I’m often surprised by people who run large, mature, communities and haven’t segmented their membership in any meaningful way.
They still treat their communities as one massive lump of people.
They ask all their members to do the same thing at the same time regardless of how long someone has been a member or how active they have been.
In The Indispensable Community, I noted the reason most people don’t participate in your community is they’re simply not able to.
A solution to this is to properly segment your members and develop a series of emails, unique weekly messages, and on-site calls to action (CTAs) they will receive.
The most common one is the onboarding journey for newcomers. But this is just one of several you should develop.
Over time you should be able to segment every member by their current level of participation and adapt your messages to each accordingly.
A simple system is shown below:
You can set up default rules (by direct access to server logs or using the current platform) to show each group different messages based upon their current level of participation.
Based upon this, you can assign them to a specific group which receives a different experience.
This would cover the automated email series they receive, the calls to action they might see on the website, and what kind of weekly email they are sent. You can see an example of this below:
These calls to action should be based upon your segmented survey results and interviews with each group.
They must also naturally lead into the goal of your community.
The further you develop the community, the more complex these rules might become. For example, as you’re getting started:
Over time, you want to continue to push the boundary here. Develop more specific rules for unique groups of members. Guide them to make their best possible contribution to the community.
You should constantly use your data (open rates, click-through rates, cohort retention rates) to gradually refine each message/call to action to gain the greatest number of valuable behaviors within the community.