For more tips check the How to grow membership community part one. In the part one we explain members analysis and members listing. Two great points to grow membership in your community.
Here’s more useful point on how to grow membership. TLDR version:
- Build nice welcoming email
- Define clear topics within the community
Rule three: Build a nice welcoming email
Build something easy to read, simple to understand, and with a clear call to action! There’s plenty of blog articles and guides on the web on how to do this, but let’s split this down. Readability and simplicity are defined not only by your choice of words and the lenght of your phrases (which are really important). You have to boost them with:
- Clear Call to actions in the text: by telling them what to do you are sparing them the effort of understanding it, so, for example, explain them to present themselves.
- Text format: use bullet lists, different colors, bold and italic. If the text is very long (it should not) use paragraphs and headers.
- Media: images and gifs mainly, because they don’t burden too much the email. They can help the reader to understand the text but they are also catchy, because they are easier to elaborate for the brain.
- Customization: When writing to the members, talk directly to them by calling them by their names.
To learn how to use those elements, first have a look at all the welcome emails or newsletters that you have received. Pick up the ones that you feel attracted to and let them inspire you. Obviously these elements are changing a little with the time from one day to another, so keep monitoring.
Should you send one invitation more than once? Yes, definitely. Just think about the emails you get on a daily basis: sometimes you only click on one on the 3rd time when it is sent to you. On the other hand, try and don’t spam the poor new members, so leave a few days pass between sending out the invitations. The top number of times you should sollicitate someone is 5. But after the third time it starts getting really hard to have positive responses.
Remember A/B testing! This is the mother of improvements in sending invitation emails. It is not enough to have only one version of an invitation, from that you will not have enough data to improve. Anything that is on your invitation can be A/B tested! Change the subject line, or the gif to a picture, or any content that is on your email and check the results.
Rule four: Have clear topics to ensure they know what’s going on the community
The first time someone sees an Online Community, he can be legitimately confused. The newcomer is not supposed to know what is going on, what are the rules and the pages. But mainly he has no clue on what to do to break ice and start interacting with the veteran users. So, after creating a great welcome email, now it is time to set the topics.
Topics are a clear answer to some questions:
- What’s going on in this community?
- How can i contribute?
- How should i write?
- What should i talk about?
- What question can be answered here?
All of the above can be collapsed into the “What is the purpose of this community” question. Any member should find a topic that they could contribute to. If they don’t, they are probably not fitting.
Set an intro message that should be showed at the end of the registration process or on the login page. (Maybe not too invasive because that could annoy the old members.) In this message state clearly what is the purpose of the community and what are the topics to discuss. Also, if you can, set clear areas. For example: in your soccer community, you want to discuss the best players? Have a place. You want to discuss tactics and performance? Have a different place.
More rules on “How to grow membership” will follow so stay tuned!