Allow users to change "Activity Summary" frequency when clicking through from emails

At the bottom of “Activity Summary” emails you get this notice:

If you click on that link you end up here:


Wouldn’t it be better to change the copy to something like (addition in bold):

“This summary is sent from SITE NAME when we haven’t seen you in a while. To unsubscribe or change your preferences click here.”

And then provide a UI like this:

This would give people the option to change their activity summary frequency, in addition to unsubscribing from this feature and/or all email from that Discourse site.

(The copy & UI might require some word smithing. I just threw this together to communicate the basic idea.)


I think a very very simple UI is more appropriate here.

I also think we should add the actual email address to this page, @sam – I saw another site did that when I unsubscribed and I liked it, so you could confirm you were unsubscribing and not some other person accidentally.

Remember, emails can be forwarded, and unsubscribe can happen from another person to your email – if the email address is shown there is a better chance of confirming the action, or skipping the action if it isn’t right.


I really like that and it is becoming increasingly common that unsubscribe links at the end of emails work precisely like that and I wouldn’t be surprised if users actually expect to find these options when clicking an unsubscribe link. I don’t think that a couple of options will do much harm here.

We are doing this now. :slight_smile:


Sorry for confusing y’all. I’ve held off updating recently, and my version doesn’t include the email. I like that addition.

I held off updating because I’m waiting to see if the “Activity Summary” is a workable alternative to the daily digest (mailing list). (Relevant thread starts here: "Daily updates" option for mailing list mode)

As part of my testing, I changed the frequency of the Activity Summary to daily on several Discourses I visit as a user. After a few weeks the rate was overwhelming for most of the forums I visit. I wanted to change the frequency of the activity summaries, but the “unsubscribe” link doesn’t offer a path to that. If my users were to experience the same overwhelm then I would lose them completely.

I understand the need for a simple UI. But I think that the original idea has merit.

For those users who want a decrease rather than a cessation of email, there should be a path from the email that triggers their feeling of overwhelm to a UI that resolves it without funneling all of them to the most drastic option available.


Some food for thought.

This is what Facebook’s footer looks like:

(The notification told me that someone commented on a post I also commented)

It’s pretty good up to here, I think. But then you click on “Edit Email Settings” and you land here:

Which I’ll admit is pretty atrocious. It doesn’t even take you directly into the “Notifications” section of the settings. (I was viewing this on an iPhone without the Facebook app, so YMMV.)

Email notifications are too complex for us to only provide an “on/off” switch — the unsubscribe link. This works for a newsletter, but that’s not what Discourse’s notifications are.

Facebook understands the need for complexity here, but doesn’t handle it gracefully. I think Discourse can do better.


I agree that we should add a link to the email notification preferences. Something like this:

The settings link would go to /my/preferences/emails.

EDIT: Done!


This is great! But could you clarify if this is the ultimate answer to the OP or does something like this still have a chance?

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Thanks for making this change, Neil!

I’m wondering, though, why you didn’t elect to add the “email settings” option to the other footers?

As for @tophee’s question: I’m torn. It would be nice to offer a “halfway house” UI that’s less busy than the default settings. On the other hand, users will likely need to deal with those settings eventually and it might be more confusing to have two sets of UIs (one of which is only accessible via email).

How about, when linking to the email settings, we could highlight the relevant settings. Something like this:

I think it’s fine the way it is; remember user prefs have subtabs now so effectively they are at the correct section.

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I tried removing the “unsubscribe” option from the digest footer, leaving only the link for a user to change their email settings, but I received this error:

Shouldn’t the existence of {email_settings_url} be sufficient?