Any mass email functionality?

how about a popup on ocassion / event / holiday? To put a season greeting or something, like christmas or new year

We just had a major release and I’d like to make sure all our users get notified directly… even if they no last-seen date.

I’m in a similar situation, and after doing some research and thinking, I’ve concluded that this is not Discourse’s problem. So here’s a workaround.

Two very important caveats

  1. There could be a law against this type of mass sending, depending on where you’re sending to/from.
  2. If you follow bad practices, you risk having your sender address (possibly even your root domain; I don’t know exactly how these things work) marked as spam by major services like Gmail.

Personally I don’t see an issue with sending out an e-mail to users who signed their e-mail up to the equivalent of a mailing list, as long as the opt-out is prominent and super simple.

How to do mass sendouts with your Discourse userbase

There are many ways to do this. I will list two that I would consider reasonably safe.

Method 1

Export users from Discourse (Admin --> Users --> Export) and import the CSV file into Mailchimp/Sendy or Sendyhosting (a more affordable option I came upon recently).

Method 2

Sync users with WordrPress and use one of its Newsletter Plugins.

If you’d like to method #1 every year or so when you have a major round-up announcement to make, you could just export and import again, since any good newsletter service will ignore duplicates and track opt-out users for you.

Longer term, a far more desirable solution would be this:

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Yeah… mass email isn’t really the right solution.

Posting it, and making sure that people know how they are consuming the forums is the right action.

Then people can click the link & go to the forum & post, or just hit reply (the reply functionality wouldn’t work with any external service… and is certainly not going to be a universal need for all discourse operators.

I just migrated my entire user base from an older forum to Discourse. Now I want to send an email to all the active users of my site that they will need to visit the new url and reset their passwords to gain access.

This is a perfectly reasonable reason to need to email my members.

Yes, some people may use it for spam. But that shouldn’t prevent responsible admins from having access to such a simple tool like this that is present in every other community app out there ever.

After all, if someone dislikes you sending them emails even though they signed up to your site, then they will just unsubscribe or opt out, or even delete their account. You will have no members if you abuse the system.

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Admin, Users, Export, then put that CSV file (which contains the email of all members, among other things) in the mailer of your choice.

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Seems to me a plugin would be the perfect solution. For those users that want to receive a newsletter or general announcements, this gives them the opportunity to opt in.Those not interested wouldn’t be required to opt-in; they visit the site when they want to be updated. Simple as that.

I think there are plenty of legitimate use cases for such a plugin (or inherent functionality). For example, membership in the community might include a free series of educational emails or an online journal subscription. The Discourse forum might be associated with a podcast, and the newsletter would be sent whenever a new episode is published. Etc.

A user might want and welcome this type of communication; even prefer it.

As long as it’s made transparent what they are actually signing up for, and there’s the mechanism (provided by the email newsletter service) to opt-out, then I don’t see the problem. In fact, it would be a great optional feature!

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Don’t forget to synchronize opt-ins and opt-outs that are toggled in places other than Discourse. :slight_smile:

Did anybody make said plugin yet? I’d totally pay for this.

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I suggest you put up a new topic in our Marketplace to advertise this offer. There are plenty of capable freelancers around who I’m sure would be able to work with you on this.

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Any progress on this? I would have thought this to be a very common use case: opting in to a newsletter while signing up…

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I don’t understand the resistance to this feature.

Discourse is being used for a lot of different reasons and clearly there are people running Discourse instances who would find this feature helpful. Arguing that the feature isn’t relevant to one particular use case for Discourse misses the point that there are a lot of different types of forums that are using Discourse, with different needs.

Also as an admin-only feature I don’t see the problem. If an admin can’t be trusted to use or not use any feature appropriately then they shouldn’t be an admin and/or users shouldn’t participate in that forum.

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I think this feature should be applied with a plugin, rather than putting it on the core.

Adding the feature as a plug-in seems like a good solution as then it can be included when relevant.

This is already possible @SFisher

I just did this to using mail chimp via export userbase and upload. I have to say it was a hassle but worth it. VBulletin and Xenforo both have a built in feature for this. If it was an add on feature then it would be nice and worth as a purchase option instead of paying money monthly to another mailer service.

My testing on this in a few hours I got old members logging back in that discourse hadnt messaged in months. Using mailchimp you can customize it but its a pain and in my test to myself went straight to spam. But the members are responding to the mailout. Its nice since I just had a large amount of traffic to a post and needed to reach people right away.

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This doesn’t seem to be a good idea, at least according to MailChaimp…

I had an SMF forum dedicated to the cryptocurrency Peercoin and when we had major version releases we would send out mass emails for people to upgrade to the latest version. We have since migrated our SMF forum over to Discourse. However just last week we finally released a new version which requires 90% of people to upgrade. Today I went to send out a mass email, only to find out that it’s not possible with Discourse, which I didn’t realize.

We have three separate email lists, our chat, forum and the MailChimp newsletter signup forum on our main website. Usually we would send out a separate email from each service, since they each have different emails associated with them. Now though it seems like I will only be able to send out emails from our chat and MailChimp.

According to MailChimp, it’s a bad idea to send out emails to people who haven’t given explicit permission that they would like to receive them. Since our discourse forum provides no way for users to give permission upon registration about their desire to receive a newsletter via a check box, I won’t be able to merge these emails into our main list for fear of getting spam complaints or getting my MailChimp list blacklisted. Unless I am overlooking something important, this means I can’t ever send my forum users a manual email.

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Sure it does, go to Admin, customize, user fields and require it at signup. This does not help you for existing users on a forum that is 5 years old but if you launched that way, it does.

Also users who sign up have to be ok with some form of mail otherwise how would they validate their accounts?

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Thanks, I didn’t realize that was there. I’m just trying to figure out how I would make this work now with a custom user field. So I could add in the newsletter permission option upon registration and make it so that it appears on people’s profiles. Then each day I could go into the new users screen and check each new user profile to see if they gave permission or not. If they did, I would manually add them to our MailChimp list. If they didn’t give permission, I would just skip that user. But basically it would be something I would have to do manually from day to day, correct? I just keep track of whether new users gave permission and manually add the email addresses that did. Does that sound good or is there any other shortcut I may be missing?

Also, under field type, is confirmation a check box?

Consider just adding a statement to the sign up page [customize text] or your terms: “You may receive email and other notifications related to your account. You can set your preferences and opt out at any time.”

Forum notifications are not the kind of “unsolicited commercial email” generally restricted by law as “spam.”

Synching the opt outs and preferences with MailChimp is the harder part so you can add to Mailchimp email footer, “Opting out of this email will not affect forum emails. Visit your account to set you prefererences.”

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