Most communities have terrible newcomer to regular conversion ratios. If you can improve this, you can rapidly increase the number of active members in your community. Most other problems you think you have in your community pale in comparison to a terrible newcomer to regular conversion process.
In this five step process, you can design the perfect journey for your members from newcomer to regular. Treat these each as unique steps. You can optimize each one in turn. These steps are also numbered in the priority of importance. If you get the first step right, the rest might just take care of themselves.
Previously - Step One: Awareness
Step 2) First Visit
In the first visit, members need to see something they want to participate in. Too frequently we focus upon getting members to read. That's easy. Getting them to participate is more difficult.
Once members visit you know to show them the latest activity taking place within the community. This means ensuring you always have popular, interesting, discussions at the top of the page. You need to use sticky threads to achieve this. Don't waste space on large graphics or hide the community behind a community tab.
If you're really clever, you can show a different page to newcomers than you do regulars. The single goal at this stage is to help visitors find an activity they can participate in. Keep the latest and most popular activity above the fold on the landing page of the community.
Prospective members should be able to find a discussion or activity they want to participate in within the first 30 seconds of visiting your community. If they don't, you're either attracting the wrong people, poorly positioned your interesting discussions/activities, or don't have interesting discussions/activities taking place.
Next Step: Registration and Participation
To view all the Newcomer to Regular Journey steps, click here.