From Tourist to Local: Continuous Nurturing for Engagement

Seth Giammanco Seth Giammanco

Whether you have a interactive campaign, membership, community, or service offering such as a web/mobile app, two critical goals are to help further both the engagement of your users and increase their facility with your tools/offerings. In terms of personas you might think of this as helping to inspire "Tourists" to become "Locals".

In a previous article I explored techniques to help jumpstart this persona transition with a focus on the new user’s or “Tourist’s" first initial seconds after they have logged in/engaged with your interactive offering. This article will share tactics for how to continue to nurture your users over their first few hours, days, weeks and hopefully years of engagement.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation may inspire a variety of meanings and connotations depending on your exposure to it. I have come to experience it from a content point of view. A user that you know does something on your website or in your application that you trigger an action to share content back to them automatically.

From the content point of view, marketing automation is about tailoring content and experience based on data that you have gathered about a person in order to try and share more meaningful and relevant content to them at a time when it is most valuable.

Strategically, it is about nurturing those that have notably engaged with you so that they are inspired to increase or at least sustain their engagement.

Let’s explore some applications of marketing automation. Let’s say someone just signs up to volunteer for your organization for the first time.

  • You might add this user to an email drip campaign that will send a series of emails to he/she to help prepare him/her for their first volunteer experience. One email might include tips or suggestions of what to bring or wear, for example.
  • Upon completion of her/his volunteer effort, you may send an automated thank you and survey to gather feedback. You might also subscribe she/he to a list to receive updates about new volunteer opportunities.

Another great showcase of what is likely an example of marketing automation at work is in how a blood bank in Sweden will send text messages when the blood you have donated has been used.

Imagine how cared for these individuals might feel and how much of an opportunity to build their connection to you these examples showcase. In addition, the wonderful aspect to the above is how once the technology and content is in place these efforts run automatically.


Another common technique is to use tours to help continue to support users to learn new ways to engage. These are often used to help highlight features that are new, upcoming, or that the user has not yet used. Sometimes they are automated to open under certain conditions while others might be initiated by the user.

Here is an example of one used by MOUSE, Inc. on their MOUSE Squad application.


We are all familiar with the use of notifications to get our attention. Browser notifications, mobile push notifications, in app pop-ups or alerts at the top of the page are all tactics used to highlight some new content to us.

When using Xero the other day, I received an in app notification that included a video showcasing a new feature or at least one I didn’t know about.

Similarly, checking out Intercom to help prepare this article, I found an example of the alert tactic where at the top of the page there is a simple callout design treatment with text to highlight a new feature of the product and opportunity to learn more.

Chat & Messaging

Direct human interaction is a very effective way to be nurtured. A chat opportunity is an incredibly responsive way to connect an inquiring individual with an informed resource in your organization.

In terms of personas, a chat is often an incredibly efficient way to offer bite sized “trainings” to your “Tourists” to help them become further informed and/or empowered about your offering.


Erica told me that users who chat with a GiveForward coach before donating tend to donate nearly twice as much as those who do not chat before donating. She said, "Our average donation amount is around $96, but we've seen that average go up to almost $150 if someone can chat with a coach before clicking the ‘Donate’ button."

- Olark Blog

The following is a screenshot from Justworks.

Ongoing Engagement Nurturing

The above tactics all share a focus of promoting engagement. From prospects to supporters, “Tourists” to “Locals”, nurturing in the form of connecting relevant content or relevant humans in case of chat and direct communications to your supporters is the initial goal in order to achieve your broader engagement outcomes.

Check out our Flipboard magazine for a collection of excellent articles and resources about the strategy, design, and technology of nurturing for further engagement from a variety of sources.