So spend more time on newcomers than on your regulars. Plan a schedule to keep newcomers engaged for the first 21 days. Here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
- Early Achievements. Casinos are designed to give people small early payouts. Games like WoW let people accelerate through the early levels quickly. Early achievements work suck people in for the long haul. Find a way to let newcomers achieve something with a limited amount of effort.
- Newcomer of the month award. Tell each member they've been entered for the newcomer of the month award. Create a hall of fame and a criteria. Makes it competitive.
- Buddy System: A little cheesy. But why not pair new members up with a buddy for their first 21 days? Or give them their own groups. If they go missing, the buddy can chase them up.
- Newbie Rituals. Have something every newcomer passes down to the next person. Maybe a secret password? Perhaps an eBook which everyone can contribute a page to?
- Weekly Newcomer List. Everyone gets a chance to write a sentence that best describes them, introduce themselves to the group, highlight what they wan to contribute.
- Introduce new members to groups. Ask newcomers what their interests are, then specifically introduce them (CC e-mails!) to people with similar interests.
- A topical primer. Send all newcomers a quick overview of the hot issues in the community. Then invite them to offer their fresh perspective. Be sure to respond to their posts. This gets them caught in the whirlwind of discussion (which keeps people coming back!).
- Assign a role. Give newcomers a sense of responsibility over something. Perhaps something simple, like ideas for improving the joining-process. Or encouraging new members to be engaged.
- Have a graduation. What can you offer once they've stayed engaged for 21 days? Why not have a mini-graduation for new members? Let them customise their pages more or join more elite groups? Give them a badge for their profiles. They can even brag about achievements.
Do you have some experience of keeping new members engaged for the first 3 weeks? Post them in the comments here.