We recently discussed why users from your main site are likely to become contributors to your forum. Therefore, effectively targeting these users, and shaping their path from the main site to the forum, is essential to growing a vibrant forum community.
The goal we set for our clients is to achieve a 10% click through rate from the main site to the forum. Here are some techniques and tips to guide users from your main site to your forum:
- Link to the Forum in the primary navigation at top of page. (Well, duh!)
- Insert a “Call to Action” advertisement in the site’s side bar. A small rectangular graphic 300px wide by 90px tall works just fine. For the text, “Got Questions? Visit the forum!” is a simple and effective nudge.
- Using the ad slot mentioned above, rotate 2-3 “Calls to Action” to appeal to different types of users:
- Attract people with questions: “Answer guaranteed within 24 hours”
- Attract people with experience: “Share your story”
- Attract people with expertise: “Others need your help”
- Add a Hello Bar (or the free alternative WOAHBar) to the top of the main page and link to the forum.
- Display recent activity (thread titles, avatars, uploaded photos, etc.) on main page side bar or in the footer of the page.