Encourage New Member Activity on Your Message Forum Today!

By Shawn Gossman · May 26, 2016 ·
  1. Shawn Gossman
    If you encourage new member activity on your message forum, going out of your way to do so that is, your forum will be likely more active than it would be without encouraging new members to be active. However, to encourage new member activity on a forum, it isn’t just as simple as sending an automated welcome message or posting an automated welcome topic for that member – see, you encourage new member activity by actually being a human with a member and speaking to them as you actually speak to others. Automation is really a thing of the past because it is so easy to spot. In this article, I will share ideas for you to encourage new member activity but it will require you to be active yourself…

    Encourage New Member Activity with Custom Welcome Messages
    A lot of people who own forums dread the idea of sending a custom typed welcome message to each new member that joins their forum. I ask the question, why? Because to me, it doesn’t make any sense. You dread sending a message to a member but yet you create new topics and reply to topics probably a lot more than you would send a new member a customized welcome message. See my point, here? It isn’t going to take up any more time than you already spend posting new topics and making new replies. You can still send an automated welcome message to new member but to encourage new member activity, I’d recommend sending a custom message from you as well and you can let them know about the automated message that might contain some useful links and such. A new member will really feel welcomed if the forum owner is going out of their way to send them a real welcome message.

    Encourage New Member Activity with a Great Welcome
    When a new member posts a new member introduction, you should encourage new member activity by making your welcome message reply count. A simple ‘welcome to the forum’ isn’t enough. You can make the welcome message short but it should be sweet as well. For better results, start asking the new member some nice questions based on the interests they have most likely listed on the introduction topic. New members will often tell the forum what sort of things they are interested in and at that point, they are looking to connect with others who might share that same interest. If you don’t share that interest, at least encourage new member activity by asking more about that interest in the member introduction thread that was created by the member.

    Encourage New Member Activity with a Welcoming Active Forum
    A lot of people will tell you that you can encourage new member activity by having an active forum in the first place. That is correct and incorrect all at the same time. You need to not only have an active forum but an active forum that is welcoming to new members as well. If your forum is full of active members a part of their own clique or members who don’t like newbies that much, then don’t expect new members to start jumping right into conversations on the forum. Focus your efforts on making your forum active with members who are actually really cool and welcoming to new members. You can encourage members to be this way by showing great leadership and being a welcoming forum owner from the get go. If an active community is present, it will still require a welcoming community to encourage new member activity on it.

    Encourage New Member Activity through Helpfulness
    Another ways to significantly encourage new member activity is through the process of being a helpful forum owner. This is especially beneficial for forums that are subject of a specific niche. People are likely going to join your forum because they have questions and concerns about the niche. If you can answer their questions and concerns in an accurate and timely fashion, they are probably going to put a lot of trust and enjoyment into your forum and stick around more often. If you let help request topics go without answers, don’t expect the member to stick around. They are just going to find another site that is willing to help them. I guarantee, your competition is watching to see how helpful you are and if you have any weaknesses in helpfulness, they are probably going to improve theirs for the simple task of beating you at the competition.

    How do you encourage new member activity on your forum?
    What sort of activities are you doing to encourage new member activity on your own forum? Please comment below with your thoughts, ideas, opinions and questions about how to encourage new member activity on a message forum.

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    highlander29 and cdub24 like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. highlander29
    "Good suggestions"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 25, 2016
    I think engaging new members is perhaps one of the most important things you can do as a forum owner. It's taken me a while to figure that out. Thanks for writing up your thoughts on this.
  2. Alundra
    "Only touches the surface"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jun 19, 2016
    This doesn't go very indepth at all and in fact some of these points are useless or counter productive.

    When I sign up to a forum having a welcome message deters me. In fact I will often close it. When I put a welcome message on one of my forums it didn't make a lick of difference and while some people complained I still had people email me asking how to post even though the welcome email had an image tutorial and linked to the video version. I can't be more descriptive than a video. In addition to that people who had a welcome message they were ignoring often missed personal messages and other announcements because they'd [mentally] blocked out the new message alert.

    Also regarding helpfulness that can help a little but not always. If you're in a support niche people will get their answers and vamoose. The best way to retain members is to relate to them and show them understanding and praise - you have to build a bond with them. No one is coming back for the forum they're coming back for the community.

    And regarding activity you definitely need activity....if there is no reply to their topic for a week they likely wont hang around no matter how helpful or nice you are.
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