I have been struggling with how we track these deleted answers, since the standard message we've been working with encourages users to edit the answers to improve them, after they've been deleted.
If someone actually follows through with our request, and edits the deleted answer, how do we know? We have to rely on them to flag the answer for moderator follow-up. Many users will be unaware that flagging is even an option.
I requested a new feature on meta.stackoverflow.com, looking for a way to make sure we don't miss it in case someone does try to fix an answer, and Gilles' response presented an alternative approach that I think makes a lot of sense.
There is a far easier solution to this problem, which is to stop
encouraging the edition of deleted answers. Instead, encourage the
users to post a new answer. That's a lot easier to understand — just
use the “Add Another Answer” button and type your new material. No
need to flag or to rely on yet another bit of magic technological
Encouraging reposting rather than edited has the added bonus that it
does a better job of encouraging major improvements. If you browse the
reopen queues, you'll see quite a few questions that have only been
edited cosmetically. If an answer has been deleted, it's because it
needs a major overhaul, often it needs to be completely written anew.
When users care to repost, they tend to follow the advice they were
given — when they edit, not always.
In light of that, I propose that our standard comment should be changed as such:
Hello and welcome! This site is different than the forums you might be
used to: responses to the top post are supposed to be answers.
If you have a suggestion, please post a new answer after reading these guidelines. If you have a question of your own, see here: How to ask.