You can’t mass-invite people to join your community. That’s spam. It’s ineffective and does more harm than good. Do you want a deleted e-mail to be someone’s first impression of your community?
There are 3 very good and very effective ways to invite someone to join your community.
- Through a relationship. Build a relationship with the person first. Take the time to read their blog, leave comments, send and reply to e-mails. Give before you get. Introduce yourself long before you send an invite.
- Via a referral. Gain a referral (or a mass-referral) from people you do have a relationship with: “Jon recommended I contact you about this community we’re trying to create.”
- By adding value. Find a way to add value to the interaction. Invite him to become one of the first 10 members to join your community. Offer a position of responsibility within your community. Solve a problem they’re struggling with. Your interaction has to add value.
If you don’t have one of these 3, then you probably don’t want to invite that person to join your community. As a rule of thumb, don’t invite someone to join your community at the first interaction.