Maximizing User Engagement and Building a Thriving Community on Substack


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 24, 2023

3 min read


Maximizing User Engagement and Building a Thriving Community on Substack


Are you utilizing Substack discussion threads to their full potential? If not, you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity to engage with your subscribers and foster a strong community. While it's natural to have concerns about participation if your subscriber list is not extensive, don't let that deter you. In this article, we will explore the significance of user growth and delve into strategies to maximize engagement on Substack.

Understanding User Growth and Product-Market Fit

When evaluating user growth, it's crucial to account for active users rather than simply registered ones. A user who has signed up but remains inactive may not be deriving sufficient value from your product, indicating a potential misalignment with the market. To assess growth accurately, consider the Monthly Active Users (MAU) formula: MAU(t) - MAU(t - 1 month) = new(t) + resurrected(t) - churned(t).

By breaking down your MAU growth, you gain insights into the components that contribute to it. The quick ratio, calculated as (new + resurrected)/churned, provides a valuable metric to gauge the health of your user base. Ideally, this ratio should be greater than 1, indicating a net gain in customers. A quick ratio falling within the 1.5–2.0 range is particularly favorable for a consumer company, signifying a healthy balance between acquisition and churn rates.

Expanding Engagement at a Weekly Level

While the MAU analysis is typically performed on a monthly basis, it can also be applied to weekly active users. For products with high stickiness and retention rates on a monthly scale, exploring weekly engagement can unlock the potential for deeper user interactions. By generating the next level of engagement on a weekly basis, you create opportunities to drive meaningful conversations and build a more vibrant community.

Utilizing Substack Discussion Threads for Community-Building

Now that we have established the importance of user growth and engagement, let's explore how Substack discussion threads can be leveraged to foster a thriving community. These threads serve as a platform for subscribers to share their thoughts, ask questions, and engage with both the content creator and fellow readers.

  • 1. Encourage Participation: Actively encourage your subscribers to participate in the discussion threads. Pose thought-provoking questions, seek their opinions, and create a safe and inclusive environment for open dialogue. By making your subscribers feel valued and heard, you increase the likelihood of active engagement.
  • 2. Spark Conversations: As the content creator, take the initiative to kickstart conversations within the discussion threads. Share additional insights, respond to comments, and facilitate meaningful exchanges. By fostering a dialogue-driven environment, you encourage readers to engage with one another and form connections.
  • 3. Offer Exclusive Benefits: Consider offering exclusive benefits to subscribers who actively participate in the discussion threads. This could range from providing early access to new content, hosting Q&A sessions, or even featuring their contributions in your newsletters. By incentivizing engagement, you cultivate a sense of belonging and loyalty within your community.


Substack discussion threads present a valuable opportunity to connect with your subscribers, drive user engagement, and build a thriving community. By understanding the significance of user growth, utilizing MAU analysis, and exploring weekly engagement, you can optimize your strategies for success. Remember to actively encourage participation, spark conversations, and offer exclusive benefits to nurture a sense of community among your subscribers. Maximize the potential of Substack discussion threads and unlock the power of community-building on your platform.

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