I needed to take him to treatments and other appointments while giving me something to focus on a few hours a day besides my family’s troubles. It also kept me in the game.

How did I find the gigs? I kept an eye on my online professional forums and applied for projects as well as jobs that were not necessarily freelance or part-time. Once in a meeting, I convinced them to take a chance on me for a small project to start, with no commitment for more. And then there was usually more.

I found that by earning a lot less, I fell into a lower tax bracket so the cut in take-home income was not extreme.

Of course, part-time or freelance isn’t always an option. In that case, try to stay in touch with online professional communities and even attend the occasional meetup in your field. The idea is not to disappear completely.

3. Know your limits 

After my husband died, I worried about my little family’s future, but we were too broken for me to go back to work full time. That was an important realization, as I battled with my ego over being under-employed. I continued freelancing to make ends meet while I struggled to make sense of my new reality.  

It took about two years before I started applying for full-time jobs, and I applied for director-level instead of VP-level positions. I was given and accepted the advice to take something less challenging professionally because I had so many challenges at home.

4. Keep setbacks in proportion

Accept that there will be setbacks and you can overcome them. After all, the worst has already happened. Gigs drying up and insurance complications are small in comparison.

5. Write yourself a script

In every job interview, I was asked why I left my VP job. The first few times I found myself close to tears. So I developed go-to answers for common questions that protected my feelings and privacy. For example, for that question I would answer truthfully, “I had to handle a family crisis, which has since been resolved.” It sounds cold, but that was the point. No one ever asked for more details.

6. Forgive yourself

About 18 months into the director-level job and five years after my husband’s initial diagnosis, a client from one of my freelance gigs became the CEO at another company and asked me to join as a VP. I was back. I was back…but I was not the same person as before.

It was not an easy transition, so my last tip is this: Forgive yourself for wanting your career back. Forgive yourself for stumbling if and when you do. Forgive yourself if it takes more time than you anticipated. You have been through enough, so please, be kind to yourself.

Getting your career back - Pamunications




Event planning for people who hate event planning


In the last seven years, I threw 5 bar mitzvahs and a wedding. This is in addition to countless global executive events and conferences over my 25+ year B2B marketing career and the 8-10 events our charity Jeremy’s Circle holds each year for hundreds of children and their families.

I don’t love planning events. They make me nervous. The level of uncertainty is huge – from suppliers that may or may not deliver to the weather which may or may not cooperate. And everyone who attends is a potential fan or critic. But here are some basic pointers that can help you plan a successful event, even if the thought of planning makes you shudder. If you don’t have the patience to read to the end, scroll down for an event planning checklist.

Always start with the money.  Your budget is going to impact every decision you make so first and foremost know how much money you have to spend. Now subtract 15% and that’s your working budget. You’ll thank me later.

When it’s not a standalone event.  Family celebrations, in particular, can be several events rolled into one. At the bar mitzvah last month, we also threw a Thanksgiving dinner the Thursday before, a dinner for the out-of-town guests on Friday, and then the main event was on Saturday. The upside is that these events serve as “warm-ups” for the big event, bringing your guests closer together. The downside, of course, is the organization and expense. These should be considered when building your budget.

Pick a date and time and commit to it with save-the-date messages up to a year before. This is particularly important for guests who will need to travel and/or tend to be heavily booked. You don’t need to get fancy with save-the-date messages. You can design something adequate in a free program like Canva and send it by email, SMS, Messenger and/or Whatsapp depending on your crowd. 

Make your invite list and check it twice. Santa Claus might not be coming to town, but if you invited all your cousins except one…well…your aunt is going to give your mom a mouthful. I like to use Google Sheets for this so I can share with comment permissions only with those I need to consult with (and then unshare when I’ve received enough input). Have separate columns where you add up your adult and kid guests because generally, the caterer will charge you differently for them.

Location. Location. Location.  The venue should give your guests a unique experience that reflects you (or your company). It should match the number of people that are coming and the mood you want to capture. If the space is attractive enough, you might not have to invest in extra decorations. The caterer often includes simple centerpieces for free. Every room looks better with flowers. 

The food better be good. Most caterers have tastings. This is not your opportunity to show a chef how much you know about cooking. I’ve been to tastings and overheard others tell the chef how to cook the dishes better. Save it. The purpose of the tasting is to select which foods will best suit your guests. Really. Your guests hit the gym that morning so they could eat dessert. Make it worth their while. That said, if you have guests with dangerous food allergies or other critical dietary requirements, you should definitely tell the caterer early in the process and remind them repeatedly.

About alcohol. Let’s face it, parties tend to be happier with alcohol. You may be able to save money by buying hard alcohol at a discount from outlets or DutyFree and bringing it to the caterers yourself. Can’t hurt to ask.

Get your stakeholders involved. If it’s an executive event, keep the business team updated. They are the ones speaking to your guests before and during the event. If it’s a bar mitzvah or sweet 16 – then involve the kid in the decision making. If it’s a wedding, ask for advice from your future in-laws. Take them to the tastings. Have them speak to the DJ or musicians about their preferences and talk to them about your entertainment plans.  

That’s entertainment.  Fun is not one-size-fits-all and you want your guests of all ages to have a good time. What will happen at the event? Will there be a presentation? Dancing? Singers? Speeches? Interactive games? Photobooths? Magicians? Caricaturists? Have a plan for the evening outlining the timing and make sure all your suppliers on hand know and are prepared. If you want to show a video or other multi-media, go the day before to make sure the equipment works. Almost all of us have been to an event where the guests wait patiently while workers-in-black scurry around a stage fixing whatever was broken. If you see with your own eyes the day before that all is in place and working, you will sleep better that night!

Expect 10-15% to not show up to a personal event like a wedding and even more, like 30-40% to not show up to a corporate event.

RSVPs need to be managed. If you are using an event site like Eventbrite, this is a no-brainer. The site manages it for you. Otherwise, use email for RSVPs. Consider creating a special address just for the event like BobTurns60 at The idea is to keep all the communications in one place so no RSVP gets overlooked. Check each of the RSVPs against your invitation list. Don’t assume that just because they didn’t RSVP, they won’t show up. Some do. So you need to follow up with anyone who has not replied to you as you get closer to your event. Also, don’t assume that just because they said they were coming they will. 

Some people will not go to an event if they don’t think they have a safe and affordable way of getting there and back.

Parking is Precious. How will people get to the event? Do they need parking? Should you arrange for transport? Will the bus need a place to park? At the latest bar mitzvah, which was on the other side of town, we pre-ordered a fleet of Gett taxis for the kids in my son’s class. This cost us half as much as a mini-bus. Whatever is decided, the details should be included when you send your invitation to your guests. 

Send guests home with something branded, to serve as a reminder of the experience. I once threw a “5 senses” themed executive event. The guests could choose their giveaways in advance – which helped us collect the RSVPs – headphones for sound, scented candles for smell, etc. It doesn’t need to be so complicated. Photo magnets with the name and date of the party are a popular and affordable souvenir.  

The week before the event check-in with each and every supplier. Remind them of the exact location (they also need to know where to park), date and time and the services you closed with them. Do a wardrobe check. Does everyone have something appropriate to wear? Do they need mending or ironing? Don’t leave it to the last minute – there will always be something more urgent to do the day of the event.

Expect the unexpected. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. You threw a fun party – so relax and have fun. Things WILL go wrong. I promise. At our latest event, roadblocks appeared inexplicably on the street of the venue so the taxis had to stop down the street. The caterer messed up the seating cards, so some people had 3 cards and some had none. The tables were too close together. The cola was placed in carafes and no one drank it because they couldn’t identify it… Lots of things that were not 100% under my control went wrong. As I knew they would. But my kid had a great time – a fun, meaningful, and memorable experience with people he cares about. And his friends had a great time. And my family and friends had a great time. And so did I. So mission accomplished.

Two words about after: Thank you. After the event, thank your guests for coming. Handwritten notes are lovely, but it might just be easier and totally acceptable to send short messages to their phones.

Event Planning Checklist

  1. Define your budget 
  2. Build your guest list 
  3. Close the date
  4. Send out save-the-date announcements
  5. Close the location and menu (tastings! yum!)
  6. Where can your guests park their cars? 
  7. Create the invitation (and if relevant – webpage)
  8. Distribute the invitation and manage the RSVPs 
  9. Close on the music – playlist, DJ or band
  10. Close on a photographer – stills, magnets, and/or video
  11. Order giveaways
  12. Finalize decoration 
  13. Wardrobe check
  14. Arrange transport if necessary
  15. Check-in with all suppliers a week before
  16. Let yourself have fun at your event!
  17. Thank you messages

I think I covered everything…if not, or if you have more tips, please share in the comments. Good luck with your next event! 



I adopted my stepsons today

family court

Today, our boys, my husband, and I all went to family court. We were asked our names. Then, as we fidgeted quietly, the judge, the lawyer, and the social workers worked out the paperwork. Twenty minutes later the social worker gave me the documentation stating that my stepsons are now legally my sons.

Why adopt these man-boys now? After nearly ten years of being their live-in mother-figure? They are not little kids – one can even vote. The reason is simple. They asked me.

After court, we went out for a family lunch, and then back to work, doctor’s appointments, errands, groceries and more. Now, I am sitting in bed and thinking about the day.

What does it mean to me to parent these boys who lost their mom way too young? It means being okay with being number two. I chose to make these boys mine, with my eyes wide open that I am the lesser option. Each time that I come up short – say the wrong thing or fail to bring the right comfort when needed – that lurking feeling rises, that their real mother would have done better.

They don’t call me Mom. They call me by my first name. My sister’s young daughter-in-law and son-in-law both call her Mom which surprised me, and about a year ago I asked the boys if they wanted to call me Mom too. They looked back at me with a look that said: “we don’t want to offend you, but what for?”

To these boys, I am the “soft” parent, and my husband, their biological parent is the primary parent. That is, I get equal responsibility and blame for the day-to-day, but on critical matters, the biological parent disciplines and makes the final decision.

Sounds thankless? Sometimes. But not today. It’s family. My family. I chose them and they chose me.



The audio book is now live!


Happy September!

This month is packed with mixed feelings as some of the kids (finally) went back to school, my first has flown the nest, and another is heading out in a few months.

So instead of five teenagers in the house, we are going down to three. Just three to feed. Just three to pop over to friends on the other side of town at inconvenient hours. Just three to sit at the edge of my bed and tell me about their adventures before they head off to their rooms to sleep…much later than me.

One of my teens produces music beats and was kind enough to produce the audio version of my book. I am happy to announce that the audio version of Memoirs of a False Messiah is now available on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. You can hear a sample chapter on Soundcloud too.

Of course, it is also available on Amazon as a paperback and eBook.

I am thrilled that my book is being read, heard, shared, and enjoyed. Those of you who have written comments and reviews – you feed my soul! I am learning more each day about publishing and promotion. For example, I have author pages on Facebook and Goodreads – connect with me there too?

Thank you a million times for your interest and your support!

Here are some more great reading ideas for fans of women’s fiction – all these books are available FREE on Kindle Unlimited –

Happy reading!
Womens Fiction

Bringing Down the House

Memoirs of a False Messiah Book Launch

Book Launch at Home

What kind of party are you going to have?” a friend asked. It hadn’t occurred to me to make a party. But she was right. Publishing my first novel Memoirs of a False Messiah was definitely worth celebrating. So I ordered 50 author copies of my novel, set up an event page on Facebook, booked some catering, and bought lots to drink. I picked out a red dress that matched the dress my main character is wearing on the cover.

Launch day came. Anyone who honored me by coming received (if they wanted) a copy of the book with a personal inscription. I sat at the kitchen island and signed them like love letters in book after book.

Memoirs of a False Messiah Book Signing

My husband nudged me – it was time for me to say something. So I thanked everyone for coming and read chapter five, a  flashback of the main character’s childhood visit with her mother at the hospital psych ward – a chapter that was both touching and intriguing (I hoped) but did not contain any spoilers.

The crowd stood quietly as I read and clapped when I finished. I raised my eyes from my book and saw my five teenagers hovering. “We also want to say something,” the oldest said.  The two oldest spoke. They are both 18, finishing high school, and facing the firsts of many life-shaping decisions.

Publishing this novel has been a dream for over two decades. It was never the right time. I went back to school for a graduate degree. I juggled small children and working to support them. My husband fell ill, and I was his caregiver. After he died, I was a single mom to three children under six, living 6000 miles from my family back in the US. Absorbed with how to best care for my grief-stricken children, I established a charity that today supports over 600 young families coping with cancer or cancer loss in their families. I met Alon, who was widowed around the same time as me, with two kids the same ages as my oldest, and we merged our families. I was now mom to five. Dyslexia, ADHD, gymnastics, math lessons, drums. There was always someone or something that needed attention.

The kids grew – eating vast quantities along the way – into self-reliant, responsible teenagers. They needed me less. My evenings became my own again.

Meanwhile, at work, rumors were flying. The company was struggling. The CEO took the difficult decision to sell. I was out of a job, but my terms for leaving were good.  Finally, the time was right to publish my debut novel.

The teenagers stood in front of our friends and family and spoke about watching their mom make a dream come true. And that it inspired them.

Of course, that brought down the house. My novel, Memoirs of a False Messiah is a great read (I’m told…I hope you will read and enjoy it), and I am thrilled to death that it is finally in the public sphere. But the kids…my kids are awesome.

This article originally appeared as a guest post on

Connect with me for updates on my writing, promotions and more.

Literary Fiction Book Sale

ALSO…if you are looking for some more wonderful literary fiction to read, please click here for a collection of new  novels all ON SALE:

literary fiction




Book tour and giveaway

Memoirs of a False Messiah
by Pamela Becker
Genre: Women’s Fiction
MiMi knows she is meant for something greater. She has a God-given
mission. This belief, together with tragedy, moves her from the
mixed-religion home of her early childhood to Orthodox Judaism in her
teens, to the establishment and development of her cult in the
Israeli desert. MiMi draws from the women in her life, in the Bible,
and in other ancient texts, weaving modern and biblical dilemmas, as
she shapes a truly unique place for her followers and herself. When
her life and utopian community grow more turbulent and even violent,
she questions her mission.
Deeply affecting and thought-provoking, Memoirs of a False Messiah is the
richly told story of a woman’s struggle to find her place in a world
reluctant to accept her.
Memoirs of a False Messiah is my debut novel.
Connect with me for updates on my writing, promotions and more.
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

My love-hate relationship with my accent


My accent is so heavy it could crush a truck. It sounds like I am boasting – I’m not.

When I first moved to Israel from the United States, I knew some biblical, but not conversational Hebrew. The equivalent would have been saying things like, “Get thee to a felafel stand.” I worked hard to improve my language skills. My first job in Israel was at an ad agency, and my hand-written creative briefs would come back with corrections in red ink. A speech-therapist friend gave me mouth-muscle exercises to do. I finished my Masters at Tel Aviv University, completing coursework and exams in Hebrew. But with all this effort, twenty-five years after moving here, my accent still sounds like I got off the boat last week.

Don’t think I don’t enjoy the benefits of having a thick accent. By sounding American, I am assumed to be educated and relatively wealthy, at least have wealthy parents back in The States. Being a native English speaker opens certain networking and professional doors, particularly in the Israeli high-tech world.

And my accent has been the source of comic relief in my family for years. Imitating my accent is a sport. A recording of my saying the word “batatush” was one of my kid’s ringtones for awhile.

But there is also the assumption that I am naive, raised “soft” in my assumed privileged American childhood. A born sucker. When shopping to buy a new home for our family, my husband and I would jot down the phone numbers posted on the building projects in our desired neighborhood. We would both call. When I called, the agents gave me a different price of up to half a million NIS ($140K) more for the same home, compared to what they told my Israeli-accented husband. You can buy a home in America for half a million NIS!

I call this the ‘Accent Commission.” While sometimes it is just easier to have my husband close prices on certain items (like our home!) I have accepted that part of having this accent means sometimes paying the Accent Commission on subjective prices, like household repairs.

And of course, there is that other mom whose kid has been in class with mine for years and who never spoke to me except to ask me repeatedly if I want to give her daughter English lessons (I am not a teacher or tutor).

But why is this on my mind more today than other days? We were a group of 7 couples at one of those meet and eat dinners in a stranger’s apartment. You eat their homecooked food, and the host shares their interesting personal stories. And the host spoke about how she moved to Israel ten years ago from Europe. One of my friends politely commented that she spoke Hebrew with an excellent accent. Her response was, “Well, people with thick accents are just cowards, too afraid to try.”

Now, I don’t know this woman, and I will likely never see her again. And my friends in the room – all native Israelis – are smart enough to know that accents don’t work that way. They certainly don’t judge me for speaking fluent Hebrew with a New York twang. But my good mood – we were celebrating a birthday – transformed into crazy, feverish ANGER. The evening continued, and except for a very snarky comment to the host, I managed to enjoy myself.

Now I have lived in Israel, speaking Hebrew fluently enough for 25 years. Twenty-five years of unsolicited telemarketers stopping their pitch to ask me, “should I say that in English?” Twenty-five years of asking a question in Hebrew only to be answered in English.

But this was the first time I felt so judged by the way I speak. And in the days that followed, made me think of the way I judge others by the way they speak or look or dress. And I commit to trying harder not to make assumptions. Maybe my thick, clumsy, awkward accent taught me something.

Publishing Memoirs of a False Messiah


I am thrilled to publish my debut novel Memoirs of a False Messiah.

The ebook and paperback are available on Amazon and the audiobook is on Audible, Amazon and iTunes!

It’s been a long road to publishing my debut novel.  It started when I was 24 years old with a BA in creative writing, a couple of short stories published in literary magazines, and a hunger to write long fiction. Accepted into an artist residency program in southern Israel, I left my belongings in a storage facility outside of NYC and flew to Israel to focus on my writing without the pressures of earning a living. That lasted eight months. Once the book was written, the not-so-fun work started. Writing to agents. Getting rejected by agents. Getting accepted by an agent only to be rejected by her later. This was not the writing life I wanted.

The program ended and real-life with its real-life pressures seeped in. Still in Israel, I took a job. Then I started a Masters degree. Then I fell in love and we got married. We had kids. He got sick and I was his caretaker. He died and I was a widowed mom of young children. Writing fiction felt like a luxury I would never be able to afford again.

Years passed. The kids grew older. My career in high tech matured. I remarried. And then an unexpected window opened. The company where I was working was sold, and as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was not part of the deal. I knew it would take time for me to find another job, and I had a small cushion so I could focus on reworking my novel and publish it. This was always the dream.

I have been working in marketing for over twenty years. While promoting a book is very different from marketing technology solutions to businesses, certain principles are the same…I think. I decided I preferred to spend my time learning to self-publish over shopping my book to agents or publishers. I hope I made the right call, and that is one of the topics I plan to write more about on this blog – my adventure with self-publishing.

And of course, I started writing the next novel…

I hope you will read and enjoy Memoirs of a False Messiah. Stay tuned. There is more coming.

You can add the book to your Goodreads shelf here.

Memoirs of a False Messiah

You can hear a sample chapter on SoundCloud:

What to do when your company is sold?

What to do when your company is sold

Wow. Your company has been sold. And you are not part of the deal. How can the sale springboard you to the next step in your career?  

Over the past few years, my latest employer sold several of its business units. In each case, some teams joined the acquiring company while some did not. The tips below are what worked for many to find their next jobs, in most cases in even better positions than they left.

First step: Breath.

You worked hard at building this brand/product/service and you succeeded in making it valuable enough for another company to want it. Pat yourself on the back for a bit as the news sinks in. Now open up a clean page and let’s start writing the next chapter of your career.

Second step: List your successes. 

List the accomplishments you are most proud of during your tenure at the current job. Can’t think of anything? Are you one of those people that don’t recognize the value of their own work? So ask your boss what she thinks was the most important thing that you contributed to the team. Ask your co-workers.  Since you are all going to go your separate ways soon, this is a unique opportunity to gain honest insight into how others value the work that you do. Did you provide a unique solution to a problem? Achieve exceptional results? Create something particularly smart, creative and effective? Are these accomplishments quantifiable? Make a list for yourself. Besides a lovely ego boost when you might need one, this will serve as raw material for interviews and your CV in just a beat.

Third step: Take a good look. 

Look around you. What were the things you liked most about your current job? The least? What is important to you? What do you want to be the same or different next time around?

Fourth step: Update your social media profiles and CV.

With your list of successes in hand, update your LinkedIn profile and CV with your proudest accomplishments. Check them for grammar and spelling mistakes using the built-in tools in Word or with apps like Grammarly. (This is a pet peeve of mine – I will never invite someone for an interview if they write that they have strong communications skills but the CV is full of errors.) But it’s not just about grammar. Get feedback on the content of your LinkedIn profile and your CV from people you trust.

If you haven’t updated your other social media profiles in years, now is the time. You don’t need to show yet that you are leaving your company, but the profile pictures should actually look like who you are today.  

Fifth step: Make a list of your top tier contacts to update.

These might be the headhunters you worked with in the past, the professors who always gave you an A, the former colleagues that just-so-happen to work in companies you’d love to join and more.  Update them with your status. Be honest. Many of us have been raised to feel embarrassed about being imminently unemployed, but there is no shame in not being part of an acquisition. Tell them, “I just wanted to let you know that my company was sold and I will be available for a new adventure in the next few months.” Invite them to coffee. Catch up. Ask them which websites or headhunters they would check out if they were you. And in this way you are letting the market know that you are available for something terrific.

Sixth step: Reconnect over coffee.

So you updated your CV and you applied to every relevant job that pops up in your job alerts on LinkedIn (you did assign alerts in LinkedIn, didn’t you?).  You have started wrapping things up at work, and you have more free time than you have had in years. Awesome! Take this time to meet friends and other contacts that you might not have seen in a while because you were too busy working. Meet them for coffee. Go to a Meetup together. Take a workshop and learn something new. Having time between jobs is a GIFT. While change and uncertainty can be stressful, we spend so much of our adult life working, it’s a shame not to enjoy the breaks, no matter the reason.

Now what about me?
Mobfox was recently acquired, leaving me in the position of trying to figure out what to do next.  

About a hundred years ago (it feels), before my high tech career, before the five kids, before the MBA and even moving to Israel from the US…I completed a degree in creative writing and published a number of short stories in literary journals.  

So…while I follow the steps above and keep my eyes and ears open for my next VP Marketing/CMO gig where I can have real impact…I am also doing something completely different. Part of writing this down is a kind of contract with myself to pick up my writing where I left it so many years ago. And I will document my journey here on this blog. I plan to write fiction as well as blog posts on marketing best practices and tips, gentle parenting, and well, all the other stuff that pops into my head and only writing it down will sort it out.

I invite you to come along on my journey by subscribing to this blog.

UPDATED June 26, 2019 to add: I am very excited to share that my debut novel Memoirs of a False Messiah is now available soon. Check it out on Amazon here or read sample chapters here.


How to Wake Up Inactive Users with Email Automation

wake up inactive users with email automization

How do you use email automation to encourage your inactive users to become active again? It’s pretty easy – and I outlined the steps for you.

Step 1: Pick your email automation platform

The platform you pick will impact how you build or tag your email list for this campaign. I prefer Mailchimp for easy, basic automations, but there are plenty of tools out there, and your company might already have one in place. 

Step 2: Build your list

Your app or platform or service is fantastic, but some of your users have grown quiet. Define the time range for an inactive user. More than one month? More than six months? And on the other side, up to two years? All you need is their email address and possibly their first name if you want to personalize the emails. That said, make sure that you have permission to send them emails. Only email people who have expressly given permission either by opting-in to receive information from you or have agreed to terms and conditions that included receiving information. 

Step 3: Draft the campaign

So what do you have to offer these inactive users to get them to come back? What is better about your product than before? Did you improve a key feature since they were last active? Introduce a new feature? Do you have a compelling case study? Maybe you have a particularly interesting blog post to share? Build a series of 4-5 emails with fresh information. They can be short and straightforward. No need for a lot of marketing blah-blah. After all, you won them once. Now it’s time to look them in the eye and tell them in plain language an excellent reason to come back.

Step 4: Create the campaign

If you are in Mailchimp, simply click CREATE -> EMAIL -> AUTOMATIONS and you are there. For a wake-up campaign, choose the “email your tagged contacts” option for the initial trigger.  Select your list. It can be your master list – you don’t need to create a special one.  Don’t worry, you won’t send these emails to everyone. You will tag or segment only the inactive ones before the campaign goes live. So go ahead and create your series of emails with strong subject and preview lines to encourage your sleepy users to open them.

Step 5: Set the triggers

Set the trigger for the first email to “immediately after a tag is added to the subscriber.” This means that as soon as you add your defined tag to your inactive users, Mailchimp will add them to a queue to send the first email. You can further define days of the week and time of day to send it. 

Now set the triggers for the subsequent emails. Here you have plenty of options. To  I suggest 2-3 working days between each email, so users don’t feel spammed. Depending on your goals, you can choose who will get the subsequent emails. For example, if you are trying to identify your most engaged users in the list then only send to those users who open the previous ones. However, if you are sending a series of offers – each one more enticing than the last, then you might only want to send subsequent emails to those users who did NOT open or click.

The most effective way to tag your inactives in Mailchimp is to create a list of the relevant emails and re-add them to your master list. You will be asked if you want to update existing contacts – say yes! You will be asked if you want to tag these contacts – and again the answer is yes. Tag the inactive users with the same tag you defined to trigger the campaign.

Step 6: Measure 

You set up your campaign. You pressed go. Two weeks have gone by, and all the emails have been sent…so now how do you measure what worked and what didn’t?

Take a look at your campaign results within the platform. Each email will show an open rate and a click rate. If you are sending a campaign that only sends emails to people who opened the previous ones, it stands to reason that your open rates will rise with each email because these users are engaged. If the open rate does not increase, then this is a clear signal to rethink your subject lines. Similarly, take a look at the click rates in the emails themselves. Which emails had the lowest number of clicks? Take another look at that email to make those call-to-action links more appealing.

The most important measure is whether any of the original “inactives” have become active in your app, platform or service. This is your number one measure of success. 

Good luck!

This was originally posted on the Mobfox blog.

How We Leveraged CSR To Engage Tech Talent

Mobfox Hackathon

Corporate social responsibility is nothing new. The concept of CSR first came into vogue midcentury. What is new is the true commitment to social justice that millennials have brought to the workforce. Motivated by a desire to work in jobs that allow them to make a positive impact on the world, this generation expects its employers to act as responsible stewards of society, turning CSR from a nice-to-have to a must-have.

While CSR activities often show what is important to the company’s management and audiences, it can serve another purpose, too – while doing good. Finding and keeping top talent for technology firms is fiercely competitive, and today’s hot fields like blockchain, autonomous vehicles, and IoT dominate headlines and scoop up the top-flight experts. CSR, on the other hand, can make a difference for other tech companies as they position themselves to attract skilled employees.

Millennials Make the World Go Round

As the Brookings Institution notes, millennials will account for more than one third of the American adult population by 2020, and will comprise 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. Eight in 10 millennials expectbrands to make public declarations of their “corporate citizenship,” and recent attention to gender discrimination and other social inequalities has magnified their focus on how companies integrate social consciousness and action into their corporate cultures.

Moreover, broader public opinion trends show a widespread appetite for CSR. According to the 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study, 78 percent of Americans want companies to address important social justice issues, while 87 percent said they would do business with a company based on its advocacy on issues they cared about. Employees who work for companies prioritizing CSR may not only find a greater sense of personal fulfillment at work but may also enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that the larger public appreciates their company’s commitment to social action.

Tech companies can gain a leg up in the competition for top talent and ensure that their workers remain happy with their jobs by integrating corporate social responsibility into company culture. Not only is CSR a vital resource for revitalizing communities and attracting mission-driven talent, it is also uniquely suited to the tech industry. Leveraging the exceptional skills that tech employees offer can maximize philanthropic impact, expanding the reach of CSR initiatives in new ways.

Tech’s Vital Role

Technology fulfills a crucial function in how we give back and raise impact. One-on-one tutoring with underprivileged youth, for instance, no longer has to take place in the cities where the children live; it can cross neighborhoods and even international borders with the ease of a Skype account. Elderly recipients of food packages can now log into apps that allow them to indicate their preferences and personalize their shipments.

Another example of this is Mobfox’s hackathon to benefit the Israeli animal welfare charity SOS Pets. The event not only positioned the company as one with an active and involved CSR program to current and potential employees, but also as a target-oriented and effective organization offering solutions to real-world problems.

Mobfix the World

Prior to the hackathon, Mobfox engaged in a dialogue with SOS Pets to discuss the challenges the charity faces in its everyday work and to help them narrow these down to actual pain points. This provided the “hackers” of Mobfox with a framework to optimize the solutions they would design. Divided into cross-departmental teams, Mobfox employees applied their specialized skills to bring greater precision, efficiency, and impact to SOS’s work.

The results checked many boxes. The non-profit received personalized, tech-driven solutions and the Mobfox team members were thrilled to have an opportunity to use their skills creatively and contribute to a good cause.

This strengthens two simple, time-tested principles: first that it’s essential for companies to do their part in addressing social challenges, from global climate change to world hunger to animal welfare. Second, employees who are engaged with their work are happier and more productive employees – and creating a workplace culture that emphasizes giving back is a surefire way to boost employee engagement and job satisfaction.

As the workforce evolves, and as the challenges society faces demand our concerted attention, companies cannot afford to give short shrift to CSR. It’s time for technology companies to use the skills at their disposal to give back with impact. Not only does it invigorate the team, raising creativity and productivity at work, but it just might make them feel good too.

This article was originally published in ChiefExecutive in May 2018.