Onboarding New Members - Recommended Practice

(Angelo Luciani) #1

Hi everyone,

I’ve know how important the first 30 days are to new members of a community (at least, thats what I think). Do any of you perform special on-boarding for new members? For example;

First day - Intro email to individual member
First week - Recap email of highlights from the community
First month - How has it been going email

…Etc, I know a lot of these types of things don’t scale and are manual but just looking to keep the new members engaged and trying to develop some habits with them to return and check things out.

I might try this as an experiment and report to you folks - but would like to hear what others do and if you have any templates to share.


Giving the best first impression (through email) after members sign up
Promoting a community
So, what are you working on?
(Sarah Hawk) #2

Good subject. :smile:

We do a few things (you’re currently in the middle of our process).
You can read about it here.

Essentially, we have a systematic welcome email, nudging people to share a challenge in the ‘What are you working on?’ thread. We follow that up with 4 autoresponders at weekly intervals.

At the same time, I keep an eye on new joins, and if someone hasn’t posted within 2 days, I send them a personal email (I research them first and reference their work in the message). You didn’t get that step since you were already active!

The key to all of the above is using tracked links (I use GA campaigns) so that you can tell which steps are working, and focus your time on those.

This discussion is along the same lines.

This is the personal email that I send out:

Hi [member],
It’s great to see that you’ve joined FeverBee Experts. I thought I’d drop you a more personal welcome than the system generated ones that you will have received.

[Something personal about their site/job/community here.]

Is there anything in particular that you’re looking for from us? Most people join us when they’re stuck on something.

If that’s the case, I’m happy to help you troubleshoot. Your best options are to either drop into here [link] and let the community know what you’re working on, or to start your own thread here [link] if you feel confident doing that.

I look forward to seeing you round the forums.

[quote=“aluciani, post:1, topic:1697”]
I might try this as an experiment and report to you folks
[/quote] Great!

(Angelo Luciani) #3

Awesome to hear, I need to investigate autoresponders more - I hear that term a lot and need to see how it can help. Thanks for the insight on GA - need to also explore that :wink:

(Darren Gough) #4

Great advice from @HAWK.

My personal advice is to actually make getting them to interact with the community for the reason they were interested in the first place as easy as possible.

Onboarding will get you so far, but I’ve found with a lot of communities the actual initial ability to do the thing you came to do (read an answer, post a question) initially can severely put people off and make further onboarding steps much harder to recover them.

(Scott Gould) #5

Hi Everyone,

I have a suggestion, but one that is not scalable. It is, however, high on the value side of the equation.

An email or phone call to a new community member that is totally unique to them, referencing their website and the things that you’ve researched about them (which could be literally 30 seconds), is a highly personal touch that communicates to the new member that they are not just another number, but a valued person who is seen as an individual.

To put it another way, @richard_millington shared an article on his post on “Diagnosing Decline in Participation”, which says this: “An algorithm is no substitute for human interaction”

This of course requires time and personnel, in line with the volume of registrations, and the effort will not always yield a return.

However, if you have a low-volume community, this should be something you regularly do!

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Agreed. See my template above, which is exactly that. It works reasonably well in that I get an ~80% response rate, but not so well in the sense that it doesn’t always translate into posts here. The plus side is that I make a personal connection with people and am able to get a feel for what their areas of interest/specialty are.

(Scott Gould) #7

Thanks @HAWK - clearly I’ve not taken the time to read other responses carefully enough!

I also saw a post Richard did saying the same thing here: More Effective Than A Public Welcome

~80% response rate is really great. The value of value!

(Sarah Hawk) #8

No stress. I’d rather people used their limited time to share ideas!

(Scott Gould) #9

Thank you for your graciousness :slight_smile:

(Lilo) #10

Hello everyone,

I would appreciate if someone could give me an advice in regard to this:

In regard to onboarding process, when you start building a community from 0, you must start with a small group of members until you get them to actively participate, but what happen if those members don’t really get engaged with the community?- Would you invite new people to join the community (considering you have a list of customers)? - What tactics would you use in this case as you are dealing with a small group?

On the other hand, if they start getting engaged and participating in the community, how do you decide how many new users to invite, and how often? daily? weekly?

Any ideas? or any best practice to share based on experience ?? :smile:


(Lilo) #11

Hello @aluciani you might find helpful this post:




(Sarah Hawk) #12

Yes, definitely. Theoretically you should break your list up into sections, and work section by section, reaching out to people and forming relationships with them. If they don’t respond/clearly aren’t interested, they are not right for the founding members group.

I know we have a resource on this somewhere. I’ll dig it up for you shortly.

(Sarah Hawk) #13

Here you go @LilianaOrtiz – these should give you somewhere to start.

The Relationship Building Process
The FeverBee Approach to Building Communities

As you suggested in your post, the key is to stagger your approaches. Start with a small group, and then as they become active, add more. That way your growth is both steady and noticeable. It’s that momentum that will attract (and more importantly, retain) new members.

[quote=“LilianaOrtiz, post:10, topic:1697”]
What tactics would you use in this case as you are dealing with a small group?
[/quote] Invite a group of people with similar motivations. Find out what it is that people need from you (and from each other). You need to form a relationship with those people – it’s not a one email process.

Here is an excerpt from the Founding Members section of our training:

Outreach is a conversation in which the sender and recipient build a
relationship. This relationship is the platform upon which future positive
actions can occur.

The goal of the initial message is to solicit a response. Thus the initial
message is an icebreaker that provokes a response. We can refer to standard
theory derived from conversation analysts here. The opening conversation
starter is likely to be one of the following:

A question. Asking a question is the most common conversation
starter. In this context, the question should be relevant to something
that the individual has done in the past. This question can then be
continued into a relationship.

A comment the other will agree with. This is more common in
specific situations. Travellers may criticise a transport company if they
are delayed and seek approval from others. This agreement is a
prelude to further discussions.

Praise. Praise is a simply way to begin a conversation. For example, “I
like your shoes” in some contexts is a useful conversation starter.
Praise for previous actions, praise for positions or experience or skill
will often (within reason) form the basis of a conversation.

It is important that there is no intention to request the recipient to do
anything in the initial contact. Early requests provoke a negative response.
Instead, the objective is to build a relationship with the individual over a series
of e-mails and, once a level of genuine trust has been established, to ask if
they might be interested in participating in a community.

Many of the modern problems faced by organizations which undertake
outreach is the desire of converting a stranger into a willing supporter via a
single e-mail. It is far more beneficial, and far more successful, to build a
supportive relationship. This relationships works both ways, the organization
should also be seeking out opportunities to help the recipient.

(Lilo) #14

Thanks a mil @HAWK

(Sarah Hawk) #15

You’re welcome. Keep us updated as you go.