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46

Give them a reason. Just "I miss you" is boring and is ignored. Do you know why the people had to leave your forum? Or are there any improvements since then? Maybe you have changed your design or you have new fluffy features? If this is true, you should advertise them: of course with an invitation. Maybe you have badges and one of them are called "Reborn" ...


27

I've found that the most successful way that's least perceived as spammy and annoying (meaning I won't stab you thru the internet for it, probably) is to send an update to everybody about a new feature. This does mean you have to have a new feature, which makes sense since somebody who left before won't want to come back to the same place anyway. Active ...


13

I think it is perfectly fine to do, as long as: You have not said you wouldn't do this - at sign up stage, in your terms, etc. You allow a way within the email that is simple and clear to unsubscribe (and it actually works) It's not a huge load of nothing - It needs to be interesting, with some good reason you are emailing, rather than just "please come ...


9

Disclaimer: The following answer is the result of a few days' investigation by a non-expert in the field, drawing entirely on publicly available sources. It should not be taken as a comprehensive review of the literature. This question piqued my interest but I don't know of any data or studies that address the very specific comparison you're asking about. ...


9

On Stack Exchange we have found that in general (though not exclusively) users with throwaway e-mail addresses are not the sort of users you want on a serious, professional site. While there may be legitimate reasons for some people to use them, the vast majority of such users aren't interested in interacting with the community. There is also a very serious ...


8

Can it possibly hurt? Not really. It may be perceived as spammy by some, but it will be perceived as a reminder of fun times gone by for others. If you can incorporate a new feature announcement of some type in to it, that will probably help (such as a board upgrade or even just some competition for a prize or something.) The other nice thing about a new ...


6

It works best if you take the time to personalize the message with something that interests them. E.g. 'hey, this question "insert question about [topic]"' needs an answer and I thought you might be able to help [user] out here. Always make things actionable :)


5

Another option is to draw them back into conversations that you believe they would be interested in. This is harder, but if you can evaluate the kind of conversations they participated in previously, you can point to recent conversations that are similar. Try this out with a handful of inactive users and see what the response is. If it works for your ...


5

If, as you've said, you've discussed this and everyone is apparently in agreement that the leaks should stop, but someone is still leaking information then you are beyond the stage when you can reach an amicable solution and you do need to be assigning blame and applying sanctions. The only sure way of doing this is to feed each person in the group a unique ...


5

The way you create smaller categories on an email list is to create other email lists, since the technology for email lists is pretty basic (send message, distribute to all subscribers). You might have more options on a web-based community; I'm focusing on email in this answer. Your goal is to reach the greatest number of people who are interested in your ...


4

Mailing lists and forums make different things easier or harder, so there's no global "right" choice. Which to use depends on what you're trying to use it for. Advantages of mailing lists: Push, not pull: if you don't want to rely on your users to visit your forum and look for updates, email still gets the word out. Knowing what's new: With an email list, ...


4

I don't have data to cite, but I believe I can offer some useful reasoning. My observation on this is that web forums require a higher level of user engagement overall, due to the additional level of difficulty in actually making use of the medium. Mailing lists, by contrast, are a "don't call us, we'll call you" approach. The users give you their calling ...


3

There's something I'm surprised other answers don't address directly. Use your content - content is king You're essentially re-marketing your site to what in relationship marketing might be called 'warm leads', people who have some relationship with your product but are not currently interacting. So use the product - the thing people come for in the first ...


3

Having this problem means that your community has room to grow, and in all honesty, all communities can benefit from this. Sending people "We miss you!" messages will get ignored unless you attach something to it. If your site has not updated in some time, now is the time to do it! Whatever update you make will be the "reason" you will send emails out ...


1

Have you thought of using an events website? Something like meetup.com or eventbrite etc? They are usually free for community groups. There are different privacy settings. Meetup.com is probably more vision-impaired friendly than the others. There is an app which allows for the accessibility tools to be used on the phone.


1

I can't agree with @ChrisF on this topic. His idea is way to find out who is to blame and who is at fault. But it should be used as last action, not as first. It's legitimate to feed everyone a unique piece of information to single out this one particular member of your community, nonetheless, it's a rude method as you, as leader / organizator, show serious ...


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