Member engagement continues to be THE topic whenever angel group managers get together to share experiences and insights. It’s no surprise considering that investor groups with active angels are much more likely to be successful - they can fill investment rounds faster and find more relevant angels for the startups.
Active members are the cornerstone of a high-performing angel group creating almost an infinite loop of success. On one side, the ability to provide funding brings along better deals as the word spreads among startups. On the other, the group receives increasingly more visibility resulting in a good public image that creates trust and attracts not only more investor members but also syndication partners. Consequently, the group can fill rounds even faster, get even better deals, and attract even more active members and partners.
But it’s not only about the numbers and hard, cold cash. The community is also essential for sharing angel investment-related knowledge and experience. The more know-how your members share with each other, the more value they feel they’re receiving from your group. Support and knowing whom to ask for advice can help both novices, as well as experienced investors, make difficult decisions in the turbulent startup world. As the saying goes: "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together".
It’s clear that an active member brings more value to the group compared to an inactive member. But as a group manager, how do you measure member engagement and what is a good target?
We work with over 150 investor groups and believe that the best indicator for member engagement is the percentage of group members who log in monthly. This number can be significantly increased by a good digital tool such as Dealum that makes it easy for your members to be active.
A solid target would be 70% monthly active members (members who sign in to your deal room at least once a month). For example, after Danish Business Angel Network switched to Dealum, their member engagement more than doubled and hit 80%. Another customer, Desert Angels, saw an improvement by a factor of three compared to their previous platform with more than 60% of members accessing the platform 4 or more times per month.
Another easy-to-track metric which shows the members’ true engagement is to see how many investors have indicated interest in deals or have interacted on the platform.
Keeping an eye on and growing the members' engagement levels is usually the responsibility of the angel group’s administrative team. Metrics are crucial - you cannot fix what you do not know - and as such, finding a tool to provide insights is important.
Making a difference
What role do digital tools play in activating investor members? A good tool will provide more deal visibility so that investors are aware of the opportunity and also make it easier for the members to exchange thoughts to validate the deal.
In our experience, group managers should focus on the following four key aspects to make sure the software is an opportunity to grow rather than an obstacle.
- Make it easy - supporting your members with training and materials about the tools will help overcome the barriers and make them feel at home in the new digital environment.
- Make it inevitable - share the news and keep the info on the platform, referring to a single source in all communication; try to avoid establishing alternative communication channels.
- Find leaders to encourage followers - find the most active members and together create action and buzz on the platform attracting everyone else.
- Give members a reason - create opportunities for the members to engage and interact with the platform on at least weekly basis.
Although upgrading your group’s tech stack is always a challenge, it can also be a brilliant opportunity to rejuvenate and re-engage with the members.
Practical tips for engagement
Our customer success team have witnessed first-hand how software can make a difference and activate angel investor members. Here’s a list of practical ideas for you to test out.
- Use voting functionality during live startup pitching events. It helps the investors to see which startups feel more promising to the group as a whole. You can also ask investors to indicate interest during live events.
- An angel network benefits a lot from its deal room dashboard. You can motivate your group members to sign in more often by sharing interesting and valuable news, including information about upcoming networking events.
- The discussion functionality on the Dealum dashboard reduces lengthy email threads. Some groups have used discussion threads to create interest groups and share relevant information on the topic. For example, you can try creating a FinTech discussion to share industry news or highlight promising startups.
- Networks should encourage their investors to mark their interest in a deal on the platform. If your members' investment interests are not confidential, it could increase other investors' motivation to join the funding round.
- Keeping all discussions and information about a funding round on the platform makes it easy for investors to know where they can find everything. Instead of emails, we recommend chatting with the company in Dealum.
- Encourage your members to fill in their investor profiles. Investors can benefit greatly from keeping their Dealum profiles up to date as it is easier for network managers to recommend deals suitable for their preferences and expertise. Or when a startup needs a mentor with industry expertise, it is easier to find a great match.
- Notification setup can make a huge difference. Members who receive relevant notifications about important activities are more likely to log into the platform and look at the new activities. Administrators can configure notifications for their group in a way that ensures members get notified about relevant things while not being flooded with irrelevant notifications.
- Keeping members' investment information in the deal room portfolio gives an overview of their investments with the network and gives them another reason to visit the deal room more frequently.
For more ideas and advice, contact our customer support - they’re always happy to share their expertise.
In a previous article, we have also covered the main principles of investor engagement - check it out for more insights!