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Announcing Orbit Programs

Product
August 17, 2023
Patrick Woods
Co-Founder & CEO
Announcing Orbit Programs
Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.

Each week we go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. We share tactics, trends and valuable resources we've observed in the world of community building.

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Three months ago, we announced the beta for our Champions Program manager, a tool to build best-in-class champions programs with ease. And while we originally laid the groundwork to manage only Champions Programs, we quickly realized that this kind of tool is useful for a number of projects to create communities of practice across an entire organization. 

We know that community is a team sport, and the best way to get everyone off the bench is to provide them with simple but powerful tools for engaging with the community. So we’ve added powerful new features and tools to empower anyone in your company to build meaningful programs with community members. 

Starting today, you can use Orbit Programs to create a wide variety of community-centric programs, including champions programs, contributor programs, feedback programs, and more. 

💜If you’re already excited and ready to try it, you can launch your first (or next) program here.

If you’re curious about the myriad ways Orbit Programs can engage teams across your entire organization to harness the power of community, read on.

Collaborative, company-wide engagement

As community advocates ourselves, we know that community reaches into every part of an organization. But sometimes it can be hard to get buy-in from other teams or execs when they can’t see the value in it for them, or the process seems confusing. 

We know that, traditionally, community-driven programs are hard to launch and maintain, since program managers have to wire together many tools (forms, spreadsheets, CRMs, email marketing tools, and more) to operationalize their systems. 

We know that this complexity means that lots of folks who want to build programs simply never get started, and the ones that do often feel siloed and disconnected from the rest of the company. 

We built Orbit Programs to make starting and nurturing programs easy, for everyone, no matter what team they call home. Here’s how Orbit Programs can bring your community closer to a variety of disciplines within your organization.

✍🏽 For content and marketing teams

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, companies are constantly seeking ways to stay competitive, innovate, and connect with their audiences. One powerful strategy that has gained immense traction is the implementation of contributor programs.

Content and marketing teams can easily stand up a contributor program with Orbit Programs to drive user-generated content and code. When you build a contributor program in Orbit, you can:

  • accept content submissions with built-in Orbit forms
  • see all submitted content organized in a single tab in your Orbit Program
  • share a contribution overview with your teammates to bring more visibility to what the community has created
  • designate existing Activities in your workspace as Contributions

Using the contributors program, content and marketing teams can unlock untapped potential, letting contributors be a driving force behind your company’s growth and innovation.

💻 For community and DevRel leaders

Community is at the heart of Orbit, so of course we made sure Orbit Programs will benefit those leading communities. 

Community managers, developer advocates, and anyone wanting to manage champions and advocates programs can use Orbit Programs to create a great program without having to manage a complex tech stack.

First, Orbit makes onboarding program members a snap. You can:

  • build filters to discover potential program members already in your community and in your Orbit Workspace
  • create Workflows to automatically add members to Programs
  • bring your own HTML form, our use Typeform or Google Sheets to accept signups

Using our fully-customizable checklists, you can automate onboarding and our message templates (also fully customizable) will ensure your new members feel personally welcomed to your program, no matter who on your team sends that message. 

And, because of our Gmail integration, all replies will go directly to the sender’s email inbox, while still allowing everyone on the team the transparency to see where that new member is in their onboarding process.

Learn more about using Orbit to launch and grow a Champions Program.

💡For product teams

Getting input from the user community can pose challenges for Product Managers who have limited customer relationships. They also want to avoid relying excessively (or exclusively) on the community and DevRel team for user introductions so, all too often, product teams don’t get as much feedback as they’d like. 

With Orbit Programs, product teams can discover users for feedback sessions and manage their feedback in a single place. They can:

  • build filters to discover the perfect candidate for feedback. For example: “find all users in EMEA who work at companies with more than 500 employees and who have been active in the community in the past 90 days” or “find any developer who has contributed to any of our GitHub repos and who is active in Discord.”
  • send program members emails using our powerful Gmail integration
  • collect product feedback from each user in a single place, with applied sentiment analysis
  • share a feedback summary or export feedback as a CSV to share with colleagues or execs

By streamlining the feedback process, Orbit Programs can help product teams spin up their feedback flywheel, leading to faster innovation and better products and features for users.

🤝🏻 For founders

When launching a new feature or product, companies often include a beta program signup form on the landing page to collect early interest. These submissions usually go into a sterile spreadsheet and contain limited information - a name, email address, maybe a company name, and sometimes the responses to a few additional questions to qualify the user.

But not all early signups are created equal, and teams typically want to know if an interesting or important person has applied — you may want to prioritize influencers in your industry, those who have a meaningful title at an important or large company, or those who have been active in your community for a long time.

Using Orbit Programs, early access program creators can:

  • accept applications for early access or beta program interest using your own HTML form, Typeform, or Google Sheets
  • prioritize acceptance based on a variety factors, with that context fully transparent to anyone in the organization
  • streamline the onboarding process using onboarding checklists and email templates
  • see exactly where each applicant is in the process and where they are in the onboarding process
You can add or important members from many sources.

By keeping important context centralized in Orbit Programs, the early access data is easily accessible to everyone in the company in a single view, meaning all of the prioritization assessments can be done quickly and transparently.

Still curious? We wrote our own beta program process (it was so good even we were surprised). 

Pricing for programs

For the next 30 days, all Orbit workspaces will be able to try Programs in their fullness. After that date, here's what's available in each package:

Starter

  • 1 program with up to 50 members

Growth

  • 3 programs with unlimited members
  • Ability to email members from Orbit
  • Contribution Reporting

Enterprise

  • unlimited programs and members
  • access to all features
  • hands-on setup and onboarding

How will you use Orbit Programs?

We’ve only just scratched the surface of how Orbit Programs can be used across an entire organization - founders, engineering, marketing, product and R&D, revenue, and more - and we can’t wait to see what you build with it. 

What we do know is that by simplifying and streamlining the process to create, grow, and nurture programs, we can help bring companies closer to their communities with meaningful engagement, which is a win for everyone.

So what will you build? You can get started today, or, if you have questions or want to know more, you can join us for our next Orbit Connect, on August 31 at 11AM Pacific.


And as always, we’d love to hear your questions and feedback, so we invite you to join our Discord community at discord.orbit.love

💫  Orbit is Hiring Engineers in US/EMEA

Orbit helps grow and measure thousands of communities like Kubernetes and CircleCI. We're a remote-first company with a product-driven, empathetic engineering team that enjoys the occasional space pun! Check out our careers page for open opportunities.

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