Understanding Member Behavior Across Community and Product for 5x Better Retention

By recognizing the synergy between community and product, leveraging data and analytics, and personalizing member experiences, organizations can achieve retention rates that are five times better.
Priyanshu Anand
October 9, 2023

Understanding Member Behavior Across Community and Product for 5x Better Retention

By recognizing the synergy between community and product, leveraging data and analytics, and personalizing member experiences, organizations can achieve retention rates that are five times better.
Priyanshu Anand
July 6, 2023

In today's digital landscape, building and retaining a vibrant community is vital for the long-term success of any product or service. However, achieving exceptional member retention requires a deep understanding of member behavior both within the community and the product itself. By gaining insights into how members engage, interact, and derive value from both the community and the product, organizations can unlock the key to retaining members at an unprecedented rate.

Understand the synergy between Community and Product

The community and product are two intertwined pillars that drive member engagement and satisfaction. Understanding the interplay between the two is essential for maximizing member retention. The community acts as a platform for members to connect, share knowledge, and seek support, while the product serves as the solution that fulfills their needs. By recognizing how these elements complement each other, organizations can create a seamless experience that keeps members actively involved and invested in the community and the product.

As community builder, you have to keep an eye out for how members are engaging with the product. This means having to talk to the product teams and look at data to visualize what is it that members are doing for the product. Is there a certain feature that members are using compared to other features? Is adoption not as good as it should be? Are there certain roadblocks they’re not being able to get over? All these questions will help you map out a strategy to educate members of the community. What generally works is positioning it as an outcome-based product rather than simply talking about the features. Help people recognize the value of the product and not just its features.

Activation, the first step to retention/head

An important way to guarantee 5x better retention is to activate members better. And activation starts with great onboarding. It’s recommended that you have a 30-day onboarding broken down into comprehensive and effective touchpoints throughout the entire flow.

A good onboarding flow can look like this -

  • The first message should be a welcome message, getting them acquainted with the community and also introducing yourself as a “familiar face” or a point of contact.
  • Wait for a few days to see if they’ve posted anything in the community yet, if not, nudge them to introduce themselves and connect them to members. If they have posted a message, send them relevant resources and guides that can be helpful.
  • Wait for another week to do a similar check and send relevant nudges to keep them engaged.
  • Even when you’re nudging them to talk in the community, include resources or incentives that will help

Onboarding workflow for better activation

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Keep an eye on retention

Where does retention lie right now? If you’re able to figure out the retention of your community at any given point, you’re able to determine where are you exactly and how you move forward from there. A good retention means you’re on the right track so the next step would be to double down on your efforts and see where that takes you. If, however, retention is not that great, that is your sign to figure out why and then take steps to improve it.

Threado gives you a detailed report of retention in your community that consists of a 5-week breakdown of members who joined and how long after that were they active. You also get details like -

  • Average member tenure - which is the average amount of time the member stays active in the community after they join.
  • Average member activity - which is the average number of activities (number of posts, replies, or reactions) per member.
  • Longest active member - which shows you who has been the longest active member in the community.

Retention metrics

Your goal should be to increase these metrics and aim to have retention as high as possible.

Another helpful report that Threado gives you is the “At risk members” report. Members who are at risk of becoming inactive are automatically identified and shown to you. Now you can send them personalized and targeted to reactivate them to enroll them in relevant workflows to keep the conversation going. This will not only help improve retention but also engagement.

At risk members

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Creating Personalized Experiences

One-size-fits-all approaches no longer suffice when it comes to member retention.

The first thing is to understand your members better by seeing what are they doing in the community. Understand what trending topics are being discussed and which channels are the most active. Threado lets you see such intricate details about trending topics and channels.

Channel-level engagement

Most discussed topics

This enables the delivery of tailored content, targeted communications, and customized product experiences that resonate with your community members. Share resources based on what people are talking about and post them across the channels that are most active.

Furthermore, you can also use filters to create custom member cohorts and approach each of these cohorts separately. Personalization is key to providing exceptional member experiences and that too can be done with Threado.

As an example- filter out members who joined your community in the last week and see how many of them have not been active on that current day (Today) -

Recently joined inactive members

Now, send these members a personalized note about an upcoming event, a new resource, a fun fact about how to use the product, etc., and try and get them to engage in the community. Personalization fosters a sense of belonging, enhances member satisfaction, and strengthens their connection with the community and product.

Engaging and Nurturing the Community

A thriving community requires active engagement and continuous nurturing. You should foster a culture of participation, encouraging members to contribute, share their expertise, and interact with one another. This can be achieved through engaging discussions, thought-provoking content, gamification elements, and exclusive events or rewards. By building a sense of community ownership, organizations empower members to become advocates, driving retention through their active involvement and positive experiences.

This could also imply structuring community programs like advocacy, superuser, or referral programs that empower existing community members to engage in the community. Members are more likely to listen to someone who has benefited from the product than someone who’s selling it. In this case, having an advocate for your product and brand enforces a sense of trust and loyalty that cannot be manufactured but only earned. When members start seeing more people like themselves advocating about the product, they would want to stick around longer, therefore, improving retention and adoption.

A simple way to kickstart this is by identifying potential champions in your community. Threado generates a pre-built report to give you a list of members who could be “Potential Champions” in the community. Now, you can nurture them, engage with them, and encourage them to become your product advocates.

Listen to your community

Don’t lose track of what’s most important - listening to your community. You can’t force anything when it comes to community, it has to be (and feel) organic. When you try something new, feel the pulse of the community and observe how they respond to it. Take time to visualize data and consequently, keep in close touch with product data as well to connect the dots.

By recognizing the synergy between these two pillars, leveraging data and analytics, personalizing member experiences, nurturing the community, and seamlessly integrating the community and product, organizations can achieve retention rates that are five times better. Prioritizing member-centric strategies and continuously adapting to evolving member needs will create a thriving ecosystem that fosters long-term engagement, loyalty, and advocacy. Embrace the power of understanding member behavior, and watch your community and product flourish while retaining members at an unprecedented level.

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