A struggle that every community is troubling with is bringing back those users who have become inactive. Many users share their question and, once it has been answered, will leave the community for good. Of course our notification emails will reach them as well, but that requires activity in those topics / subforums which the user has subscribed to.
Re-targeting campaigns are not uncommon, you can choose to identify and then target specific groups of your userbase in order to stimulate them with interesting content. Others choose to check on activity of their very active members, to ensure that they keep coming back to the community.
An example which I like is a newsletter I receive form FeverBee (an online community consultant agency).
On a monthly basis, they send emails to their inactive members, showing recent activity and even some stats:
In order to contact the users which you are targeting, simply do the following:
1. Extract user information from the community
First you will need to create a user export (for the time period you want to look at, e.g. the last month). Go to the Analytics section of your community, and create & download the export:
2. Identify last activity of users
Once you have created and downloaded the export, you will be able to find the following columns in the table:
- Join dates
- Last visit
- Last activity
Important: Sometimes the information on last visit is not correct, simply because e.g. somebody could stay logged in for weeks when he/she does not close the tab in the browser.
In principle you want to check on their last activity, to learn when a user for the last time has been performing an action on the community (e.g. posted a comment, liked a post of another user).
Filter the list so that you can see who has not been active within e.g. 1 month (or the time range which you are interested in).
Note: Should you be unable to do this in MS Office Excel, because the date format is inconsistent, then please check this post for more information on how to change this.
You now will see all the users that have been inactive.
3. Add their contact details to your email campaign
Now that you know who you need to contact, you can copy all their email addresses and add them to your campaign tool of choice (e.g. CRM systems or Mailchimp are usually being used for this).
What should I communicate to these users in such a campaign?
Well that depends on which group you are targeting:
Do you target superusers? Make it very personal and present complex, hard questions. They often like a challenge and probably will be bored by those regular, every day type-of-questions.
Do you target regular users who never have been very active? Present topics which have generated a large amount of views / likes / comments since their last visit. Also include topics where you are asking the users for feedback - get them involved! Chances are high that there might be something for them to discover as well.
You can also choose to send specific content depending on in which category they have been active in. You could e.g. make a post export to see in which subforums they have posted, to derive where their field of interest is.
Are you missing something not covered in this topic? Or do you have experience with these type of campaigns and want to share your findings? Be our guest! :D
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