Wecome Message Feedback/Optimization

(David Silvernail) #1

@richard_millington asked me to post this as a separate topic.

What’s your Welcome Message?
How do we optimize our Welcome Messages to get the best results?
How do we measure the effectiveness of our welcome messages?

I’ll post my welcome message below. I’ve been running it for the past three months in it’s current form.
I’ll post how I went about crafting my message.

For measurement, I’m taking the last three months and applying the following formula

((Users who followed action prompt in message + Users who responded directly to the welcome message) - duplicates) / total number of new users = welcome message engagement percentage

Onboarding New Members - Recommended Practice
So, what are you working on? Part 1
(David Silvernail) #2

Here’s my welcome message

Dear USER,

Thank you for joining us at ControlBooth! We are a tight-knit community that gets what you do. We love technical theatre and live entertainment technology. Yeah, we admit it, we love to go to concerts and spend as much time looking at the rig as we do paying attention to the band. Trust me, you’re in good company.

So, dive right in and introduce yourself. Head over to the New Member Board and start a new thread by hitting the New Thread button in the top right part of the screen above the list of topics. Let us know what you love about this industry, how you got into it, and what you are working on now!

We’ll see you inside.


(If you have any questions, just hit reply and it will start a conversation with ControlBooth’s Staff)

I go to conventions for the technical theatre industry (LDI and USITT) and we have a user meetup towards the end of each convention. I always ask what the ControlBooth community means to them. This March, one of the guys there said it simply, “You guys just get it I know you guys won’t bat an eye at my crazy schedule and odd requests, because you all have them too!”

That got me thinking that I needed to communicate to new users that we know they already belong to this community, because it was built for them, by them, just in more succinct terms. I wanted to say outright that we get what they do, and also admit that we are just as weird and quirky as they are. The message is reinforcing and disarming. It’s not pull up a chair and join us, it’s we’ve got a chair already here for you, we’ve been waiting!

So, to the formula:

(8 followed action prompts + 12 replys) - 2 dupes) / 294 total new users = 6% Welcome Message Engagement

So, it’s while clear that while the welcome message didn’t generate the kind of numbers I had hoped for, lets look at another metric. Of those 18 users, all but one have more than 10 posts and all 18 have been active within the past two weeks. Out of the other 276 users, only 36 other users have more than 3 posts.

So, it seems that those users who engage with your welcome message are FAR more likely to become regulars in the community than those who don’t. This makes your initial welcome message extremely important and I’ll be incorporating follow up messages just like Richard recommends in his Onboarding Automation article.

(David Silvernail) #3

So, what I’d really love is to get some feedback from the community how I could further optimize my welcome message as well as invite the community to submit their own for feedback as well!

(Sarah Hawk) #4

Great thread @dvsDave

We’ve kept ours pretty simple:

I’ve been following up with a personal note as well. It’s similar:

We then follow up with a series of on-boarding emails which Rich describes here.

Out of interest @dvsDave – which email prompted you to post in the “What are you working on?” thread?

(David Silvernail) #5

I get the feverbee emails and I got the email on Onboarding Automation, which is where I learned about experts.feverbee.com (been getting the emails for a LONG time, and must have missed the relaunch email)

So, I signed up and got the initial email, was planning on replying right from the beginning, but got busy and put it off. It was your “A more personal email” that got me to sit down and actually post right then instead of delaying till later.

Hmm… I wonder if there’s a way to track in google analytics (not my strong suit) which email gets the most engagement out of your set of followup emails.

(Sarah Hawk) #6

We haven’t actually sent one. We decided to soft launch while we iron out our on-boarding and tweak a few things.

[quote=“dvsDave, post:5, topic:957”]
It was your “A more personal email” that got me to sit down and actually post right then instead of delaying till later.
[/quote] Ok, that’s interesting to hear. I was wondering whether they were good use of my time.

[quote=“dvsDave, post:5, topic:957”]
I wonder if there’s a way to track in google analytics (not my strong suit) which email gets the most engagement out of your set of followup emails.
[/quote] I would love to get my head around GA to learn that kind of thing. I have it on my list to find an expert to sit down with. When I do that, I’ll pass on what I learn.

(David Silvernail) #7

Why do they have to take any of your time? Just because you say it’s a personal note, doesn’t mean that you can’t automate it! I’m working on a way in xenforo to delay my first follow up message by a half hour to an hour to make it look like it was hand-sent. It’s all about perception, it doesn’t mean it needs to actually take up your time!

(Sarah Hawk) #8

In this case they actually are personal and for almost everyone I research them and add a couple personal questions/references to their work. In your case, your name+email combo weren’t definitive enough for me to make a call on who you were, so you got the generic version.

If it wasn’t for that fact, I’d eliminate that email from the process and just go with the automated ones.

(David Silvernail) #9

Hmm… perhaps just use the generic reply on a time delay, and then if they haven’t posted in 24 hours, then take the time to craft a personal message. This would cut down on the amount of time it takes to just dealing with members who are at a higher risk of not ever posting, as well as eliminating the time factor (every member would get a “personal” email within an hour or so of them signing up, regardless of the time of day)

(David Silvernail) #10

Getting back to the main topic I really like the phrase in your personal email:

It makes a strong suggestion that a user will get a reply, and that is very appealing. An assurance that my conversation isn’t going to be ignored! A low-risk time investment with a near guaranteed payoff. I like it :smile:

(Nick Emmett) #11

What a great topic.

Here’s a link to the one I currently use: https://www.evernote.com/l/AFvmR6RMVKZLDIVMVhVo1gDSvTShGtSido8

It’s a timely thread as well as I’m just considering switching ours up a bit, as there’s possibly a bit too much information in there.

I tried to point people to the areas of the Community that will likely be of use to them, and highlight the value they might get from it, (i.e. the product groups, Ideas board, Training etc). I need to really build in a call to action to an actual post. We’ve recent;y had a “Introduce Yourself/Tell us what you need help with” kind of thread start and that might be a good starting point, my fear is that sometimes they get so big that people possibly tend not to read through all the entries on here, which I feel is a shame.

(Richard Millington) #12

Hey @Nick_Emmett,

Just reading this, it’s really, really, long.

You probably have better data on your audience than I, but i’d definitely cut that down to a short-simple action you want someone to take. I’d change the subject line too. When we get e-mails we get “e.g. welcome to…” we tend to ignore them.

What is the single highest-value contribution they can make to the community right now? I’d cut everything else - or create a series of autoresponders to gradually introduce people to the community.

(David Silvernail) #13

@Nick_Emmett I was getting fatigued just going through your intro! Users don’t care about your metrics, they just want to know what the community can do for them and, subconsciously, whether or not they belong here.

Followup emails/messages can be used to slowly introduce new features and highlight your best tools for their success.

(Nick Emmett) #14

lol, I know - the length is one of my main bug bears about it.
I’d not even thought about the subject line in that respect to be honest; for me I figured I probably wouldn’t be put off as I would be expecting it, but I know what you mean now you mention it. I do like the follow-up/auto-responder way for phasing in the other stuff. Again, a timely thread for me as this is on my list of things to get done that will hopefully free my time up for the bigger hits :smile:

(David Silvernail) #15

@richard_millington or @HAWK (not sure which of you set it up)

Could you guys elaborate on how you set up your mailchimp account to automate the emails based on sign-up time?

(Richard Millington) #16

It’s an autoresponder.

If you go to the automation tab. You can setup autoresponder so {x} days after they’re added to the list, they get {x} e-mail…

The hard part is syncing the accounts. It’s a manual import at the moment.

(Sarah Hawk) #17

Only because I added a field and broke it. :confused:
We use the Mailchimp API to automatically add new subscribers to a list.

(David Silvernail) #18

I wonder if there’s a way to roll off subscribers automatically. I really don’t want to pay 160 a month for mailchimp because I would have to load my entire user base.

(Richard Millington) #19

is $160 really a lot of money if the user base is that big?

Might be good to know actually more about your community/goals for the community.

(David Silvernail) #20

My community’s discussions are mostly open to the public, and I depend on ad revenue to keep going. I’m not full time with my community (while we are the largest community in our niche, it’s a narrow niche and I haven’t yet found a way to earn enough revenue on a consistent enough basis to make it my full-time job, although that is my goal), and it’s not an internal community where I have a budget from it’s parent organization. Rather than paying $160 per month, I sent out a query to a couple programmers this afternoon that I know within the XenForo community and will see about have the functionality custom built for me. It might cost $500, but that money will achieve an ROI in under 4 months and I won’t be dependent upon an external service and API.