Summary Email Changes


(Neil Lalonde) #1

See this post for more information

Currently we’re implementing a redesign of the Discourse summary emails (formerly known as the “weekly digest”). These emails are extremely important to community engagement and retention, so it’s time to improve them. Here’s how it’s looking so far from a bird’s eye view:

Some goals of the new design:

  • Bigger, bolder typography
  • At a glance information. Start with some counts to get an idea of how much you’ve missed, and get more specific the further down you scroll.
  • Styled content. Topics look like topics, posts look like comments.
  • More calls to action, like the “Join the discussion” links on each topic and post.

We’ve learned a lot from our customers about how important customization of these emails is, so I’ll be keeping that in mind too.

Thanks goes to @rewphus for getting this new template started! :heart:

Summary Email feedback
(Алексей Копаев) #2

What should be done to start testing on my forum?

(Neil Lalonde) #3

It’s not ready yet. Still working on it!

(Алексей Копаев) #4

The idea for the digest.
Just an idea.
At the bottom of the digest making unit with the possibility of filling the administrator:

#Sponsor mailing

sponsor text

#Important news Forum:

a short description of the news

(Sam Saffron) #5

How does it look on mobile? Can you add some screenshots?

(Neil Lalonde) #6

I’m still tearing down the mess that Foundation gave us and rebuilding it. It was tables with tables inside the tables and then tables all the way down until you find the words “Popular Topics” inside one final table.

The file size was way over the typical limit of 105kb, and I’ve got it down to about 50kb with 3 topics and 1 post. Will iron out the responsive stuff for mobile once the markup makes sense.

(Neil Lalonde) #7

I think what you’re asking for already exists:

It should be possible to keep the same outlets. Also something we didn’t have before was a way to customize preheaders, so I’ll try to add that too.

(Jeff Atwood) #8

(Dave McClure) #9

This is great… glad to see some attention going here.

Some things I like about the mock-up which you didn’t explicitly mention:

  1. post / topic author avatars shown
    this is something I’d been asked about before and I think will help a lot to bring people in who are interested to see what recognizable faces are saying about things
  2. topic like and reply counts shown
    better indication of the actual popularity of the topic
  3. personalized information
    how many unacknowledged notifications have piled up… good stuff… also the “new in topics and categories you follow”… very cool… don’t forget about tags :slight_smile: (and what does ‘follow’ mean?.. if they aren’t actually following too much, consider filling this space with other new topics up to some limit).

one other thing I’ve noticed that could be improved

  • add more posts when not enough are "popular"
    the culture on our forum hasn’t completely adjusted to “liking” things too liberally, and as such, sometimes there are very few popular posts, even when there were many quality posts… I’d like to see this spot filled with more posts in this scenario, even if they haven’t reached the like threshold (assuming that’s the issue).

(Nick) #10

Perhaps it makes sense to include some popular posts from older topics in the summary email as well? Right now, the Popular Posts only include posts from new topics. I think some users, especially new ones, might miss an interesting old topic and would welcome it being highlighted in a digest when something new and interesting is posted there.

I realize this may be not actual for very active communities where there are plenty of new topics and they compete to be featured in the digest.

(Dave McClure) #11

Similar to what @iva suggested, I’ve also noticed sometimes that older topics “heat up” again, but are not included in the weekly summary as topics or posts… (this may be a special case of these posts themselves not being liked enough to be popular though)…

(Jeff Atwood) #12

We are not adding a bunch of additional new work at this time, just trying to get the current plan executed.

(Tobias Eigen) #13

I’m really looking forward to the new summary emails. Thanks for working on this! :sunny:

I hear you on this and don’t want to get in the way of getting the current plan executed, but still want to ask… will bannerized topics have any place in the summary emails? If not now, would you be open to adding it later?

It would be very helpful to us if they were featured right at the top. Currently in our community we send out a monthly “discussion highlights” mailing via mailchimp which is pretty much identical to the summary email but contains an intro text featuring a specific, timely “ask” for community members. Usually this is an invitation to apply for a learning exchange, register for a webinar or join a campaign etc. It’s fairly impactful and useful, however pulling it together involves a manual process.

Going forward, we intend to discontinue the monthly discussion highlights but if we do we’d like to still be able to make these asks via the summary emails. It seems to me that banner topics would be the ideal way for us to handle this, to get the ask out to folks who do log in via the website and to those who don’t via the summary email.

(Neil Lalonde) #14

@tobiaseigen I think a much better way to do that is to add the banner to digest emails directly, using this feature:

Then you can control where it appears in the email, and have more control over when it starts and stops showing in emails independent of whether it’s showing on the site.

(Efuet A Andrew) #15

Makes lots of sense, this is already implemented on Quora…

(Jeff Atwood) #16

It is fine to capture ideas here for future work but the immediate goal is to get the change implemented first.

(Neil Lalonde) #17

Some work in progress on mobile, from iPhone 6S (click to expand the first one because it’s tall):

(Jeff Atwood) #18

Looking great, can’t wait to see it live!

(Roy Petter Torgersen) #19

This looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see it roll out

(Tobias Eigen) #20

me three! this is going to be great! :rocket: :e-mail: :rocket: :e-mail: :rocket: :e-mail: :rocket: