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Forums And Marketing Through Private Messaging

Apr 28, 2008
From a marketing standpoint the use of personal messaging through a forum board can provide a positive return for a personal investment.

Many forums are well populated and provide a perfect opportunity for individuals to express various points of view and entertain input from members that can be located anywhere on the planet. Forums are just one example of a shrinking world.

The personal messaging feature in forums is primarily reserved for members. The reason I bring this up is that some people will visit a web-based forum and browse the site. These individuals may even be able to post in some instances as a guest, but these users will not be able to access the same benefits members do. In the case of this article that means they can't send or receive private messages.

Sometimes a forum member will have a question that you can help them with. You could post the information in the primary forum section OR you could click on their profile and send a private message with a personal note that speaks to the individual nature of your answer along with the expertise behind it.

This type of response should not be hard sell marketing; rather this should be designed for relationship building. If the member perceives you are simply responding in an effort to get them to buy something they may have the ability to either report you or block any future private messages.

If you can personally address real problems the recipient may come to value your expertise and willingness to pass it along.

There is an individual in my circle of acquaintance who has used this concept to great effect. He routinely receives private messages from individuals on the forums he participates in. He is recognized as an authority in his field and others will come to him for advice or instructions on how to tap into the potential the sender may have to find similar success.

In some ways this gentleman has developed a type of mentorship program via forums. That being said his willingness to help has also resulted in numerous personal requests to access his skills for pay.

He indicates his investment in time has resulted in great friendships and multiple clients.

Many people approach forum boards as a means of passing along their contact information in the signature line and hoping that will be enough. However, if you refuse to engage yourself in the forum community your signature line link has very little marketing value. If you refuse to let people get to know you while you work at getting to know them you are not really a part of the online forum community.

Forums can be a great place to give and receive information. They can also be a great place to develop friendships and nurture an environment where these new friends can also feel comfortable becoming clients.

Yes it does mean you need to spend some time with these forums, but they end result allows you to market your products, services and skills in a very personal way.
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