Need digests to Everyone, regardless of whether they logged in or not

My client has discourse running and wants to help drive engagement.

The digests only seem to go to people who have not logged in, and my client wants it to go to everyone, irregardless if they have logged in or not.

Can this be done, and if so, how please?

Aside: Is there an app (Android, Apple) for discourse?

Can’t help with the primary question, but there is an app that provides push notifications for Discourse sites. However, at the moment it only works for sites hosted by Discourse (see this post.)


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I’m confused by this

Seems to me that if a member is logging in, then they are engaging.

Anyway, there is Admin-> Settings -> User Preferences

default email always [default: not checked]
Send an email notification even when the user is active by default.

But AFAIK that is not the same as the Profile Setting

Activity Summary
When I don’t visit here, send me an email summary of popular topics and replies

IMHO the nicest way would be to ask members to uncheck that option.
The potentially more aggravating way would be to use the CLI to check it for members without their explicit agreement.

*Warning. by some definitions getting unsolicited emails is considered to be SPAM
Getting the forum onto a blacklist is most likely something you want to not happen.

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@Mittineague, I could be wrong, but I don’t believe digests are affected by that setting. Won’t digests only be sent if the user is not seen for x (default 7) days, regardless of admin side or user profile setting?

Hmmm, good question.

It’s been a while since I took a look at the code involved.

So there is a good chance I’m confusing how Notification emails vs. Digest emails now work.

This comes up from time to time, so below is the reply from the team unless things have changed in codinghorrorland. I still think it would be a valuable user setting and would enable it myself if it were available - people like to catch up on what they are missing via digests even when they have been logging in.

In our community we solved this with a monthly member newsletter, which we call “discussion highlights”. It’s basically a copy-paste job from the digest preview admin page right now, but we are considering upgrading it into a fully fledged structured member newsletter covering more than just discourse discussions.

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Thanks everyone. Super helpful and clear.

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Hi Tobias - are you willing to give me step by step on how to do that? I went to admin > Emails > Preview Digest and I am not sure how to get that to provide a preview, let alone send it out to everyone.

Hi Yunus,

Go to that page, choose the last seen date (e.g. the day of the last monthly mailing) and the username of a regular user who does not have access to private content. Then you will see the summary email containing all the new content you want to share.

How you get it from here and out via email is up to your preference. What I do is, using chrome, select the text I want, then right click on it, then select INSPECT. From the inspector pane I then copy the HTML of the text I want into the clipboard and then paste it into the source HTML part of a mailchimp content block. From there I make some minor tweaks, add an intro “ask”, and schedule the mailing! :rocket:

(note: mailchimp is a bit fussy about formatting so be sure to avoid editing your discourse HTML in the wysiwyg.)

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Thanks @tobiaseigen for the workaround. This is pretty unacceptable however from a product standard. Admins should have the ability to tweak the digest rules as they desire, including what the OP is asking for.

I guess it depends on the community. Can you tell us more about your use case and what your community members are missing? What is the problem you are wishing to solve with the email summaries?

I’ve found that the more you serve the email-only folks, the less valuable discussion you get happening on the forum. You want your community to log in to see what’s going on in the community and to join conversations, which is what the email summary entices folks to do. It’s not intended to be comprehensive or to serve those who never intend to log in.

Maybe the email summary could include a line indicating this, e.g. “This is a summary of the best activity recently. Log in to see all the great stuff there is to talk about!”

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Our group migrated from a Google Groups mailing list and found the digest emails way too sparse. We replaced it with a custom format which is comprehensive (in that it includes a excerpt from every post) but it’s only an excerpt, which still encourages users to visit the forum.

The issues of “comprehensiveness” and “everyone” are a bit different, but I think the digests could use a greater degree of control.

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Thanks, Mark! That’s pretty cool. Can you share how you did that for the benefit of others like @Darien who want this?

Another option for those users who want to see every topic in their email is to invite them to enable mailing list mode. Or they can set their activity summary to daily or hourly, if there is so much activity and people don’t want to miss out on a single post.

We had a big conversation about digests a few years ago, and the decision ultimately was to move away from the idea of digest and towards an email summary. The summary is not intended to be comprehensive like you would expect if you are used to mailing list digests.

Personally I think this was a great decision! It’s much easier and way better to read and contribute to discussions via the website anyway, and you want your users to get in the habit of using the website rather than scrolling through a long list of summaries in an email. The email summary is an excellent reminder to do that.

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@tobiaseigen - The way we are using or envisioning the use of digest is more of as a tool to remind folks of what else is happening in our community. In an active community it is easy to miss interesting topics and posts.

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…but I agree with the content being only a summary and not comprehensive. Thank you!

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Cool! I understand that concern but I think the “discourse” response is to encourage folks to log in to make sure they are not missing anything. It is not on you as forum owner or moderator to make sure people are not missing interesting discussions.

That said, you can also lead by example to create a culture of including people by mentioning them when you think they should be interested and asking them questions when their input can improve a discussion etc.

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