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How to attract new members..

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 03/12/16 03:15 PM Views: 1036 Replies: 10
Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Help Please!!

We have over 600 classmates in our 1965 KHS Graduating class.
I have uploaded all known yearbook photos from our yearbook.

So far we only have 69 members join. Some of this could be that my classmate generation is not much for using Social Technology to stay in touch? Maybe just not interested in staying in touch with High School Classmates?

The ones that have joined really like seeing the yearbook photos, but it's not attracting many new members.

I asked the current members about having the yearbook scanned and placed on the website and the response was not what I was expecting!! Most members still have their yearbook with all the "autographs" in them!! Most of them thought it "might" be a good idea. One thought it was a waste of time because I have made the yearbook pictures available.

I thought that having the yearbook online would attract many more members, but that is not the opinion of the current members......

So I was wondering what ideas the group has for adding more members? What content do you have to keep your website
attractive to new Members??

I thank you in advance for any suggestions you might have...
Paul M.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 4:12 PM - Response #1

There is a thread devoted to your question that was started in 2009 and has over 36,000 views:

May I suggest you begin by unlocking your Classmate Profiles page, so your classmates can see the list of names. That will allow those who haven't joined to see who has joined and may spur them to join.

Edited 03/12/16 5:40 PM
Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 4:59 PM - Response #2

I think we attracted a lot of people to our site because I went online in preparation for one of our they had a good reason to join.
Best to you!

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:11 PM - Response #3

Does your class have a reunion committee? If so, they probably have lots of contact info. Ken

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:24 PM - Response #4

No, we don't really have a committee. We pull a group together for each reunion. But, we had various people spending months and months before the site was launched (in 200Coolgoing through old records (some from the school) and contacting any class members we could. Then we had people searching various data bases. Ultimately, we were able to find all except 8 people out of about 400. We sent snail mailings and emailings and asked class members to give us info on any we couldn't find. And we are doing the same now as some email addresses become invalid.
But as Scott suggested, going back to that discussion thread may tell you a lot more.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:25 PM - Response #5

Have a multi year site that I built for a group that was going to have a 50th reunion and that led to another multi year site for all years of our school. This site was mostly populated by members of the 4 classes that had the reunion. On the Seahawk Luncheon site we have a luncheon every other month at a local Country Club at a very modest price. This luncheon has brought up the awareness of the class reunions of other classes and there classmates are joining us at these luncheons. We originally bombarded social media with face book pages that we built for the different classes. We had email addresses from the reunion group and we used email the class. Donot let your classmates fool you, if they have children and grand children they are own social media.

You do not have to have a luncheon each month, we started with a group of classmates friends of about 16, that was almost 4 years ago and we now have many local classmates 50-80 every other month plus we have them on Friday's so people visiting from out of town can come.

The biggest draw to our websites is photos from the luncheons that the classmates that did not come want to see, and the fact that I scanned 10 of our yearbooks into the website using unfortunately we also get a lot of traffic because we are losing so many classmates and we post their obits in the "in Memory" pages.

Mostly word of mouth will drive your site if you have frequent events and keep posting news about classmates on your site and social media.

Feel free to visit any of my sites.

Keep working you will soon gain a lot of classmates.

Randy Jennings

Edited 03/12/16 5:32 PM
Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:32 PM - Response #6

Fortunately my older sister is into genealogy and really knows how to find people by way of the internet, having found all but four of her graduating class. After her Class of '61 reunion she went to work finding my classmates, Class of '63. She found addresses and telephone numbers for most of our classmates and sent that information on to me. (She also found our deceased classmates.) Our committee composed a letter explaining the upcoming reunion and the website and sent it out a year before the reunion. Some classmates joined the website as a result. After about two months I started making phone calls to those who hadn't joined, and follow up phone calls if necessary. On a few occasions I had to walk them through the process of joining. Yes, it was a lot of work! For about 300+ classmates I dialed my phone over 500 times. We eventually had 2/3 of our surviving classmates on the website and almost 200 (classmate + guest) at our very successful reunion. Hope this helps.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:41 PM - Response #7

To get new members takes personal contact---at least that's what we discovered with our smaller class in preparation for the 50th reunion.

Our active message forum generates interest. I spend quite a bit of time each day looking for new material for the home page and site pages. Feel free to check out our home page. I know some admins will think it's too long, but our class seems to like the variety.

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:45 PM - Response #8

Thank you all for such wonderful suggestions...

Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:55 PM - Response #9

It really helps
1) to have a 50 year reunion, and
2) to have a classmate who kept up with fellow classmates as a class via email.
Since #50 has passed, you just have to make the website as interesting as possible. You're welcome to log onto Harding class of 65 to see what I've done with ours. Since we'really the same class year, some of the generic pages might apply. To log on as Guest Guest, use with "whatever" as the password. That's an old email account of mine.
I agree with allowing non members to view the profile page - they still can't see individual profile pages and it might perk their interest.
Good luck.

Edited 03/12/16 5:56 PM
Sunday, March 20, 2016 at 3:53 PM - Response #10

This topic is very tricky. I can only offer my own experience and hope it somehow helps.
In the end, it probably comes down to you and what you feel is the right things to do. Don't depend on your committee members because they may not get involved until about six months before the reunion, leaving you to go solo for the time in between except to convince them that if classmates, who are probably tired of you asking them to join and get involved with the site, received an invitation to join the site. They wanted a fresh person to ask them. And when they join, they received further info about the next reunion, including how to pay for tickets to attend it. These two methods work quite well. Our site membership grew from roughly 65 classmates to over 210. Other than occasional classmates joining every once in a while, this is the only way we were able to add classmate members in the volume we had expected and hoped for. No amount of adding cute, interesting and fancy things and pages to the site worked beyond evoking complimentary comments.
And I would advise to be careful with trying to get classmates to join your site through the Facebook app. If you want to get a classmate's contact information when they join your site, you can require it through your class website. However. You are not able to do this if you give your classmates the option of becoming a member of the website via the Facebook "door" into your site. Some people have said they want a way acquire current and accurate contact information but then find out that using Facebook allows new classmate website members to skirt around a website's requirement to collect their contact information. If you believe in the importance of obtaining contact info from all new site members, foregoing Facebook and using only the website for them to join appears currently to be the only solution.
People will also join when they want to financially contribute to the site, to a cause or to a fund and the only way to see the link is to have access to the members only viewable pages. They may have heard from other classmate members that to give $ they have to join the website. So they do.
As I said earlier, hope these things help.

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