Community: Making New Members Feel Welcome

Diana Notacat

The Space Kitten
Feb 18, 2005
Diana Notacat submitted a new Article:

Community: Making New Members Feel Welcome

Community: Making New Members Feel Welcome

When starting a new community the hardest part has always been gaining new users. Once you have them, though, how do you keep them? Making sure your newbie members feel welcomed is imperative to building your member base. It does a webmaster no good to get hundreds of registrations when no one ever posts! These following members are just a few tips on how you can welcome your newbies in to your community, hopefully building a happy and friendly forum society.

A Customized Welcome Email/Private Message
A forum hopping person comes to expect the default messages when they register. However, by customizing your messages, you are showing you have spent time in making your forums unique! In your message, welcome them by their username. Make sure that it mentions any important information you need your new members to know. For example, the forum rules, where they should post first, and who they need to contact if they have any questions or comments! Describe what your forums are and their purpose just in case the member forgot why they register there in the first place.

Make Use of an Introductions Forum
New places can be intimidating, whether it is well established or still in its beginning stages. An introductions forum is the perfect place for your new members to post their hellos and be greeted by the community. Have a sticky thread with the same sort of information as your welcome email, letting the new member know key info about the site. Add some extra suggestions, like what the person can post in their introduction about themselves! Noting interests, reasons why they joined, or even a small survey they can copy and paste will give them something to say, as well as showing you care about getting to know your new members.

Encourage a Welcome Committee
If you make use of an introductions forum, encourage your members to greet the newbies. New members are the future of your forums, but they can get scared away quick by a newbie-resistant community. Getting the current members involved in meeting new people helps prevent them from feeling they are being replaced, plus giving a nice sense of responsibility in aiding the growth of your forum. Be careful of newbie “claiming”, however. Sometimes members get competitive in claiming the newbies before anyone else, rather than welcoming new people. Make a special note about how new members should be greeted, to remind your...

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