How to Effectively Recruit Community Members

Dovetale Dovetale Nov 18, 2020 · 4 mins read
How to Effectively Recruit Community Members
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Community is at the center of every great e-commerce strategy. For clarity, ‘Community’ refers to your influencers, advocates, customers, affiliates, creators, customers, ambassadors, fans, celebrities, associates, beta testers and insiders. In total, Community makes up the lifeblood of your PR and customer strategies.

Recruiting community members changes depending on the stage of your online store, but we’ll do our best to generalize recommendations.

General Tips Before Recruiting

  • It’s ok if your community is small, especially at the beginning
  • Don’t accept people that don’t raise the bar
  • Put Community at the center of your marketing strategy
  • Put every community member on a long term timeline and invest in each of them
  • Conceptualize segments/ tiers of your community members
  • Social media is a huge part of what makes a successful community, but it’s also a very frustrating channel. It’s harder and harder to grow on social media, so try to find up and coming social networks to promote on. A helpful place to start is to search the top 25 - 100 social apps on the app store and reach out to the teams that run them or start building your brand there.
  • Define goals for your team such as reaching out to a certain number of people per week.
  • If you’re offering gifts upon acceptance to your community, make it clear what new members will receive. This can be a great recruiting method and helps people finish their applications.


Most of the strategies below involve creating a recruitment page or form to recruit new members. Dovetale can help merchants build these recruiting pages such as the one on Kontrol Freek’s website promoting their Community.


  • Link to your Community page at the top of your website like Curology. Displaying community on your website portrays to members that they’re at the forefront of your companies strategy and that community building is important to your company.

Top Customers

  • Download and sort out your top customers from Shopify and send them an email to join your community.


  • Building a podcast can be a great way to recruit new community members. It also has the added benefit of being able to feature future community members on the show.


  • Most of your newsletters should include a link to your community
  • Send your new customers a link to apply to your community page
  • Mass outreach. Build a list and send it to multiple people at a time. Then see who applies.

Guest Posts

  • Find publishers to repost your program application page.

Industry events

  • Promote your affiliate programs at events such as Affiliate Summit
  • Attend blogging meetups
  • Sponsor events to recruit partners. Use new prospective emails in future newsletters.

Direct mail

  • Promote your program via direct mail. Jump to 15:18 to learn more about Julian Shapiro’s advice on direct mail.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to bring your top fans and customers into a closed community. Building a strategy to promote your landing page via these channels is extremely effective and should start with a strong content strategy across all of your channels. Here are some tips:


  • Add your recruitment page to your link in bio. If you’re using Linktree or an equivalent service also put it there.
  • If your brand has Close Friends.), promote there first
  • Post a weekly Story about your community. Include this on your content calendar so you don’t forget
  • Have current community members do a shoutout and repost it
  • DM prospective members directly. Create a conversation and show them why they should join.
  • Find competitor brands and recruit their influencers to your Community
  • Run ads to promote your recruitment page
  • Find all of the people that have mentioned you on Instagram and send them your Community page URL.


  • Weekly posts on LinkedIn will help you recruit professionals into your community.
  • Engage in the comments from members and professionals
  • Have employees promote your recruitment page


  • Add your recruitment page to your link in bio. If you’re using Linktree or an equivalent service also put it there.
  • Post a weekly post or have community members post about your community to help more community members learn about your initiative
  • DM prospective members directly. Create a conversation and show them why they should join
  • Run ads to promote your recruitment page


  • Create a YouTube marketing video that explains the economics of your affiliate program and what being in your community means.
  • Run ads to promote your recruitment page

Discord/ Telegram/ Facebook Groups

  • Join influencer, e-commerce, and other groups that match your category. Private and public groups are an incredible way to engage with prospective community members

If you have any other tips, reach out to us here:

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Written by Dovetale
Dovetale helps brands big and small create scalable Communities that drive revenue