Welcome messages in online health communities


(Lacey Horta) #1

Hey Everyone!

We are currently looking to revamp our welcome messages and some of our engagement tactics on Cancerconnection.ca - an online community for ppl diagnosed with cancer and caregivers.

We are curious what other online health communities are doing because often people are joining our communities due to circumstances rather than interest.

We are currently encouraging people to Introduce themselves, or linking them to topics they might be interested in or doing one large welcome message in our “Introduce Yourself” thread. I could virtually feel you all shutter when you read that.

Any tips you can offer would be greatly appreciated. It’s tough when you run a community that nobody ‘wants’ to be part of if you know what I mean.

Thanks in advance,

(Darren Gough) #2

Hey @lacey_ccs

I’ve worked with a few communities in the healthcare space and it is definitely a tricky challenge.

Just to be clear - are you looking at the full onboarding journey from getting people to sign up then engage, or is the signup part working well and it’s just the “what next” bit?

(Lacey Horta) #3

Hi @Darren_Gough

We are looking at our whole onboarding journey. Our registration numbers are steady- SO its the “What next” bit we are trying to focus on.

Thanks for your reply.

I look forward to chatting,

(Darren Gough) #4

Awesome - do you have any data on what does and doesn’t work at the moment (i.e. what you’d want to keep and what causes more drop offs?)

(Lacey Horta) #5

Hi @Darren_Gough

So currently we are sending out welcome messages asking people to introduce themselves or post for the first time.

In the last 30 days- we had 163 new members and 74 of them were active (they liked, posted, or commented). This is the only data I have.

I’m taking the Psychology of Online Communities course and would like to adapt the " What are you working on" strategy to fit our community. I’m curious what wording others are using.

Thanks for your reply!

(Darren Gough) #6

Thanks for the info @lacey_ccs

Of the (roughly) half that are active, are there specific posts or areas they tend to head toward as a new member? It’s not unusual for healthcare communities to attract visitors to specific areas based on their personal condition. What does the onward journey look like from that path?

Was also having a look at your intro page > here <. There’s actually quite a lot of threads going on in that area, some that didn’t seem necessarily connected to intros. I’m wondering if some of your new members arrive here and aren’t sure where to go next vs. one clear route.

(Lacey Horta) #7

Hi @Darren_Gough

New members tend to flock towards conversations about their specific type of cancer or the introductions discussion.

Thanks for checking out the page, I agree there is a lot happening in the intro discussion. I often will go into the introduce yourself discussion and move member’s posts to the best area for them. For example in the intro if they say they have breast cancer I will move their post to the breast cancer specific discussion. I find this is the best way to connect them with others. Not too many members reply to the intro posts. I do have a team of community mentors who help welcome people and link to appropriate discussions.

I’m trying to figure our what posts are the best ones to link to from the welcome messages. The challenge is I often don’t know anything about the person at the time that I’m sending out the welcome message. Most are not filling out their profiles and introducing themselves on their own.

Lacey :slight_smile: