Well today is my 19th birthday. You may be surprised to hear one of my gifts was birthday spam! I joyously opened my email this morning to find my In-box filled with birthday spam from a whole sack load of forums, which apparently in another life I was once a member of.
I’m not going to start slamming forums for sending out well-wishing birthday messages, after all it makes good business sense. If the user still uses the forum regularly then the forum has just made them feel more like part of the community and if they have stopped using the forum what is lost by emailing them?
What I will advise to those of you who run, or are thinking of starting a forum. If you are going to send out happy birthday messages make sure only 1 message is sent to the recipient! (1 forum sent me 8 birthday emails!)
Some forums have a premium members section. A good idea would be to offer a birthday discount or a free trial. If that isn’t feasible the ‘aging user’ could be offered the free service in exchange for some feedback, perhaps by sending them a questionnaire to fill out.
Anyway, 19 isn’t too old. You know you have something to worry about if your RSS subscriber count starts to look similar to your age, fortunately this isn’t the case! Help it stay that way by subscribing to the RSS feed.