Does anyone has examples of emails sent to promote the community?
We want to do an email campaign for our clients promoting our community. The main objective is to build awareness and conquer new members, but we are having some internal reluctancy because some think our clients will not like the brand to communicate a community where they will not be able to solve "personal" problems (problems related only to one client that needs customer data to be solved, are not the community purpose).
How did you do it?
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I'm hoping some customers will share their experience with you in promoting their community, a crucial, and ongoing process for raising awareness, with email campaigns being one of the important strategies. I wanted to mention, though, that it is not uncommon to have different processes and resources for different types of customer needs. For instance, all companies will need a separate process off the community to handle account related questions that may require the exchange of personal or account related information to solve. Further, there are definitely companies, often ones that have more technically demanding products, that have tiers of support. The community is there to handle the basic to potentially intermediate issues that are common to many customers, while a higher level of support, often paid, is available for the more complex problems. Note that this approach allows the paid support agents to focus on the more difficult and time consuming problems and frees them from having to answer the basic questions. So, at least from my perspective, I don't see a conflict in promoting the community. It would probably be best in that promotion to clarify all support channels that are available to customers with the community being one, and how the customer can determine which is right for them.
Unfortunately I can't give you specific examples but one thing I tried to do at my previous organisation is ensure community was promoted on all support-based emails that went out. We had good success with this as obviously they were timely - when users have just had a support interaction with the phone or livechat team for example, an email follow-up would promote the community as a great alternative for support with a huge knowledgebase, helpful and speedy responses, etc.
So in addition to your dedicated email campaign, if you haven't already done so I would be encouraging you to look at all touchpoints your company has with your customers and how you might be able to use them to promote different aspects of your community. For example, IVR, across the company website, emails, social media pages, blogs, etc. Customer testimonials are particularly effective/powerful, so make sure you are collecting quotes/feedback from happy community users about their experiences that you can share in marketing and promotional efforts.
Good luck with the campaign,
We have not done a specific email campaign for the Community, but in EVERY email that goes out we have a simple invitation to "Join the Conversation" that links to the Community home page.
While we live in a digital age, and people use the tools all the time, there still needs to be an invitation to let them know that they are welcome, or still welcome if they are not regularly visiting the Community.
By including this invitation statement, we leverage every email communication.
Ive ran an email campaign with a similar aim to increase growth and awareness of the community. We actually featured this in our Lithy submission last year, unfortunately we didn't win 😞 but it will sure give you an idea of what we did, the submission is also worth reading because i talk about the other things we did/do to raise awareness of the community,some of which ive not seen anyone else doing which is crazy as they are not that difficult to achieve.
Here's an example of the email we used to raise awareness:
We ran the above for a few months, essentially after a customer called our call centres we would pull a list of all these customers, remove any with marketing exclusions and send the remaining the above email. This alone got us a 20% increase in traffic to the community, I know what your thinking... How did we prove it was from the email...
We placed a tracable variable on the end of the URL embeded in the email which we could track in google analytics, this allowed us to see exactly how much traffic was hitting the community from the email.
Hope this helps, just shout if you have any questions !!!
I have not utilized email to create awareness, but am getting great traction via twitter.
I am directing followers to specific conversations within my community and tracking the URL with utm codes via Google Analytics.
Another large traffic driver for my community is our Federated Search. When customers search our knowledge base, along with links to articles we have written, they are also shown solutions within our community.
Best of luck.
Well problem with the email marketing is that mostly such emails are considered as spamming,you can surely try for something new to connect.You should opt for new marketing strategies or advertisement campaigns which may target a larger number of audience try surveys with consumer panels , market research pannels.
Marketing , or what medium to use, is a tricky thing. Always need to know what form of message your community would like to be contacted with.
You can also send a pre-recorded message directly to voicemail, without ringing the phone. This type of service is available.
What I found that drove much higher engagement was if your company does a monthly or quarterly newsletter to customers then make sure there is some community content getting into that. Make sure its relevant though, a great one is if you are running a competition, get it in that newsletter then in the next newsletter let everyone know who won.
This is a great point. In general, community-specific mailings work best when aimed at an audience already interested in the community (I.E. members). For a more broad audience, adding community content into mailings with other general information tends to perform best.