Recruiting Tips and Strategies
Recruiting can be tricky - there are relatively few new players and every alliance is jockeying for them, so its not easy to grab a lot of people. I'll offer some tips based on my experiences having recruited for various alliances in a few different games, but don't necessarily expect to see an explosion of new recruits, as its a highly competitive area.
Writing a good Recruiting Message
In my opinion, the key to recruiting messages is stressing what is unique about you. Almost every recruiting message I see go to new nations contains a lot about how they offer protection, aid and a community. All alliances offer that. Whats special about you?
Here at SK we stress the quality of our nations, the age of the alliance, our theme, and our commitment to being elite.
I don't really know much about you guys as an alliance, so I cannot recommend specific things about you to include but here are some things I'd suggest:
1. Play down the traditional protection/aid/etc that everyone sends out. Include a line about it, so they know what being in an alliance has to offer, but focus on what being in your alliance specifically has to offer.
2. Being new can be a detriment (lack of experience and numbers can throw people off), but it can also help. Stress the fact that you are new and that therefor all members can have a big impact on the alliance and its future - they won't be faceless cogs in a large, established political machine, they will be real and appreciated members of the community, pioneers shaping Terra's next superpower.
3. If there is anything special about your community, stress it. We stress our commitment to our nations and our theme, because there are a lot of game of thrones fans out there. Let them know who you are as an alliance, and why they would have fun with you.
4. Short pithy messages beat out longer ones every time. Long messages, though more informative, can scare people away. I used to have a message that was over a page long - I'm surprised anybody read it. Now ours is maybe the size of a paragraph. It can be difficult to whittle it all down, but trust me, its worth it - nobody wants go login and see a massive wall of text in their inbox.
One thing we did to help maximize our info while keeping messages small was to add an About and Applicants tab to our new web page. This contained general information about us, and information applicants would find useful. We link to this at the end of our message for those who want to learn more. You can do the same thing: just make two threads in the welcome area of your forum (whatever part is viewable by guests) with more information about yourselves, and link to it at the end of your message; thus it can be brief and non-intimidating, but still provide abundant information.
5. Being clever/funny will help.
Those are some tips on how to write a recruiting message. The other key, when it comes to getting in-game folks, is just to canvass them as often as possible - try and have somebody sending out messages to all the new nations every day if you can.
One last suggestion about in-game recruiting: use macros! I use the macro software Co-Scripter, made by IBM for Firefox, to help send out messages - I go to the nations page, click Run next to my script (which opens the message tab and copies my subject, message and sends), and the program opens their inbox, copies my subject and message, and sends. Doesn't sound like that much of a time saver but when you are sending out a lot of messages it can be a big help. This won't necessarily get you more people, but it will make the act of recruiting easier on you.
Another great way to bring in members is to not rely on in-game recruiting. Recruiting within PT is, of course, a great tool, and one that you should utilize often. But you should also try going to other online (or offline) communities you are apart of and trying to get them in.
Back in the days of PT 1.0, SK grew to over 70 members, largely drawn from alliances in Cybernations our members were apart of, and an offsite community, DLP. Many of PT's largest alliances right now draw heavily from cybernations alliances. It doesn't have to be CN of course - you could make a post on reddit, promote the game and your alliance in clans for other games you play, tell your friends and get them to join, etc.
Unlike in-game recruiting, there is almost no competition with other alliances over getting these people in (with the possible exception of some CN alliances that have members from multiple PT alliances). Of course, you have to convince them that they will like PT, but its worth it. Plus, as active members of other communities, its a fairly safe bet that they will be at least moderately active in yours, unlike with in-game recruits, who aren't always very active.