We’ll be honest – we’re a little bit biased here when we say Replyable is one of the best blog comment and engagement solutions around.
Yes, it’s our product so we’re bound to say that! But looking at various reviews and blog posts around the web on our parent product, Postmatic, from which Replyable was born, and you can see it’s not just us who feel this way.
- Postmatic for WordPress: Conversation and Connection with Your Readers (Bob Dunn)
- Postmatic Deserves a Spotlight and a Full Review (Adam Mulholland)
- Why Postmatic Should Be Your DeFacto WordPress Comment Plugin (WPKube)
Based on reviews like these, and the feedback we received from Postmatic users, we decided to build our Replyable product to laser focus on blog engagement, without all the other bells and whistles that come with Postmatic.
However, as much as we’ve simplified Replyable, there can still be instances when new users (either bloggers or commenters) are unsure of the whole user experience.
After all, we’ve grown up accustomed to on-page commenting, so having blog conversations through email can be confusing at first.
That’s why we’ve decided to share our top three ways to optimize Replyable, and get the best out of it for you and your readers.
Step 1: Publish a Framing Post
Given that it can be quite a jump to get into the mindset of commenting via email, it’s always a good idea to publish a framing post when you first start to use Replyable.
There are a bunch of benefits for doing this:
- Explain why you’re making the change
- Allay fears that a commenter will receive too many emails
- Advise that web commenting will still be available for those that prefer it
It also helps you get the first comments up and running with Replyable – you can finish the post off with a “Ready to try it out? Leave a comment below then wait for an emailed reply!”
It’s a nice ice-breaker, as well as a call-to-action to encourage commenting via email from the off. Here’s a snippet of an example from my own blog.
While this speaks to Postmatic, you get a feel for the points you need to get across. Obviously, Replyable just handles the comments, so your own post could be something like:
Commenting here is super simple. Your first comment can be left in the comments box at the end of this post, but then you’ll start receiving useful replies via email. Simply hit “Reply” to that, type your response, hit send and you’re done!
However you wish to word it is down to you and your audience, but explaining the change as well as the features and how to use upfront will make all the difference.
Optimize the Welcome Message
So you’ve installed and activated Replyable, you’ve written your framing post, and you’re ready for the first comment to come through your new system.
While you could just leave things there, there are a few options within the Replyable dashboard that can help you enhance the experience even more for your reader/commenter.
The first is the ability to edit the Welcome message that all first-time commenters will receive.
While you could leave the Replyable default, it’s a lot more personal to include your own, geared towards your readers.
As you can see, it’s a lot more personalized, friendlier, and gives a quick reminder on how to use Replyable as a commenter, as well as advise you won’t be flooding their inboxes with too many emails.If you want people to comment on your blog, you need to help them understand how easy it is to do so.Click To Tweet
Giving that comfort level can make the difference between a comfortable Replyable user (and thereby frequent commenter), and someone who may shy away from commenting to begin with.
Utilize the Comment Subscription Options
The two simplest, and yet still very effective, options can be found within the Comment Subscriptions tab – the comment form opt-in text, and the comment flood control mentioned above.
The first option allows you to choose what message appears alongside your comment form and can help commenters get an early idea of what to expect with Replyable (before they receive the welcome message).
This is the personalized version on my blog:
As you can see, I give the heads up that commenters can use email to both send and receive new comments via email. The little question mark tooltip expands when you hover over it to go into further detail.
It’s a quick and easy way to start the mindset change of commenting via email.
The second option is the “flood control” one, that lets you set how many comments it takes in an hour to kick in.
Flood control is Replyable’s built-in system to make sure nobody gets too much email. The behaviour changes depending on which plan you are on. Users of the free version or on the Conversation Starter or Daily Discourse plans can expect that if a post gets X number of comments per hour the comment subscriptions will automatically be paused.
If you are on the Max Engagement plan instead of pausing the comment subscriptions we’ll instead start sending a daily digest of new comment activity to users.
No matter what your plan is, once flood control has triggered direct replies will still be sent. You can find out more on our support site.
It’s a nice way to let subscribers remain in control at all times, and protect their inboxes from too many emails.
That was an important feature to offer when building this and ensures that the only emails received are the ones commenters really wish to get.
It’s All Down to You
Of course, you can start using Replyable without putting any of these tips into place – that’s the beauty of its simplicity.
And once your readers get into the mindset of commenting via email, you (and they) will soon find it becomes second-nature, and you wonder why it’s taken so long to do so before.We have conversations via email every day - so why not do the same with blog comments?Click To Tweet
However, seeing the results our users get when they ease their readers into using our service shows it can make a big difference in the uptake of the benefits.
It’s entirely your call, of course – we just want to make sure you get started off on the right foot.