Recommendation - Improve the email customization

I’m not sure if this is the place to add product recommendations, but it seemed to be the closest.

It appears that developers made Discourse without considering designers and marketers. From the way the forum looks, to the way emails are customized.

The people who run communities are typically not developers, so it would be really helpful to have easier to use customization options, and more customization options.

Specifically, email customization needs improvement. I am a community manager with a background in digital marketing. The email automation is terrible. From the design to the ability to customize triggers. It just wasn’t made with marketers in mind.

The need for design improvements is glaringly obvious. No-code is only getting more and more popular. It would be wise to implement visual development within Discourse. From a marketing point of view, it would be great to have automation options. If a community member hasn’t been engaged for a specific amount of time, I would love to send them a nudge back to our community. There are so many more things within this vein that a typical marketer thinks about. That was just one example.

If this isn’t the place to give product feedback, then please point me in the right direction and I will delete this and share it there. Thanks!

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This is the best place for this kind of feedback/recommendation!

I think part of this is that Discourse was never meant to be an email marketing platform, so you’re right that it wasn’t built with marketers in mind. Generally emails sent from Discourse are transactional, and directly relate to an individual’s activity in the community.

Discourse will never be good as dedicated email marketing platforms are at sending marketing emails, but additional email functionality isn’t an uncommon request. It’s likely that any marketing-related email improvements will rely on integrating with third-party services (something we’ve started to look into more recently).

Some integration with third-party emailing services can already be achieved through webhooks, but those can be hard to approach if you’re not technical… and even then you’re a bit limited.

What future improvement will probably look like is a more direct integration with email marketing platforms like mailchimp, convertkit, constantcontact, etc… So it’s possible you may be able to configure some simple no-code automation like:

if [user hasn’t logged in within X days] then [subscribe user to X mailchimp list]

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Yes! 3rd party integrations are absolutely sufficient for my needs, but as stated, Discourse isn’t quite there yet. We use Hubspot, and the integration isn’t very friendly, nor comprehensive enough to meet our needs (we would need to use Zapier or Integromat). If we use web hooks and say Zapier, for example, it will end up costing us a fortune, as our community is pretty large. Thank you for your response!

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If you’re self-hosted, Creating a plugin that makes the Hubspot calls that you want might be an option. I once wrote something like that for Mailchimp, though it might not work anymore: GitHub - pfaffman/discourse-mailchimp-webhook

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