Many people we speak with have either no idea of how fast the community will grow or a completely unrealistic idea of the rate of growth.
You might not be sure how many members will join your community when you launch, but you can put together an approximate guess.
You just need a few useful metrics:
- Unique clicks on most and least clicked-through tabs on the site (average monthly website traffic is a good proxy too)
- Number of mailing list subscribers.
- Average click-through rates to mailing list emails.
Now assuming you create a tab for the community on the site and promote the community through your mailing list, you can combine the traffic for each (between high and low estimates for tab-traffic) to put together a rough estimate of people that will reach the community landing page.
Now assume a 50% overlap between the two and cut the number by half. Then assume only 10% of those will click to register. Then only 50% of those will complete the registration process.
Your end number is your one-month benchmark. This number is often far less than most people imagine.
After the initial launch, you can usually assume a rate of growth consistent with the sustainable click-through rate on your site. Your rate of growth should speed up over time due to search and referral traffic – as per the community lifecycle.