The year is 2021 and almost everything runs remotely. People attend meetings without leaving the couch. The amount of available online content is exploding while there are still only 24 hours in a day. Competing digitally is getting harder, and it’s time to learn new tricks, tricks to retain your members when in-person human interaction + pizza is no longer an option. The main goal here is to keep the number of members attending, or at least the registering number.
This blog post is going to showcase specifically what LA Data Platform User Group is doing to engage and entertain its members between monthly meetings. We are going to assume that you are familiar with Zoom/Teams to run the meeting and you are proficient with EventBrite/LinkedIn/Facebook events/Meetup.
With so much digital content available everywhere, it’s hard to compete for attention and captivate members. Our LA Data Platform User Group has been running remote meetings for 2-3 years now. The challenge has always been how to keep it interactive, but beyond that, how to keep members engaged between meetings. Obviously, it got much harder in 2020-2021 when almost all other meetups went virtual/online. How does our User Group is keeping our members engaged? What is our secret sauce?
The solution is to communicate, communicate, and communicate. Especially communicate with members between meetings to keep them engaged and entertained. While great monthly meeting content (speaker + session) is important, it’s only 10% of the success. Communication is the other 90% that makes it worthwhile for new members to join and existing members to come back for more content.
We use https://www.mailerlite.com to send email newsletters and https:///www.buffer.com to schedule social media posts. Both tools are freemium products. We communicate with members more than 10 times between monthly meetings.
We meet on the third Wednesday of each month. Here is the cadence of our email marketing campaigns and social media posts.
- 4-5 emails a month (every Friday morning) – Favorite content/links
- 1 email a month (Thursday/Friday following 3rd Wednesday meeting) – Thank you for attending
- 3-5 emails a month (preceding the monthly 3rd Wednesday meeting) – Monthly Meeting reminders
- 1 email a month (Thursday/Friday following 3rd Wednesday meeting) – Recorded session is available on YouTube
Examples of MooSend and Buffer scheduling:
Examples of each email are shown below:
Now that we shared our communication strategy, let’s see some data – newsletter opens/clicks and meeting registrations.
For the email newsletter (see image below), we are hovering over 20% opens (200 members opening emails) with 2% clicks (20 members are actively clicking on links inside the email).
For meeting registration (see in the image below), we are averaging 100 people per meeting.
As of February 2, 2022, we are no longer using MooSend.com and migrated to MailerLite.com due to the elimination of a free tier product.