"What would we encourage ALL new players to do in their first month to get them to subscribe long term, if we had to give out one set of advice for everyone (which we do if we're giving general advice)?"
The traditional advice is important; join a corporation/community, only undock what you can afford to lose, ignore Jita local etc. However, I think it is more important to set up a new player with the right mindset to go forward in EVE. EVE is a game where the experience is more important than the end goal. Setting a destination is merely a vehicle for an exciting journey. The game doesn't really provide a linear path or set "endgame" like other popular MMOs. Setting your own goals and targets is key. So what advice would I give a new player in their first month? In the wise words of Johnny Knoxville: "Take a deep breath and say fuck it."
|Johnny Knoxville: A true philosophical savant of our generation.
I would absolutely recommend joining a community. Having a support structure for the inevitable screw ups is key to survival in EVE as a month old player. There are load of people out there willing to help you. However, I think that experimentation is the most important thing you can do in EVE. Go do stuff. Go die in a fire. Go figure out what ticks your boxes, what excites you? Everybody is different. Ignore people that tell you their way of playing is the right way and that what you are doing is wrong. Go fail. Go succeed. Step outside your comfort zone. Find yourself in a rut? There is always something you haven't tried yet. Go do it. No not later. Do it now. Don't tell yourself that you are just "saving up a nest egg before doing PvP". Shut up. You are lying to yourself. Go find the nearest lowsec/nullsec and blow up immediately. Someone told you mining is boring? Go try it and find out. Don't take their word for it but don't get stuck in your comfort zone doing it. In the first month the galaxy is your oyster. Very few of your fuck ups will matter in the long term and the first month is the best time to make the most of that freedom.
In my first month I did some really, really stupid stuff. I can look back at that experience with a smile on my face. I had fun. I stepped outside my comfort zone when things got stale. As long as I have fun I will continue to play EVE and I believe that you will too. Next time you get that feeling of fear when things are outside your comfort zone just remember, "take a deep breath and say fuck it".
For more blog posts on this topic check out Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah by Kirith Kodachi.