Go From Fizzle to Sizzle

If you’ve ever been in a group program or run a group program, you’ll probably recognize the cycle that they go through. In the beginning of a group program, people are filled with excitement about the opportunity and the journey they’re beginning on, a new group of people they’re connecting with, a new leader of the group. As the group progresses it starts to fizzle. Participants lose a little bit of that enthusiasm somewhere in the middle of that program. By the end of that group experience there’s a bittersweet ending. Often it’s gratitude and joy for the experiences that the group had and sadness that this experience is over.

As a group leader you need to combat that fizzle in the middle. You need to give the participants in your group programs a reason to participate and keep coming back. If you can keep the enthusiasm high, then participants are more likely to re-enroll. Having continuity in client retention is huge for your income as a group program leader.

The key to increasing engagement is to make sure that participants feel connected to you and to the other members of the group. Some of this can be facilitated by social media groups, emails that go out, and things like that. But don’t forget about other ways of engaging people. Think about picking up the phone and reaching out to group participants, especially if you see that they’re not participating a whole lot.

Consider putting together a sequence of snail-mailings that go out to everyone in the group. It might be something small like a card every other month with a message from the group leader. It could be something a little bit bigger from time to time, a low-cost gift or even a higher-cost gift depending on how much the participants are investing in the program. If you plan ahead, you won’t be scrambling to re-engage participants in the middle of the program.

The important thing is to get them excited again when things start to fizzle and their enthusiasm starts to wane. When they receive something personal from you in the mail, it helps them know that you care about them and that they are important to you. When they feel that from you as the group leader, they become more engaged and stick with the program. The group as a whole feels more bonded, and everyone has a better experience. When it comes time to start the next group, you will see an increase in returning participants. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to energize your group programs through very simple, low-cost mailings, schedule a Personal PowWOW and we’ll help you find some great ideas.

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