The most critical step when setting up your new eNeighbors website is the sign up or “adoption” process. (More information about the sign up process is available in “How does it work?“. Through this process, you will register the majority of your neighborhood online.
The first step is to send out our Welcome Letter to your neighborhood announcing the website. This letter also contains a unique PIN number for each resident and instructions on how to access the site. We recommend that you make three mailings to the neighborhood.
20%-30% of the neighborhood will register with each mailing. By the third mailing, you should have between 60% and 80% adoption. (Note: eNeighbors is now offering to complete the mailings for you. This is still in the early stages of planning, but we should have the final word tomorrow.)
Interestingly enough, when we ask residents why they didn’t sign up after receiving the first mailing, the answer is always, “I never received the first mailing”. For this reason, it’s critical to send multiple mailings to ensure that you are reaching everyone.
Aside from the mailings, there are other tactics that we recommend.
- Discontinue paper mailings – By giving people only one choice, they are more likely to sign up for the website. This can be a difficult decision for some neighborhoods since there is the feeling that not everyone has Internet access. Most residents appreciate the fact that you are saving them money. Our highest adoption rates are in communities that don’t send out paper newsletters.
- Post, post, post – The more information you post, the more valuable the website becomes. We have seen a direct correlation between site usage and adoption. As neighbors talk to each other about what they read on the website, more people will sign up.
- Put it in the bill– Everyone receives their HOA dues. Drop a little note in the invoice reminding people to sign up.
- Use your current lines of communication– Use all current lines of communication to remind people about the new website. This can be “wipe boards”, the paper newsletter, board or community meetings, social event flyer’s, paper phone directories, and block captains.
- Get your property manager involved – Your property manager is alerted every time someone moves in and out of your neighborhood, making it easy for them to inform new residents of the website. Make sure that they include information about the website in their welcome packet to new residents.
- Provide online social event registration – For your next social event, be sure to use the event registration engine built into eNeighbors. Residents will sign up to take advantage of the convenience of registering for events online.
- When someone calls, say “go to the website” – residents often call board members or property managers with questions and concerns. Take the opportunity to tell them about the website. A common concern that neighbors phone in about is other neighbors not picking up after their pets. Now you can tell residents with this concern to “go to the website” and write a news article politely reminding people to pick up after their pets.
- Don’t have your PIN?– If a resident doesn’t have their PIN, tell them to go to “www.eneighbors.com forward slash pin” to request one. That’s www.eneighbors.com/pin.
- Leverage your current users– At a minimum you’ll have 20% of the neighborhood online with the first mailing. Ask for their help in spreading the word by posting a news article.
- Talk it up – As with anything, the best advertising is word-of-mouth. Be sure to talk with your neighbors about what you’re doing and encourage them to sign up.
As usual, we’re always open to suggestions and welcome your feedback. Feel free to comment or email me directly.