Increasing User Engagement
Adding users is easy, getting them to actually use any new tool is hard. Here's a way to get them active:
1) They have to know about CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform
- Users added Automatically through SSO already know because they have logged in successfully, so (first) problem solved!
- Users added one-by-one or via bulk upload need to be informed.
(See Adding Users)
When you add the user, there's an option to Send email notification
If you didn't check the option when adding the new user, you can resend the message at any time by:
- Adding a link to this site from your main website, or including the link in other messages you send to users always helps!
2) They have to know why they should be using CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform.
The login email we send is pretty generic and, without further motivation, will be ignored. Click to view example Welcome Email.
An email from you can help: It can provide context for use. For example,
- Find Mentors and arrange meetings with them.
- Periodic announcements or schedule.
- Build Teams and communicate with other team members.
- Complete one or more programs, updating status and uploading deliverables.
The more you integrate this site into your process, the more engaged the users will be.
Mentors need motivation, too: They may want to fall back on just using email to communicate. Your message to them should focus more on the additional benefits of using CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform:
- Messages are private. Attachments are encrypted and stored only on the platform and not forwarded across outside email.
- Messages are automatically directed to the right person or team. The platform manages group aliases internally so as membership changes, the lists get updated. Message notifications are also sent via SMS Text Messaging, especially useful to alert those users who don't check email very often.
- Communication coming from CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform are pre-qualified. You know the request is not spam. It is either coming from a known person looking to work with you on CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform, or it is a transactional message from the platform itself notifying you of a schedule change or other activity.
- Activities through the platform are recorded, giving you and your mentee credit for work done. And, it allows the program administrator to monitor progress and follow up if progress isn't being made by a student or team.
- The scheduling engine automatically computes availability times thereby reducing the back-and-forth common to arranging meeting times.
3) They have to know how to use CO.LAB Program and Mentor Network Platform.
Users who are natural explorers figure it out soon enough, but be we've found assigning new users to one or more Programs can better set expectations. For this reason, most sites are pre-configured with two introductory programs: New User Platform Intro, and New Mentor On-Boarding. These can be found under the Programs dropdown. We don't automatically add users to programs, but it's pretty easy for you to do this. (See Adding Users to Program.)
For Intro programs, you'll typically add users as Individual Users (rather than as a Team). Because you cannot add the same person to the same program more than once, you can simply repeat the task of a group of users to the program -- users who are already part of the program won't be added a second time. For example, repeatedly adding .Mentors (note leading period, which indicates all users with the Mentor role) to the New Mentor On-Boarding program will make sure new Mentors get the program, without you needed to determine who has already been assigned.
Of course, you can always customize the provided programs or create your own to best suit you needs and audience. (See Program Template Creation.)
For some types of programs, we include an Audit, which will provide an administrator with a detailed analysis of the engagement level of each user. We do this by noting the member's recent site usage, messaging responsiveness and other activity. The result is a ranked view into who is using the platform and who isn't.
Audits, if enabled, are visible to administrators on the program's list view, available from the Programs dropdown.
The result of an audit is a downloadable spreadsheet with engagement activity for each user across more than a dozen categories. See Program Audits for details about using an audit to understand user engagement.