There are a lot of challenges with building and maintaining a successful online community but reactivating inactive community members doesn’t have to be one of them. Inactive community members are going to happen, but with a little effort, you can win them back.
What causes users to become inactive?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single reason why community members become inactive. If there was, fixing the problem would be much easier. People drift away from your community for a whole bunch of reasons. The most common one tends to be that they came for a free trial period and moved on when it expired.
In other cases, they may have started working more, or had a child. Or perhaps they just got out of the habit of checking in. Whatever the reason, it’s still possible to reactivate these inactive community members.
Here are 4 ways to do that.
1. Special Offers for Inactive Members
Determine which formerly active members have strayed from the herd and then send them an offer, based on past activity, intended to return them to the fold. For example, if they have decided not to renew a paid membership subscription, you can offer them several months of the subscription at a discounted price. Put an expiration date on the offer in order to convey a sense of urgency. If you like, this can be part of a “we miss you” message.
2. Entice users with new products or feature updates
Community members sometimes drift away out of a sense of “been there, done that”. Often times, the best way to re-engage inactive customers like these is to send them messages or updates detailing everything that’s new since they left and demonstrating why they should come back.
3. “Remember Us” Message
Community leaders trying to figure out how to win back inactive customers often default to the “remember us” email. The thing is, you have to be careful with this type of message because talking about the depth of your company’s loneliness since said community member has drifted away is probably not a strategy that’s going to work.
A better idea is to thank the member for their past interest, ask them if they’d mind responding and letting you know why they let their membership lapse, and sweeten the pot with a limited time discount if they re-join your community.
4. Get some intel before people vanish
Whether you’re reaching out to inactive members or to people who let their membership in your brand community lapse, it’s crucial that you find out why they strayed. Even if you never get them back, this information can help you plan a way forward that may reduce churn.
For instance, learning that customers/community members are leaving because you don’t offer private messaging provides you with actionable intel that can inform your efforts going forward.
So, if someone fails to renew their subscription or decides to delete their account, don’t let them get away (if at all possible) without telling you why.
The Bottom Line
The key to long term success is not just how many new members you attract, but whether you are able to retain the ones you already have. Use the above tips to keep your community members in the fold.