I just got this email from Gist and perhaps (almost certainly) I’m overreacting, but I take offense to the kind of laziness this email represents. You see, Gist is asking where I’ve been in the last month (probably longer) and would I please just go ahead and log in now? Well, I’m sorry Gist, but where have you been over the last several months? Are you proving your value to me as a user? Clearly not or I would have logged in recently.

So, what’s the lesson here? It’s not your user’s responsibility to keep coming back. If you’re going to ask them to log into your site, you are better off giving them a meaningful reason to do so. For example:

Did you know that 10 of your contacts have recently changed jobs?

Visit Gist to find out who they are and where they went.

Don’t just provide a veiled threat that you will disable their account because, if it’s come to that, you’ve probably already lost them.

p.s. I will say that Gist was very responsive on Twitter and asked me how they could improve their service within minutes of my complaining. Thanks @GregAtGist for being so responsive and open to feedback. Hope this post proves helpful.