We found out that while someone is online, inviting them to a topic is much more effective than inviting them while they’re offline.
It gets even better if they just wrote a response somewhere a few minutes ago.
Works best for topics broad enough that multiple people can participate without specific knowledge or experience.
The logic here is simple.
Firstly, if someone is online and browsing topics, they’re dedicating some time and some of their thinking/reflection to your community. This no doubt is the right time to ask them to write a few words somewhere.
Secondly, if someone has just written something, chances get even higher that they’re ready to write something else - they’re in the mood of writing right now.
How we do it.
Really simple. We have a database query that fetches users who are online (last seen less than a few minutes ago), and (optionally) filters only those who wrote something up to 5…7 minutes ago.
Now, having such a list and some topic that you want to get a few new answers in, just invite those people, so they see a notification instantly and (hopefully) take action.
I regularly convert a 2-responses topics into a 7…10+ responses topics this way.