I am working on building and managing my first community for a software company. We launched in the beginning of April, but only have 65 user accounts created by customers. We serve over 60,000 companies, so I know we have a large base from which to acquire users. We have tried inviting people to join via an email campaign, Facebook ads, and word of mouth to customers via our customer success team. What are some acquisition strategies that have worked for you? I’m looking ramp up sign ups but also drive quality engagement. Any tips are appreciated!
What are you telling people as the main reason why they should join?
Here are some posts that might help:
And @tophee’s question is a good one. Are you effectively communicating the value that people will get from joining the community in a way that will resonate with your audience?
This might also help:
Welcome to the community. I bet it’s exciting and frustrating to launch a new community.
So a few things I’d be looking at here:
How can people find the community through your site? I visited but couldn’t see any obvious link to the community - only the existing help center. This is probably the biggest challenge at the moment. It feels like internal support might be a little low if it’s not featured prominently from the homepage.
Assuming it’s a support community, when you emailed people to join what did you ask them to do? If you tried a big launch and it didn’t go well, you might want to work at the micro level first. How many people opened the email, clicked the message, visited the registration page, and completed registration. That will tell you why most people dropped out.
Looking at the community, I suspect there might be a community concept problem. Do people that use the product want to know how to sue it better or does it work well enough? Do they feel an affinity for others (i.e. do they want spotlights from other customers? What did your research tell you?
aside: If you’re trying email, facebook ads, and word of mouth strategies via CSMs and it’s still not working, it’s probably a concept problem. The current concept isn’t strong enough. One community to look at here is Unbounce’s by @justin_veenema_1 (or @justin_veenema). They also use Discourse and have a pretty active and engaged site.
The product AMA seems a little self-promotional and doesn’t include questions from members themselves . Actually a lot of the posts here seem very much about selling Callrail than having a sincere discussion
There are a lot of posts with no responses. This will discourage participation from others. I’d remove or replace them.
Do you have a small group of people you have strong relationships with initially you can engage and facilitate activity until others arrive?
I’d consider taking the most common questions from customer support lines and answering them in the community as well.
At this stage, I’d prioritise tweaking the community concept, highlighting the problems you can solve for customers, promoting Callrail less, building a small group of people to engage initially, testing different appeals by the mailing list, and driving traffic from the main website. You definitely need more than 101 users to make this work.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback! @tophee we are trying to encourage people to use it as a place to share best practices for using our product, submit feature requests and source answers to their questions about utilizing our software from other users. We’ve included this language in all our promo materials so far.
Thanks to @HAWK for the articles, I’ll definitely check these out today!
@richard_millington, I appreciate your feedback on our content. That’s definitely something I will re-evaluate based on your comments. Initially we had attempted to seed the space with content surrounding our product, but I get what you’re saying about it maybe putting people off as too self-promotional. We are also currently working to get the link on our site!
Not really sure how I missed this post originally. Sorry about that @richard_millington!
As a quick update, @kmcghy and I connected last month over a series of calls. Unbounce and CallRail actually have a pretty similar customer base, lots of crossover. Our software works quite well together via a direct integration. I personally know a number of Unbounce customers that not only use CallRail, but are huge advocates for the software.
We were thinking of doing some cross-collaboration and introducing each other in our respective communities… possibly via an AMA or hangout on air. The long-term benefit would be that @kmcghy could chime in and keep an eye out for any questions that are CallRail related, and I could do the same but for Unbounce in their community. It could also drive some ongoing traffic back and forth.
@richard_millington do you have any ideas / thoughts around this? Possibly any examples of companies who have tried something similar?
I can’t think of any great examples between communities. Between companies, sure, but not between communities. I think it’s a pioneering idea though and would love to see how it goes.
Can you share any details later?