Bring Those Readers
Back To The Blog!
What if… instead of just reading your reply comment in the inbox and hitting delete… your visitor, who left such a nice comment, actually needed to come back to the blog to see what you said and were more likely to reply (assuming you’d left you’re reply open ended)?
The ReplyMe plugin is one of my favorite plugins to help foster engagement on a blog.
ReplyMe sends an email notification, to the commentor, when the author replies… that includes what they wrote (as a memory jogger) and what you wrote in reply (for their reading pleasure) and a link back to the post.
This is a great model… except that the burden of the effort (clicking out to the blog) is now placed on the shoulders of leaving another comment (which looks like more work)… rather than on the shoulders of something they may easily want to do, which is read what you wrote.
The idea to customize this plugins output came from a discussion between Hesham at FamousBloggers.net with Justin Germino of Dragonblogger.com and resulted in Justin generating and sharing some customization code for the WordPress Replyme plugin.
I previously wrote that no customization or settings changes were necessary for this plugin to do good things for your blog engagement. That remains true. This tinkering is for anyone that wants to improve their results and isn’t afraid to adjust some links.
In the WordPress Settings area, in the settings for the ReplyMe plugin you will find a text box with a bunch of code that makes up the content of the email sent to commentators.
It’s a small matter of styling, removing the reply message contents, and adding a couple links to your other social sites to get improved results!
Here is the code-block which Justin kindly provided. Be sure you change the twitter and facebook link’s to your own before pasting it in place of the existing code in the ReplyMe settings. (I suggest making a copy of the original code to a text file before doing this, just for backup.)
<p><b>Your comment on the post <a href=”[posturl]”>[posttitle]</a> has a new reply</b></p>
<div style=”padding:10px;margin:10px 0;background:#FFFBCC”> Here is your comment:<br /> <div style=”border:1px solid #919191;margin:5px;padding:4px;”> [commentmsg] </div>
[commenter] —— [commenttime] </div>
<div style=”padding:10px;margin:10px 0;background:#FFFBCC”> You can read your comment thread here:<br /> <div style=”border:1px solid #919191;margin:5px;padding:4px;”>
<a href=”[newcommenturl]”>[newcommenturl]</a></div> <a href=”[newcommenterurl]”>[newcommenter]</a> —— [newcommenttime] <br /> </div>
<p> Don’t forget to follow <a href=”http://www.twitter.com/dragonblogger”>@dragonblogger</a> on Twitter or Like <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/dragonbloggertech”>DragonBloggerTech Facebook Fanpage</a><br> Thank you for your commenting on <a href=”[blogurl]”>[blogname]</a> <br /> </p>
Note: If for some reason the code doesn’t work, double check that WordPress has not made the quotes into “smart quotes” (fancy quotes) by pasting it into notepad (not word) or another plain text editor before putting it back into WordPress. This is what makes sharing code on a blog challenging without a separate plugin.
If you haven’t already met Justin, be sure you drop by his blog and say hi and check out all the cool stuff he’s got going on!
So that’s it, easy -peasey to set up, and while it may result in slightly lower comment-reading rates, the ones that click back are somewhat pre-qualified as interested in either you or the content and more likely to re-comment!
Don’t forget to leave open ended questions in your replies when possible, asking about them, their experiences, and opening a dialog!
Have you customized the ReplyMe plugin yet? Be sure to have a look at all of the possible variables it can include and let me know if you have any other hot ideas I might be missing! How is ReplyMe working for you?
I invite you to leave a comment below and appreciate you sharing this with anyone you feel may benefit!
Your Partner In Online Success
PS: If you’re not already using the ReplyMe plugin… what are you waiting on? Go get it!