There are three big moments when someone is really excited about your organization.
The first is when they make the purchase. They're anticipating the arrival and use of the product/service.
The second is when the product/service arrives.
The third is the first time they use the product/service.
This gives you three opportunities to convert a new customer into a community member. This is a short-cut past the mental barriers that we use to filter out most spam.
When someone purchases the product/service, turn the post-purchase page into an invitation page to join the community. Include a direct invite to join the community in the confirmation e-mail.
Include an invitation to join and participate in the community within the product/service itself. If it's a physical product, include a simple invite card (like a business card). If it's a service, then ensure there are plenty of links back to the community. For example, the FAQ can be hosted on the community site or linked to community-generated advice.
Several week's after the purchase, follow up with another invitation to join the community and participate in an active, relevant, discussion for newcomers.
If you want to master the social science approach to building successful communities, sign up for our Professional Community Management course.
Registration is open now. The course begins on April 28th.