Applying Onboarding Techniques To Boost Web Engagement

Although we could have a long chat about employee oriented onboarding procedures, today’s post touches on how you can leverage some of those concepts to improve your web engagement.

Adaptistration People 052If this bit of jargon is new to you, onboarding is the procedures used to effectively integrate someone like new employee into an organization and/or familiarize with processes and policies. This is often applied to customer service points of contact as well and that’s the context we’ll examine today.

I wrote an article about this for ArtsHacker that provides a good bit of nuts-and-bolts information about how to go about the process, but the idea came after receiving an email from a local arts organization announcing their new website.

The email itself was fine; they highlighted several new features and functionality, all of which made the email quite long. Moreover, it was very text heavy with only a few screencaps pointing out each new item.

Since then, I’ve received nothing from this group about the new site and it dawned on me at what a lost opportunity this was.

As it turns out, I had a Venture Platform client launch their newly designed website this week ( and in advance of the announcement, we talked about what they can do to make use of onboarding techniques to improve overall engagement; and more importantly, get their existing patron base using the new features designed to improve conversion.

They decided to include onboarding style content as part of their next few regular weekly email campaigns, such as highlighting a new mini-calendar appearing on the home and single event pages that visitors can use to jump right into the ticket purchase pathway.


Subsequent messages will continue to focus on similar items along with new and expanded information about their show archive and ensemble members.

Not only will this approach increase overall engagement but it will indirectly train existing site visitors on how to navigate the changes from old to new designs. A good bit of what you’ll read about in the ArtsHacker article is incorporated into Lookingglass’ subsequent email campaigns. This is an ideal place to begin if you plan on finding yourself in a similar situation soon.

Using Onboarding Techniques To Improve Web Engagement

And be sure to stop by and check out the site firsthand; if you live in the area or plan on visiting soon, go see Moby Dick. It’s one of those shows that you’ll regret later if you miss it.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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