2-min read
Jun 6, 2023

‘How I Maximized Member Engagement With This Surprise and Delight Campaign Tactic’

Kirsti Lang

Erik Martin reveals his surprise and delight campaign secret sauce.

How do you make sure you’re giving members a gift you know they’ll love? You get their friends involved.

In his time as Chief Community Officer at Teal, a platform for job seekers, Erik Martin, now Head of Community-Led at Commsor, had a great reason for running regular surprise and delight campaigns: celebrating members who had landed a new role.

“We wanted to do something to celebrate them that was really fun and unique,” he says. “We tried a bunch of different things. It was a very manual process, but we learned a lot doing it.”

Two gifts proved firm favorites among his members: books and Cameo messages from different celebrities. (Cameo is a service that lets you hire celebrities to create personalized videos.) Of course, both of these required deep insights into the recipient member to be effective — so Erik turned to that member’s friends within the community for help.

“We intentionally wanted to get other members involved in the process,” he says. “So I would message a couple of other members who were in the same cohort, or who I knew had interacted a lot with the member who had got a new job.”

From them, he was usually able to get a good idea of what kind of book or celebrity message the recipient would actually enjoy. In the case of hard-copy books, some of the other members even helped Erik get hold of that recipient’s address so it truly was a surprise.

They also tested out a more labor-intensive surprise and delight tactic: rather than a gift, they got other members to record video messages congratulating the recipient on their new role. Erik and the team would then edit these together into a montage of sorts.

"Obviously, it took a lot more work, both for us and the members involved, but it was incredibly impactful in generating plenty of engagement.” All the surprise and delight campaigns that included other members had a 100% response rate, Erik says.

“It was super rewarding, not just for the member who received the gift, but also the co-conspirators. People really enjoyed being part of the process — they wanted to celebrate their peers as much as we did.

“The members helping out were glad to do it and really took pride in helping us come up with the right celebratory gift. Involving other members in the experience not only makes for a better process — but it also makes it feel like it’s really coming from the community, not just the company.”

On the hunt for more handy engagement plays?

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