Just a quick update to my Competition Case Study post from a couple of days ago.
One of the best things that I did to promote this competition was to email inactive members of my forum. VBulletin (the forum software that I use) allows me to send emails to members based upon different criteria. I sent a short email out yesterday to anyone who hadn’t posted to the forum for 2 months. It was titled:
“We’ve missed You. Come Back to DPS and Win a Digital Camera”
The email was written in personal tones, included their user name (as in ‘Dear username’) and mentioned that I noticed they hadn’t posted for a while and that we were running a competition that they might be interested in. I also reminded them of sign up details etc and told them to drop me a note if they had any problems logging in.
The email went out yesterday to many thousands of members and almost immediately I knew I was onto a winner because I started getting emails from readers thanking me for the email.
I’d been hesitant about sending it out and feared a backlash from those who had forgotten that they had joined but since it went out I’ve had hundreds of emails from readers thanking me for the ‘reminder’ to come to DPS. I’ve never had anyone email me to say thanks for an email that was basically saying ‘check out my site’.
I’m not sure what triggered it but I’ve had emails telling me why they’d been absent lately (everything from people saying they’ve been lazy, to people telling me that they’d been sick, to people sharing about the loss of loved ones). Something in the email really hit the spot and has driven hundreds of older members from the early days of the forum back to it.
As I’ve said above – I’m not completely sure why the email was so effective – but to me it illustrates the power of personal contact with your readers (even though it was a mass email it was written as though I was speaking to an individual).
It also highlighted to me that people want to be noticed (and want their absence to be noticed too).