The channel is chosen and you’ve created a code of conduct—two big steps in planning a successful community launch. Now it’s time to think about welcoming members to the community.
You want to make sure members feel empowered to dive in and start participating. A welcome message is a great way to give people the lay of the land. By helping new members feel comfortable right off the bat, you’re setting the tone for a healthy and engaged community.
There are two key components to consider as you craft a welcome message: what to say and how to say it.
Welcome messages are a crucial part of the community onboarding process. Automating them guarantees you won't miss a step.
Beyond making new community members feel recognized and empowered, automated welcome messages help you:
When it comes to what to say, we believe less is more, but you shouldn’t skimp on the important things. Just stick to the must-know-right-now items—with a little personality sprinkled throughout—and you’re all set.
When we started, our welcome message for all Uncommon members addressed four points:
Other helpful items could be conversation prompts to kick off engagement or links to other resources, such as:
As for delivering that message, you have options. These will vary slightly depending on if you're using Slack, Discord, Discourse, or a different channel to host your community.
You should also consider how many people you’re welcoming per day, how hands-on your team wants to be, and which method would best fit the way your community operates.
When we first started the Uncommon Slack, we used GreetBot to ensure no new member slipped through the cracks, as well as a pinned message in the #announcements channel. The two are nearly identical, we just made the GreetBot a bit more concise and included a specific person they could contact with questions.
By putting the same message in a public channel, we’re able to ensure everyone sees the message, the message is consistent, and the links will always be around for future reference.
Since we launched the Uncommon Slack, Common Room has added a brilliant automations feature set that enables you to create and schedule automated welcome messages to be sent to every new member that joins your community directly from a team member instead of a bot.
The goal here is to ensure that every newcomer has a personal invitation to interact with a member of the community's host team. It's an effective way to open the door to conversation early.
When we moved from GreetBot to Common Room's automations, we polled the Uncommon community about the message they'd prefer to receive. One option was longer and disclosed that it was an automated hello, while the other was shorter and did not provide the disclosure.
The community unanimously voted that shorter was sweeter as a welcome message, and today every new member receives this message:
Hey [awesome new member name]!
I just wanted to say hi and welcome you to the Uncommon community—I'm Rebecca and it's a joy to have you here.
I'd love to know what brought you to the community and something you're hoping to learn or share. And I want you to know that if you have any questions, you're welcome to ask me or the community anything!
To help you get started:
Now head on over to #say-hello if you haven't yet. There's a whole community that's excited to meet you.
As always, you’re welcome to use our messages as templates when crafting your own!
If you feel strongly about manually reaching out one on one and you're able to dedicate the necessary time and resources to keeping tabs on new sign-ups, a personalized message won't go out of style.
We recommend including all the same info, just spicing it up with whatever personal info you may collect—their organization, home state, Twitter handle, etc.
That might look something like this:
Hi, Mike! Welcome to Uncommon. We couldn’t be more excited to have you and the Acme community on board.
Before you begin chatting and making neat new friends, check out How to Make a Great First Impression on Slack. You'll find tips for building your profile and get a rundown of each channel. In order to make this a healthy, inclusive space, we also encourage every member to read our Uncommon Code of Conduct.
After that, visit #say-hello to introduce yourself, then see what everyone is talking about in #community, the best place to discuss growing and engaging with your community (we also share a lot of great resources on Twitter as @CommonRoomHQ, in case @AcmeMike feels like connecting there, too!).
Thanks for joining the Uncommon community. When we say people matter most, we mean you ⬅️
This could go out as a DM in your channel of choice or via email—whatever feels more personal to you!
It’s 2023 and we’re recommending a phone call? Yes and no. This could be a typical 10-digit dial, but don’t forget Zoom, Slack, and FaceTime are all great alternatives. This is next-level personal and gives both you and the new member an opportunity to really get to know one another. You’ll likely cover topics you wouldn’t get from a form and can make the whole conversation as in-depth or as brief as you want.
This also allows you to send a follow-up with only the must-know info. Personality and pleasantries have already been covered. Hit them with a sincere thanks for chatting and a list of links to get started.
We’ll refrain from telling you how to talk on the phone—you know what to say! When it comes to reaching out after, you could try something like the below:
Thanks for taking the time to chat earlier, we’re excited to have you and the Acme community as part of Uncommon! As promised, below are a few different links I mentioned over the phone.
If you run into trouble or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Looking forward to connecting again soon.
Quick and to the point, plus a few bonus links if you have ‘em—maybe a few came up as part of the conversation. Not every call will be a copy-and-paste situation, so be sure to take notes to personalize the follow-up.
In a quick, informal poll of our Twitter friends, receiving surprise swag came out as the favorite way to be welcomed.
It might seem like a lot of work, but consider it a combo of the personalized message and quick phone call: You write a note to include with the goods, then send a follow-up email with all the important links.
If you ask for an address as part of the sign-up flow, the hardest part is all taken care of. Send some socks, a hat, definitely a fun drinking receptacle, and a handwritten welcome for the ultimate hello.
We’re so excited to welcome the Acme community to Uncommon. Here’s to learning and growing together!
Wait a few days for delivery, then send the follow-up email. Not only is it an absolute delight for the recipient, but your brand also extends its reach.
Whatever route you decide to take will be perfect, because it’s a reflection of your community! Don’t overthink all the things you want to say, just help new community members feel comfortable. Focus on what they need to know first and foremost, communicate those items, and let everything else come later.
And maybe you already have a script or template you swear by. If you do and feel like sharing, we’d love to learn about it. Shoot us a tweet or join Common Room's Uncommon community to drop it in Slack!
To easily send automated welcome messages and better grow, engage, and support your community, get started with Common Room for free today.
June 15th, 2023
2:00PM - 2:45PM UTC
Senior Director of Developer Advocacy, ClickHouse