Guild recruiters cannot be shy. Post in recruiting forums, erect a guild Web site, use in game recruiting tools, such as those in EQ2, these activities all promote your guild and you probably should avail yourself of them. However the fastest, cheapest, easiest most effective way to get new members for your guild is to simply ask in a general chat channel.
Before You Hit the Chat Channels You Need to Know…
…what benefit people will receive by joining your guild and at what cost? Do you provide help with grouping? Do you help people level? Are you a PvP guild? If so what kind of PvP guild? If you provide groups for members is joining guild groups required? If you help people level, is helping other members required? If you are an MMORPG PvP guild, does this mean you don?t do content or that you do organized battlegrounds?
Once you know the major benefit of joining your guild, create your message around that. Know the cost however, because you?ll need new members to understand that if you want to retain them?more about that in my next article for PlayerVox.
To construct your message take the big focus on your major benefit and combine it with one of two possible actions you want the interested party to take:
1. PST for membership info. Contact you immediately in (PST for Please Send Tell is fairly universal).
Be prepared to answer questions and potentially talk to multiple people at the same time. I like to either use a text file to cut and paste common answers, or setup macros when available.
2. URL. Save yourself a lot of typing by sending people to a special recruiting page setup in advance. Lazy people won?t take the time to go look however, so if you are zerg recruiting, don?t use this method. Using a Web page is ideal if there is a lot of information for potential members to consider.
* Present your guild as active and up-to-date. Do NOT send potentials to your inactive guild forums or glommed together site for info. Instead create a special page just for potential new recruits.
* Get the easiest URL possible. Example: “s1.guildcafe.com” is the domain name I use for the Section One guild.
* Always use the http:// so that people understand it is a web site you want them to look at.
Recruiting Message Samples
Helper PvE guild:
Learn the ropes and level fast with XYZ guild. PST for membership info.
Guild with funny people:
Laugh your way to level 50 with XYZ guild. Casual players welcome. PST for membership info.
Guild with serious PvErs:
XYZ guild seeks pro-PvE members. Do dungeons right with us. Ventrilo required. PST for membership info.
End game looters:
The PvE veterans of XYZ raid guild LFM for teamwork and achieving long term goals. http://www.blahblah.com
Adult social guild:
Like to play and chat? Join the lively world of XYZ guild on Ventrilo. http://www.blahblah.com Not kid friendly.
Attention crafters: Join with other crafters in XYZ guild to build an economic powerhouse and rule the server. PST for more info.
Join for the Rep. Stay for the people who’d rather fight than switch. RPK all the way. PST for membership info.
Advertise, but don?t spam
Some old fashioned net-etiquette should be employed while advertising in chat channels:
* Use appropriate channels. Find out what channels are acceptable for guild recruiting. It?s different in every game. For instance, in Guild Wars, one uses the ?all? channel. In some MMORPGs the regional chat channels are acceptable. Some games have special recruiting channels.
* Keep it short and sweet. Don?t attempt to explain every membership detail in your message. Things scroll away fast and people don?t have time to deal with long text?heck, they don?t even read quest descriptions most of the time! More on this later.
* Don?t spam. The reason you repeat your message is to give busy people another chance to read it as well present yourself to new people who haven?t seen it. It is not to bore and aggravate people with your endless droning of e-garbage.
o How often you repeat your message is game dependent. In games like WoW, EQ2 and Vanguard, the number of new people coming into and going out of a channel is small, so repeat sparingly. Observe how frequently others repeat and repeat less than they do. If you get complaints, reduce your frequency even more. Being perceived as spam will get you on people?s ignore-list.
o In Guild Wars where people hop in and out of districts constantly, your best bet is to move around from place to place, repeat your message once per district then move on, repeating your cycle every five minutes or so.
* Change it up. Vary your message from time to time, test new messages, be clever, entertain. Boring messages equates to a boring guild.
…or at least avoid looking stupid:
* DON’T USE ALL CAPS.
* Do not load up your message with **l337** symbols and other #$%^& crap. Your potential recruits don?t have time or desire to decipher, so just use plain English.
* Stay away from over-used terms so ubiquitous that they are now meaningless. Ever seen anyone advertising for unfriendly, immature and inactive members? Almost all guilds are friendly, mature and active, so don?t use up precious space talking about it.
* Use goood speeling. You may not care about every day chat spelling and grammar, but nothing makes you look more like a stupid n00b than spamming the same error over and over. Check it first then store it in a macro or text file.
People want to join guilds that are active. They like to be able to login and find things are happening. One of the best things to do recruiting-wise is put together PUGs, then pitch guild membership to the better players.
You can take this idea a step further by organizing server events and advertising them in spam. Depending on how much creativity the game supports you can do a lot. Character weddings, PvP king of the hill events, PvP tournaments, PvE and PvP raids, crafting fairs, scavenger hunts, races and costume contests are all popular.
Worst Guild Recruiting Spam Ever
XYZ GUILD RECUTING friendly active players. All levels, races, classses and ages. Mature PvE and PvP. Have hall and cape. ?-?
This is a pretty typical zerg guild spam?hard to read, packed full of errors and easy to ignore. It attempts to attract people by sounding friendly, but undermines itself by trying to be all things to all people?which equates to nothing for nobody. If you want to offer zillions of players a temporary spot in your revolving door clan, use this ad. (The ?have hall and cape? is a Guild Wars thing. Since every guild has those, it amazes me that people even mention it. If they advertised a guild hall with all perks or silver cape that would be different.)
XYZ guild looking for members. 50 gold paid on joining.
Why not just say, ?attention leeches, come get 50gp then leave me for another guild? If you are this desperate for members, consider calling it quits and joining an established guild.
UberAwesome guild looking for members. Raiding right now, come get your endgame loot!
This ad isn’t much better than the previous one. It’s just another opportunity for people to leech off your generosity. Inviting people to join your raids is a good way to impress people, but it’s best to keep those opportunities and your recruiting separate.
Don’t be shy! Speak up and use chat to let people know that you’re out there. Be wise with your messages, don’t abuse it, and you’ll be rewarded with plenty of interest.