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The ladder of engagement is a framework designed to deepen engagement between customers and organizations. The ladder of engagement has multiple rungs (Steps), with the lowest ring symbolizing the minor level of interest or someone who knows very little about your purpose. The highest rung represents a more active level of participation and engagement with your purpose. (Rung is a crosspiece forming a step of a ladder).

ladder of engagement


5 Rungs on the Ladder of Engagement


As called, the ladder of engagement has multiple steps. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Getting customer’s attention


The last step on the ladder of engagement is getting people’s attention. Getting people to like your purpose is essential. That’s the first step to be taken by any customer. Once they see your purpose or products and services you are selling, getting their attention is next. It could be done by creating meaningful but straightforward tasks physically and online. Make sure you get at least a small amount of information about anybody who takes action. Part of this information include names, phone numbers, email address, fax number, etc. This is to keep in touch with them.


Step 2: Stay in touch, keep them engaged.


The second step on the ladder of engagement is keeping in touch with the customers. When you have their details, it is easy to reach them through their email address. However, it will take a while before they get used to your organization. But persistence in the traditional ways you check on them will familiarize you with them. By regular communications using weekly emails, social media approach, etc., you can be sure to be on their minds very soon. Make sure that the content you are sharing will add value to people seeing it.


Step 3: Get them to share with people.


Another step on the ladder of engagement is getting your audience to share your content with people. Creating content that will add value to people is vital to this step. After creating great content, encourage people to share it with their friends. Especially when you post on social media platforms, please encourage them to like, comment, and share your content. It could serve as a marketing and promotion strategy for your organization. The more valuable content you share, the more engagement.


Step 4: Convincing them to give donations


After completing getting their attention, keeping them posted, and encouraging them to share your content, the benchmark of your success is getting them to give and make donations towards your cause. An enticing email with an appeal to give and make donations is a proven way of getting new and existing customers to donate. Also, there are other ways of getting people to donate, especially when dealing with most of your promising customers.


Step 5: Get them to give more.

ladder of engagement


If some people on your list have given before, they have shown a level of dedication. So be careful on the way you approach them, not to under asking them and, at the same time, not to over ask them. You can encourage them to become monthly givers or give more than they have previously given. It is best achieved when you segment these sets of people and become more creative in your approach.

Fundamentals of Ladder of Engagement


The ladder of engagement is a powerful tool for building relationships between an organization and its customers. The fundamentals are what make ladders of engagement a powerful relationship tool.
Start with simple and easy tasks: Since the first step on the ladder of engagement is getting attention. It’s better to start with a simple and easy task. You can move to more broad tasks that further show your purpose.


Increase your data collection as people move up the ladder. You can move from collecting only names, phone numbers, email addresses to get to know their area of interest. It helps to be more direct when targeting people based on similar interests.
Don’t appear too demanding. One of the fundamentals of the ladder of engagement is not appearing to be too demanding from them. Don’t hit them with demands. Show them contents worth their time and money. When they see and appreciate what you do, they will be willing to give and even give more.


Be creative in your approach. You don’t approach youth the same way you approach an adult. Youths have areas of interest that give you an angle on what drives and interest them. When posting content for your audience, be creative with the content so that you don’t give them the tone of the same content all the time. Creativity can also help when creating emails and e-letters.


Have a broad scope for your audience. Don’t stop too early at giving your audience something to appreciate. Have a broad scope of adding values to them. The wider the scope you have, have the broader plan on ways to achieve it.
Let every member progress at their own pace. You don’t have to force people to move to the next step on the ladder of engagement. Let everyone progress at their own pace.


Encourage members to take the next step as soon as they finish the previous one. This helps keep your audience in check, encouraging them to take the next step without going backward or skipping steps.


Levels of the ladder of engagement

  • Observing
  • Following
  • Visiting
  • Engaging
  • Joining
  • Advocating
ladder of engagement


The ladder of engagement has six levels, according to a study dropped by some experts. The levels are further explained below.

Observing: This is the first level on the ladder of engagement. Many people might show interest in your cause; this step is basically for observing the people signing up for your membership or subscribing to your newsletter or emails. It is the level you gather knowledge and details about the people coming in. It helps you to know further how they are responding to various aspects of your services.


Following: The second level on the ladder of engagement is following. This level helps to know more details about the individual that joins to be your audience. The following helps explicitly to know whether the audience is interested in what they see on your page or website. You can track this by asking for their honest reviews and comments in the comment section on your website or pages.


Visiting: This is the third level on the ladder of engagement, enhancing constant follow-up on your audience. Visiting level helps monitor traffic and engagement on your pages and websites. It also helps to collect data and figures of visits at regular intervals. You could get details of the best time to post and get engagement and lots more.
Engaging: This is the fourth and the engagement level on the ladder of engagement. At the engaging level, companies or organizations can invest in constant communication techniques. After identifying those interested and consistent customers and audiences, engaging them in their area of interest is essential.

Joining: Joining is the fifth level on the ladder of engagement. This means that after all the levels above have been satisfied, you can turn an individual into a potential customer or partner. This can be done by asking them to sign in for membership or a subscription. Making a formal relationship with your audience will enhance this level.
Advocating: This is a fundamental level on the ladder of engagement. It involves popularising the company by telling customers to bring referrals. Referrals help to increase bonding among customers and the organization – thereby increasing the frequency of purchase.


How to create your ladder of engagement

  • Engage your team members: In creating a ladder of engagement for your firm or organization, you need all hands on deck. It is teamwork. It would help if you had different perspectives and ideas to create an achievable ladder of engagement.
  • Identify your levels of engagement: The next step is to identify the levels of engagement that works for you. If you are using a social media platform, identify what moves content on such a platform. What is working for the sale of goods might not work if you are offering services.
  • Set goals for each level: After identifying the levels, set goals for each engagement level. Follow up on these goals as not to miss out on any of them.
  • Create engaging tasks: How will your customers be engaged if you don’t have engaging tasks? How will they climb up the ladder if they don’t accomplish some tasks? So, you must create a good and engaging task to keep them glued to your content.
  • Set a time to evaluate your progress: Evaluation of your progress is essential. This helps to know where to improve and what to stop.


Finally, the ladder of engagement is a framework designed to deepen relationships and engagement. It could evolve with time. Need Help? Join The Black Sheep Community today.

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