Engagement levels

Understanding how and why people engage with you and your cause

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Every business, charity, or government has one aim: To move people to action. And whether you're campaigning for social equity or selling hot dogs on the street, moving people to take some specific action is fundamental to success.

The engagement levels canvas is a simple tool to understand and map the people you want to move to action. It splits people into five levels of positive engagement (NB: The term "positive engagement" is intentional as this canvas doesn't cover people who are actively hostile towards you or your campaign. That's a whole other canvas we'll get around to creating some time). Generally, consideration should be given to how to move people from one level to the next.

Level 1 ·  Oblivious

Uninformed and unaware

These are people who aren't aware of you or what you do. They don't inherently agree or disagree with you (neither like nor dislike), but you service, campaign, or project just isn't on their radar. They have the most to learn and are least likely to do the thing you want them to do. Similarly, they will be turned off most quickly, so language and approach is critical. Action of any kind at this stage is unlikely—building awareness is success at this stage.

Level 2 · Aware

Aware but uninformed

These are people who are vaguely (either consciously or unconsciously) aware of who you are and your cause. Familiarity can be leveraged but their motivation to engage is negligibly more than Level 1. Moving people to take simple action to find out more information (e.g. clicking on a link, taking a leaflet, etc.) should be considered a success at this stage.

Level 3 · Engaged
Aware and somewhat informed

These are people who now "get" who you are and your case. It is at this level that people will start to take more meaningful action, such as make a donation. The experience this person has with you and your cause is key. Positive feedback and a curated experience is important. If it's not seamless or causes them any grief, future engagement is unlikely. Although they are likely to take action at this level, it is likely to be limited.

Level 4 · Advocate
Well informed

Those at this level require little hand-holding. They no longer need much information as they've likely already engaged and will do so again. They're not necessarily going to be a huge source of amplification to others, but they are somewhat reliable.

Level 5 · Evangelist
Actively informs others

These people are the holy zenith for you and you project. They will be consistent, require minimal hand-holding, and will be actively promote or amplify your cause to others.

Click here to download an A3 PDF of the canvas.