Last year we worked with an organization that was struggling
to recruit members to their new community. They had the platform, the concept,
and even the strategy. They passed our checklist better than any other
organization we’ve worked with.
A little digging revealed the problem. The wording the
community manager used was all-wrong. His outreach to prospective members
a valued customer, we would like to invite you to our new community for….”
Those first four words conjure negative images. Few members
opened follow-up e-mails. A tiny number clicked the links. None remained active
Imagine, you’ve spent $100k to launch a community and it
fails because of the first four words used in the outreach?
This is an extreme example of a common problem.
Communicating with people online might seem like a simple task (you do it every
day right?), but it’s subtly difficult. It requires a mindset and an empathy
that many (especially those dragooned from other roles/departments) don’t have.
The minutia is
important. You have to interact
like a human being. You have to have a personality. Better still, it helps
to have a large number of people you already have existing relationships with.