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How to deal with inactive members

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Obelia, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. #1
    I'd like some opinions on what to do with inactive forum members. How long do they have to stay inactive before you give up on them? What would you define as inactive, not logging in or logging in and just lurking?

    I've come across forums which purge members after six months of inactivity. Is that too soon, and would eighteen months be better? Do you bother sending reminder emails, or just delete?
    SEMrush
    Also, does it matter how many posts have been made? I'm trying to get a feel for what the consensus is (if any) on the best way to go about this.
     
    Obelia, Apr 30, 2008 IP
    SEMrush
  2. BlueEew

    BlueEew Well-Known Member

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    #2
    It's completly up to you. If you want to keep them, keep them. If you don't delete them. You can always email the inactive members asking to log in etc.
     
    BlueEew, Apr 30, 2008 IP
  3. AcousticGarden

    AcousticGarden Peon

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    #3
    If you can track that they are lurking, I would leave them alone.

    If they are inactive, I would say it depends on how involved you want to get in their lives. Do you want to send them I Miss You cards every three months or something, or are you willing to let them slip away? If you're willing to let them go, 6 months to a year isn't bad. You may want to make a notice upfront for people joining that if their account becomes inactive for a certain period of time it will be removed and they may lose their screen name. (Speaking of which, I wonder if once a screen name is used once is it forever off the table even if that profile is deleted?)

    Anyway, those are my ideas.
     
    AcousticGarden, Apr 30, 2008 IP
    Obelia likes this.
  4. RectangleMan

    RectangleMan Notable Member

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    #4
    Usually the more popular the forums the more purging should be done. DP could imho purge a couple times a year..would probably save some DB space at least.

    I have a forums where I get 50+ signups a day..but of course not everyone activates and some never post. So at least once a month I purge all accounts not activated and all accounts with zero posts. Keeps the member list very clean and if I ever go to sell...I can show that ALL members are actual legit activated posting members.

    I have bought forums showing 5k members...then when I check the DB....80% aren't activated...another 10% never posted..leaving me with 500 members..of which only about 20-30 care about the site. IMHO unless you care about inflating your member numbers...PURGE.
     
    RectangleMan, May 1, 2008 IP
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  5. real_skinner

    real_skinner Notable Member

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    #5
    If they are in-active try to give them some updates on your board time to time by doing some mass email generated by your board...
     
    real_skinner, May 1, 2008 IP
  6. Obelia

    Obelia Notable Member

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    #6
    Thanks for all your views. This pretty much confirms what I've found when searching on the topic: six months to a year isn't all that uncommon. It's probably what most people expect when they sign on to a forum.
     
    Obelia, May 1, 2008 IP
  7. BlueEew

    BlueEew Well-Known Member

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    #7
    I guess I should of also said. If it's a large forum taking up loads of space. Deleting the inactive would be a good idea. If they don't give you any problems just leave them.

    That's what I do.
     
    BlueEew, May 1, 2008 IP
  8. asholar

    asholar Peon

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    #8
    first mail them, if they still inactive then remove them
     
    asholar, Dec 11, 2008 IP
  9. Stephie

    Stephie Peon

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    #9
    If they do not show up you can write them a note or delete them . I think sometimes members forget about your place after a while .People tend to move around the net a lot.
     
    Stephie, Dec 15, 2008 IP
  10. webslicers.com

    webslicers.com Peon

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    #10
    Members who log in but are just lurking around can be kept in the forum. At least they still have interest in it. As for the non-active members, maybe you can send them a reminder for not logging in for six months. If they still do not log-in or post anything after a month or two, maybe then you can delete them already. Maybe you can also set a rule that members are required to post at least 1 post per month or something like that just so you can keep the activity going on your forum.
     
    webslicers.com, Dec 15, 2008 IP
  11. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #11
    I've registered on forums, found my answer, and never returned. They could have purged my account and I'd never have known. On other forums, I'd check back in now and again... once I found that I was deleted. I never bothered to recreate my account, and in fact, complained about it on my blog (possibly causing others to not register either).

    I'vew been on a forum that deleted posts/threads as well. I find that annoying and have left forums for it.

    If you are not having an issue with space, then leave it all in... maybe delete spammers, but draw the line there.
     
    Qryztufre, Dec 15, 2008 IP
  12. suganindia

    suganindia Peon

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    #12
    most of the deleted accounts wont waste their time to register again.............
     
    suganindia, Dec 15, 2008 IP
  13. Oldiesmann

    Oldiesmann Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Unless the member has never posted and their email address is no longer valid, I'll leave them there. The only exception is if they're obviously just there to spam (I've had members register simply to put links in their signature and profile for search engines to find).
     
    Oldiesmann, Dec 16, 2008 IP
  14. giorgioarmani

    giorgioarmani Well-Known Member

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    #14
    First of all let me say it is all relative and will depend a lot on your forum niche! On some of my sites I have highly niched content, so I would doubt anyone would sign up unless they are interested in that topic. Once they've signed up I will keep them I don't care if they take two years until they finally become active. If they don't log in for a while it's probably because they forgot about it, but maybe 6-12 months down the line they need an answer or have a question or want to discuss something and then remember...

    Most people expect? I have been a member on DP for quite a few years now. If I were to go on a trip around the world for 8 months and come back to find my account "purged" because I wasn't active for that long then it definitely would NOT be something I expect. I also register on forums and maybe not find anything to discuss right away and then come back a few months later, sometimes perhaps even a good 6-12 months later, I definitely don't expect my account to be purged...

    But then again take note of my other comments....

    I totally agree, God knows where all the places are that I've registered in the last 15 years :p

    Definitely agree, this could piss off some potential active members...
     
    giorgioarmani, Dec 19, 2008 IP
  15. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #15
    That reminds me. I had a member register in late 2006 and did not bother to post till early 2008. Thought that was the oddest thing. When I PMed them about it (out of curiosity) they said that they were cleaning out their inbox (spring cleaning) and forgot about making an account. The member is still active (months later, with it being late 2008 now).

    I don't think they would have bothered had the account not been there.
     
    Qryztufre, Dec 19, 2008 IP
  16. conorod

    conorod Active Member

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    #16
    Sending them reminders if they have not logged in in x days can be useful.
     
    conorod, Dec 19, 2008 IP
  17. 1-3-3-7

    1-3-3-7 Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Yeah I've gotten results from reminders as well, although sometimes some trouble makers return too..
     
    1-3-3-7, Dec 20, 2008 IP
  18. joyboy2001

    joyboy2001 Peon

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    #18
    It's not a good idea to delete someone's account without e-mailing them first. they took the time to sign-up and increase the member count of your forum, you need to take the time to e-mail them. It's just good etiquette.

    Instead of deleting members, try to get them active once again by sending our newsletters or something. It's much better than sending "We miss you" e-mails.

    If you need to delete, make sure that you select the option in vB that does not allow users to register under the same username for quite sometime. You also need to be more careful while deleting members who have made posts (even a single post).
     
    joyboy2001, Dec 29, 2008 IP
  19. Qryztufre

    Qryztufre Prominent Member

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    #19
    That is certainly an IMPORTANT point! Memberless posts can be bad for many reasons, and even if you delete their posts along with their accounts imagine reading a thread with missing content.

    Look through the threads here on DP (or any forum) and look for replies where the previous post was not quoted. Now imagine how much sense that thread would make if you read it without that post. It makes the posts look like they were chopped in half.
     
    Qryztufre, Jan 5, 2009 IP