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Community newsletter?

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sky_lark

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Posts: 1890

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Location: North Carolina

Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:12 pm

Community newsletter?

So Bitfighter has a pretty active social media presence now -- albeit with a small audience -- on facebook, twitter, and steam. Something I'd like to do next is open up a newsletter to send out more regular e-blasts announcing events and contests as well as reminders for the weekly parties. Maybe also include a rundown of the active forum discussions each week, and a fun little poll to boot.

Is this something people would be interested in? The current newsletter is extremely low-volume, so perhaps we keep that and brand it as a "Development Newsletter," only sending updates for new releases. Then there'd be a "Community Newsletter" with all of the events and reminders and fun stuff. The latter would be sent every Tuesday, and if there was demand, a small reminder email would be sent every Friday afternoon before the party.

Logistically, how is Bitfighter.org's newsletter system set up? Could it take on an additional newsletter? Or should I look to a service like Mailchimp to establish the system. Thoughts?
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amgine

Posts: 1319

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:57 pm

Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: Community newsletter?

I think thats a great idea!

maybe we could abuse it and have like a bot that sends out 1000000 emails to get poeple to play bitfighter :twisted:

I think the start of each week would be better ie 12:00 AM monday.
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sky_lark

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Posts: 1890

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Location: North Carolina

Post Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:40 pm

Re: Community newsletter?

amgine wrote:I think the start of each week would be better ie 12:00 AM monday

That's a good idea, however I don't usually announce parties until Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning... cuz on Sunday I'm finishing all of the homework I procrastinated doing earlier. ;)
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watusimoto

Site Admin

Posts: 1558

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:07 pm

Location: Quartz's mom's house

Post Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: Community newsletter?

We have a mailing list consisting of mostly oldish addresses that we send release announcements to. I prefer keeping that list a low volume announcement list, since that's what people signed up for.

I would look at the effort/reward ratio of a newsletter... what would we have in it, and how much work would it involve? I personally don't see it as a good investment, but on the other hand, I don't want to block anyone who has an idea they want to run with.

Maybe something through facebook?
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sky_lark

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Posts: 1890

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:00 pm

Location: North Carolina

Post Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:31 pm

Re: Community newsletter?

The goal of a newsletter is to better communicate with our audience. The forums are a great place to share information, but they require a user to actively check them to stay updated. The Facebook, Steam, and Twitter accounts are more successful in reaching passive users, but if notifications aren't enabled, the only chance for an engagement is if a user happens to see a mention while scrolling through a newsfeed or home page.

On the other hand, a newsletter is a much better tool than those mediums for reaching passive users as it sends a message directly to them. A user still must check their inbox for this to be effective, but given that email is one of the most widely used Internet functions, that shouldn't be a problem.

The purpose of the newsletter would be split into three categories: information, reminders, and engagement. Information being announcements, contest updates, party info or misc events. Information is content that is important to pass along to users should they desire updates but not desire the burden of having to check the forums on a daily basis. (Obviously checking forums takes little effort and is hardly a "burden" in the literal sense, but it still requires some diligence on behalf of the user.)

Reminders because one of the most prominent reasons I've heard for a party's low attendance has consistently been "I forgot" -- not a lack of interest, or conflict, but simply a failure to remember. Sure, there are ways a user can remind themselves without our help (ex. notepad, alarm, etc), and I'd definitely hope a user would take those steps if they wanted to attend our parties, but at the same time everyone makes mistakes and a 3rd party service can help with that.

The final category is engagement, and this refers to an aspect of the newsletter that wants to hook the user and get them excited about and thinking about Bitfighter. This is something that I think is very important. Right now I'm only really utilizing the social media services to share information and not so much connect with the userbase which I suspect is part of the reason why we've gained only 1 like over the past month. This will be something that I need to think about and plan out, but it's significantly easier to connect via a newsletter, as this could take the form of a poll, forum digest, thinktank discussion, community letter, etc. It's a lot easier to engage with an audience when you're not restricted by 140 characters.

Granted, we have such a small audience right now that you're right, the effort may not be in line with the desired result. However, for what it's worth I do anticipate the effort to be somewhat low. I expect writing up and sending out 1-2 emails per week to take me about 45 minutes in total which I think is reasonable. The challenge now would be figuring out the optimal platform to set up a newsletter: either on Bitfighter's internal server (utilizing Bitfighter.org's native newsletter client but maintaining a directory separate from the existing low volume newsletter), or on an outside service such as MailChimp, and analyzing the pros and cons of each.
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amgine

Posts: 1319

Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:57 pm

Post Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:23 pm

Re: Community newsletter?

I think bolth a Bf forum message and a email sould be better more versitility.
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