Hey community! :)
I was wondering if it's possible to add an email to be sent after 3 or 4 days after the initial welcome email? The idea is that we try to have more engagement with the ones who are joining the community.
Any ideas or suggestions you'd like to share from your workflow would be great too! Thanks =)
Best answer by Blastoise186View original
That sounds like a pretty cool magic trick there. As far as I’m aware, inSided were planning on making this possible directly within the platform and did reach beta. However, it seems that the winds have changed and the Email Campaigns feature got put on hold for the time being. There were details about it in a couple of threads that might interest you.
It might come back someday, but it’s probably not likely to be released in the near future.
I’ve had a think about this for a good hour or so, and I’m not sure how easy it would be to set this up. But there is some advice about similar options.
It’s a bit of a tricky one because as a user, I might be cool with getting lots of notifications from a community that I’m highly active in, but not so keen for one where I only wanted to stop by and ask a single question.
Probably the best thing I can think of as a sort-of half and half option, would be to make clever use of the ranks feature. If you know roughly how long your users take to rank up, you could potentially set up a special rank that takes an average of 3-4 days to reach and then have that fire off a notification to the user when they unlock it. This way, if you’ve got users who are like the place and decide to stay, they should in theory get a (sort of) welcome/thanks for staying with us email.
When you set this up, I would definitely recommend turning off the notifications initially, while you’re still busy applying final touches and giving out the rank to your existing members. That way, you can help to prevent a sudden email tsunami bombarding the entire community at once. Make sure to double check that the queue has cleared out, and that all existing members have the rank before turning the notifications on!
On the other hand, users who only ever post one thing and then vanish forever won’t get flooded with emails that they’re not interested in as easily - which should also help to reduce the chances of being reported for spam by mistake. It’s kinda weird… But for mysterious reason a lot of webmail users seem to get the Delete and Report Spam/Junk buttons mixed up… I’ve never really understood why either… People just have this habit of treating Report Spam/Junk as if it’s Delete because it gets that email out of their inbox and out of sight.
I remember a time when a forum had sent over 1,000 emails to a user over many years, because the user was subscribed to hundreds of threads and never thought to turn them off. Instead of deleting said emails the normal way - which has no effect on your sender/spam reputations - they went ahead and reported every single email as spam… All 1,000 of them. As a result, the entire website got completely banned by Hotmail, Symantec, Gmail, Yahoo and a bunch of other anti-spam systems because the sender reputation was completely shredded. It took over six months to recover from that. The website later decided to disable the forum subscriptions and notifications features to protect the main site.
If you’re able to filter out that type of user, it will definitely help to reduce the risk there! Those who are more likely to remain engaged - especially those who love to help others - are more likely to respond positively. And if the only way to receive such an email is by actually engaging beyond the first two or three comments, that should take care of not upsetting users behind one-shot accounts.
Meanwhile, if you happen to reach out to the right kind of user, there’s a very good chance you’ll get their attention and they may well come back. You never know… That one user you managed to retain be your next Super User in a few months time! So you’ll probably want to bear that in mind. If I’ve reached this stage, it’s very likely that I’m enjoying the show and would love an encore.
As a very engaged user on my home base, I always love getting PM’s from the moderators because I get along really, really well with them and for me, it’s always exciting to find out what Tim has in store every day. Just like with that first welcome email, you only get one chance to impress. Use it well.
And the ultimate advice I’d give as a user… Always respect my inbox and make sure what you send out isn’t just yet another automated mailshot!
Sorry it’s a long reply! But I hope this gives some useful thoughts. While this might not quite be exactly the solution you’re after, I feel that it’s a pretty good balance that’s hopefully pretty close.
@Blastoise186. That's awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to reply to my question with so many insightful ideas and feedback.
You brought great points that I hadn't thought about. Really appreciate that!
Wish you an amazing Thursday!
@Blastoise186. Happy Friday :)
Still about this topic… I'm trying to think about the best way to engage users that haven’t been active for a certain amount of time. That might be two or three weeks, for example. Just to say we miss them. Would you have any suggestion or idea to address this one? Or you also think this doesn't make sense since it's not a very engaged user and the message will actually come as a negative experience?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
@Mariana ! And a very, very Happy Friday to you too!
I have to admit, this is actually something I’ve chatted with
@timcavey about a few times at my home base. It’s also one of those advantages of having the odd one or two users contributing here, alongside inSided staffers and other community moderators/managers/admins.
From a technical perspective, this is sort of possible to do if you were to do some magic tricks with the integrations and user export tools. So you could in theory hook up something that detects such users and then fires off a notification. But it’s probably not quite as easy to do as the other example. This might also be a bit easier to answer if I remember where I once saw a great article about it. But it seems to have hidden itself really well and I’m having a bit of trouble tracking it down.
However, there’s also that elephant in the corner… Retention, engagement and balance. And this is where it gets really tricky, really, really fast. I’m pretty sure that the article I came across on here once had some really sweet tips, but I can’t seem to find it right now. I’ll keep looking, just in case. It would definitely help a lot if I could find it!
Personally, I’m cool with reasonable efforts to try to reconnect and re-engage. Say for example, you just sent out that one nudge with some cool recommendations that the user might like, there’s a chance the user might then think Ooohh… I forgot about that! Those guys were really helpful before and I wanted to say thanks. I wonder what’s been happening since? And if so, you do have a chance at enticing them back in again. If it’s done in a way that entices the user back and tempts them in again, you're off to a good start already - especially if it results in very good engagement.
Probably not one to use for those one-shot accounts though. It’s unlikely you’ll get that type of user back.
However, if you constantly flood the user with too many We really miss you! emails, that’s more likely to upset them and massively reduce the chances of bringing them back. It’s also a lot more likely to hurt you than help you. If you don’t see any engagement again at all after the first attempt, I’d say it’s unlikely that you’ll get them back.
In my personal view, making one attempt is definitely reasonable as long as you follow best practice etc. But it works best with users who are more interested in hanging around for longer than one day and should never feel too clingy.
This is definitely one to open up to the community here as well. No doubt others will have some thoughts on this.
You have no idea how your response is helpful!!! Thanks so much,
@Blastoise186! I really appreciate that!
It’s an interesting idea this,
@Mariana - and some great input from @Blastoise186 as usual.
I’ve recently signed up to my community again, as well as a few others, to compare the experience, including those email comms.
I must say it actually had me leaning the other way. Maybe less is more, early on.
For example we have an activation email, a welcome email post activation, and we’ve set it up so that only 2 comments results in a rank change, which prompts an automated PM from me, which again involves an email. Once you combine that with the fact any comments or topics made will generate its own PMs for new activity, tags or solutions, it all gets a bit much.
Once they form a habit to delete a forum notification email, or worse, ban the sender, it’s game over.
Thoughts welcome. Maybe you’ve set up your comms differently which is something I need to consider…..
@Mariana you’d want to exclude those that have participated early on…
This Feverbee blog is also worth a read.
Always a pleasure!
On top of that, I sometimes think that there could well be some excellent use cases here for a sort of “Smart” Notifications feature that runs on an in-app basis without relying so much on emails.
The concept here would be that if I’m currently logged in and active on the community, I’d rather have notifications diverted to remain on-platform rather than sending me an email. But if I’m offline or inactive for a while, fall back to emails instead. That way, it might be easier to achieve a similar effect without being quite as spammy. I might throw this into a proper Ideas post later, but in the meantime I do have a good example of a use case.
A few months ago, I upgraded my home network with some extremely powerful kit that basically blows away pretty much everything else I’ve ever had. One of the really useful tools is the alerts feature. If a fault is detected, a switch does down or even if an access point detects radar from a helicopter on the active 5Ghz channel and has to get out of the way/shut down (yes, this really is a thing that can happen!), I can be notified about it and kept informed at all times.
I really love the alerts features, but when I first set up my kit, it would primarily send me pretty much every alert via the web dash, record it in the event log, ping the app on my phone and send me an email me about every single alert. That’s quite a lot of noise there and it used to really flood my email inbox!
That’s the sort of scenario you definitely want to avoid.
These days however - following a bunch of firmware updates - it now has a slightly different approach and the Auto mode has massively reduced the noise levels. While I still get the odd email for highly critical alerts - such as the one for AP Detected Radar - pretty much everything else either just pings the app or for less important ones, simply gets logged silently and I can check on those ones whenever I have time. As a result, the only time it ever sets off the fire alarm, is when it’s trying to tell me something that’s really urgent and can’t wait until later (which is pretty rare).
Did one of my switches just complete a firmware upgrade and come back online? Excellent! But it’s not too critical, so simply having it logged is good enough for me.
Did my network controller crash and it’s looking like I might need to restart it? Oops… That’s not good. But simply having the app send me a notification is probably enough to get my attention. Given the rest of the network is still working, I’ve got some time to fix that before anything bad happens.
On the other hand, is there another police helicopter flying overhead when it’s heading back to base, but three of my access points are messing up the radar and have had to automatically get out of the DFS Channels for the third time this week? Yeah… That’s something I probably should fix urgently and I would definitely need to know about immediately via every possible method!
That is unless I want to wake up tomorrow morning with the police at my door, kindly asking me if I wouldn’t mind trying to avoid breaking their helicopters with my network kit, or they might have to take it off me...
This is quite likely what your users might be thinking as well. So it’s always worth keeping in mind.
The secret is always about finding the sweet spot - and that’s a really difficult balancing act. But there’s always a magic trick to help you make an informed decision. Feel free to set up these features exactly how you would if you were to commit to it, but with one key difference - keep the notifications turned off and make it stealthy.
This would make it much easier for you to get an idea of how many such email alerts would be sent out without actually sending any. If you notice that way too many users are ranking up to the “Five Day Rank” way too quickly, that might be a sign that you’ll want to reconsider the strategy.
Good luck 007. I think you’ll need it.