What makes a great community invitation?
A great online community invitation is like a great party invitation.
It’s personalized, relevant, and has all of the information you need.
You know when you get those LinkedIn connection requests that are generic? And you totally ignore them?
Nobody likes to get a canned message, or feel like they’re just part of a massive email blast. Tell each invitee why you think they’d be an asset as a member.
Of course, the best invitations come directly from someone who’s already a member, so they can talk about why the community is amazing.
The best invitations start before the email, with a video chat or face-to-face conversation. If there’s someone you feel would get a ton of value from your community, schedule a quick chat so you can really make the invitation personal.
Then when the email arrives, it’s anticipated and welcome.
Reach out to the right people. Don’t invite dog lovers to your cat lovers community.
If you’re using an email list, be sure to segment and filter it so that you’re attracting new members who will “get it” and gain value immediately.
Don’t be afraid to ask if the new member knows anyone else who might be interested in joining the community. You’ll want to get them thinking along those lines right from the start.
And someone who has already decided to join probably hangs out somewhere with other like-minded people!
Explain in the invitation what the key value proposition is for the community, and keep it brief.
The recipient should be able to click a link to join immediately, and should see the name and location of the community.
Provide an email or other contact information in case they have questions.
If you’re asking your community members to invite others, you may want to provide sample invitation text they can tailor, so they have a starting point.
One more note about member growth: having a ton of members is only one metric, and it’s not always the most important one.
A small number of highly relevant, engaged members working on a project together is ideal for a software community, for example. On the other hand, a community that’s monetized with advertising will always be driving toward a high member count and high activity levels.