In this article we would like to offer you some tips on how you can increase participant engagement in your programs:

Create a Welcoming video

Create a Welcome and Orientation circle

Share the Sutra Navigating Guide with your participants

Add participants to all the important discussion circles

Use Broadcast for important announcements

Use the Participation area

Use Structures (sequences of prompts) in the discussions

Use @ to attract people’s attention in a discussion

Add the video call link to your circles

Use attractive images

Create a Welcoming video

Create a short navigation video for your participants presenting your program space on Sutra and showing them around. You can use a free service called Loom to record your screen (https://www.loom.com/). In this video you can explain how the participants can benefit from the space, find the content and discussions in one place, connect with each other, ask questions and post their reflections, update their profile and send direct messages to each other.

Example:

Create a Welcome and Orientation circle

Create a Welcome and Orientation circle (content circle with one edited page) where you can put the schedule of your online calls, navigation tips within your program and all the necessary information for the participants to feel oriented in your program space.

Share the Sutra Navigating Guide with your participants

Share the Sutra Navigating Guide with your participants inside your program space or via a Broadcast, Welcome email or Pending status approval email. You can also add it to the Welcome and Orientation circle if you have one.

Add participants to all the important discussion circles

Add participants to all the important discussion circles inside of your program for them to get an email digest with all the updates and push notifications on the app from that discussion circle.

You need to add your participants to the content circles where you want to give them the extra rights (the editing and circle creation rights). The participants can't join the content circles themselves even if these circles are open - they can only see the content inside. So you as a manager should add them there.

Note: The participants can see and read messages in the open discussion circles even without being members of them. However, they need to either join the discussion themselves or be added by the manager to post messages and receive all the discussion updates via email.

You don’t have to add participants to the general content circles. We recommend for you to simply make these circles open so that the participants are able to see all the content inside. Sutra digest includes updates from the discussion circles only. If you would like to let the members of your program know that you published a new piece of content you can do so by using the broadcast email (Broadcast).

Read more on how to add people to your circles

Read more on how to automatically add people

Use the Broadcast feature for important announcements

Use the Broadcast feature to send your participants personalized emails with program announcements, Zoom link prior to the live call or any other information.

Note: The Broadcast feature is available on all the paid membership plans: Personal, Professional, Organization (see our Membership plans here).

Use the Participation area

Use the Participation area where you can track participant engagement, send personal emails and direct messages to selected members of your program. It’s a powerful tool to re-engage people and it works as if it was coming directly from your email account. We really want to keep the conversation as human as possible.

Use Structures (sequences of prompts) in the discussions

Sutra enables the course creators to make a sequence of posts and schedule them to automatically publish into any conversation circle. You create the conversational flow, and then just put it on autopilot. This will save you time and keep the participants engaged throughout your program.

Note: If you have several groups running in parallel, you can drop that sequence in all the groups and just supervise.

Read more about Structures

Use @ to attract people’s attention in a discussion

If you want to direct a message to a specific person, you can @mention their username like so: @natasha. And this person will receive an email notification of this message.

You can also start a post with @circle for all the participants to receive a notification of this post in their email right away. If you do not use the @mention, the participants will receive this post in their regularly scheduled Sutra digest which they set up their preferred frequency for.

Add the video call link to your circles

Sutra works best for people who are creating experiences that combine Zoom calls and online discussion. You can add the video call link (Zoom/Google hangouts, etc.) to your program space and whenever the participants click on it, it opens the video conference room. You can add different links to your circles and sub circles or have the main video link only in the top level circle of your program space. This feature is available on all plans.

Members can link to the video call by clicking on the three dots and selecting the Video call tab from the dropdown menu:

Use attractive images

If you're looking for beautiful imagery to use on your registration page and inside your program space we love Unsplash.com for their enormous library of amazing, free to use images.

You can add cover images for your program space and sub circles inside of it.

Example: The front page of the Co-Creator Collective - our community of Sutra creators:

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