At Risk Member Alert! What to do when your members are on Red Alert

May 25, 2021 5 min read
At Risk Member Alert! What to do when your members are on Red Alert


I don't mean to be the bearer of bad news but if you don't do something about this member they’re as good as Gone. When members are Adrift for a while without engaging in your community, they become At Risk. This blocky backward L-shaped segment can be seen as a continuation of the Adrift segment:

As Nick says:

For At Risk members, time is critical. Since At Risk members are well on their way out of the active part of your community and are at a stage where it's better you give them your attention sooner rather than later. Engaging with them and regaining their interest is top priority, especially if you don't want them to move on.

At Risk members can be represented by diverse User Profiles in different communities. They could represent someone who had one or two initial engagements but eventually fell off or if it's someone with maybe a higher Port Score it could represent someone who was very engaged at one point but for some reason or the other haven't been in touch for quite some time. At Risk members could also represent someone who you missed in the Adrift segment who eventually moved into the At Risk segment and is now a source of major concern.

Whatever scenario or User Profile they represent, the one resounding factor is that this is your last shot to engage with them and bring them back before they move on.  The way you decide to approach the members in this segment is entirely up to you, your community goals and whether or not you want to pull them back in.

Let's journey with At Risk member Theresa and examine some strategies you can employ to reach these members if you decide to pull them back in and some common indicators that might be a sign that you should just let them go.

Theresa is a Senior Developer. She's been apart of your community for the last 10 years and has contributed valuable content consistently since she first joined. Last year you checked the Community Grid and realized that Theresa had moved from your Fan segment and into the Engaged segment. You didn't pay it much attention because you assumed that she was just taking some time away and would eventually move back into a more optimistic segment. However, overtime-unbeknownst to you- Theresa moved from the Engaged segment then into the Adrift segment and then finally into the At Risk segment. Over the course of a year, she has moved from being the backbone of your community to being well on her way out, putting her on red alert.

So what happened? And what can you do?

It's important to try and understand what is happening in this segment by reviewing the activity feeds and conversations of individual members. This allows you to better understand your members in context making it easier to come up with the right approach for your community and business.

Here are a few approaches Nick recommends:

For example, the last time Theresa interacted with you was on Discourse after starting a thread many months ago about WordPress. Maybe your community members are more active on GitHub but on Discourse- a platform that Theresa prefers- engagements are awfully slow. Because the community is more active on one platform, Theresa might not have been able to engage much with community members which could've been particularly off-putting and so she might've decided to engage more in communities where topics she's passionate about are valued and engaged with regardless of the platform.

As a Developer Relations leader, this would present an opportunity for you to examine all your community members in the grid and assess their engagements on different platforms. If for example, when assessing this you gather that majority of the members who were active on Discourse are currently At Risk then this tells you that maybe you need to revisit your strategies to get members to engage there or find out and see if there was someone who was particularly engaged on the platform but left and as such brought community members along with them.

Another scenario that could've played out is that after years of participating and contributing Theresa might feel that she has long outgrown your community. Maybe your community is for Entry-Level to Mid-level Developers and Theresa joined when she was just a Junior. Now that she is a Senior in her field, she strongly believes she'll have better and more relatable conversations with people more like her and so she is exploring other communities with a more diverse group of Developers. Of course there are strategies you could use to navigate this and pull her back in but because of the urgency that the At Risk segment requires, it might be best to just let her go.

Once you understand your users in context, you are able to make the best decision on what to do with the members in this segment: whether it be reengaging with them by improving your strategies and providing something valuable or allowing them to move on.

Here at Port, we are passionate about community which is why our Founders created the Community Grid. Interested in seeing the At Risk members in your community? Take a moment to check out our free Community Grid tool. You can use it to check the health of your membership in less than five minutes!

Community Grid
See your developer community in a new light with the Community Grid. Intuitive color-coded segmentation, real-time data and a new understanding of how to engage, retain and grow your community. Ideal for DevRel, open source evangelists, and community managers.

And while you're at it, check out our Discord channel. We'd love to hear what you have to say and answer any questions or queries you may have.

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