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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Anyone ever had success "buying" your members?

    Our site is running a contest where all new forum members, frequent posters, and referrers are eligible to win a prize from the site. We just started this yesterday, and have already had 4 new members, (a lot considering the slow history of the forum), but I'm concerned that new members will join, post a few mesagges, and then when the contest is over, they'll abandon the forum.

    Has this happened to anyone? Anyone got any great tips on keeping members after they've signed on?

    Thanks

    admin for MENZ.com, Canada's magazine for men.
    MENZ forums

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict dpickup's Avatar
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    I used to run a membership-required contest at while back and you pretty much have to accept the fact that some people will just sign up and not stick around. There's no helping that, but you can help ensure that people stick around by trying your hardest to keep them engaged in conversations. Ask them questions in your responses, it's more likely to get a reply in turn, etc.

    You might also consider making this a recurring contest - not just for new sign ups but a weekly prize for an active member on the forums. That way if at first they don't succeed they can try, try again.

    Announce the winner in a weekly newsletter - which you can also use to hype up activity on your forums. Your more likely to get people to return if you get them receiving a newsletter from your site.

  3. #3
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    Good ideas! Since this contest is running for two weeks, that should give me the time I need to put the pieces in place to make this recurring. As for a newsletter, we really have to get one off the ground. The closest we've got to it right now is a site news section.
    marty_p

    MENZ.com site administrator.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Crowe's Avatar
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    Your always going to have people who might just be joining for prizes. What you need to do is get them to find a connection with your site and with you. Make sure there is some sort of emotional investment on their part. If users feel like they are part of the community, they'll come back over and over again.

    I mean look at where you posted this! Contests are good wasy to get people to your site and entice them to participate. Make sure you keep giving them a reason to participate. Even if it's just making sure your creating lively conversations in your forums that you know they'll love. Find a few people who are like minded on other forums and invite them to stir up some topics on yours. That's what'll keep the people there. Getting them their is sometimes easier than keeping them and keeping them interested!
    Chrispian H. Burks
    Nothing To Say

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member
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    Would it be a good idea to reward the most active member the month ? They would receive points for posting messages, refering others, ... (somewhat like with the sitepoints).

    And then every month you give the one with most points a price.
    Altho it is advisable that the same person can not win the price if they won the month before... otherwise you probably end up with the same person winning over and over.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict dpickup's Avatar
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    If you do run a recurring contest make sure to include an element of 'quality' and not just 'quantity' - you don't want to be giving prizes to the nimrod who posts a lot of crap just to win the prize! Maybe make a jury of members who select a member each month for a reward of excellence? You could open it up to member voting, but that can lead to nasty competition sometimes.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Hi, my community is based on graphics, and i find it hard to supply prize case i don't have that much money to buy them. Is there any other way i can do it?
    thanx







  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict dpickup's Avatar
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    With all this talk of 'buying' your members I guess it's important to note again that the best way to grow an active community of loyal members is by offering a service they enjoy and an environment where they feel welcomed and free to post their opinions. If you don't have the budget to afford a recurring prize you can still pick a weekly 'Best Poster' or whatever just to single out and thank one of your members - no prize, just a big thank you. If you really want to offer prizes you might try finding another site to partner with - they provide the prize in exchange for promotion on your site.


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