Summary Email feedback

The new summary email design is now checked into master and live on this site. Please post feedback and bugs about it here.

We tested extensively in Litmus to make sure the email will look “right” in most common email clients.

Example screenshot below, as viewed in GMail web, using live data from meta.discourse (click to view full size, it is very tall)

  • :white_check_mark: “New in … you follow” is squished on mobile due to too many columns. Put category under topic title in the same column.
  • :white_check_mark: “Join the discussion” is too long / verbose. Use “Read more” instead?
  • We should make sure tags are included in addition to categories for sites that have tagging enabled
  • :white_check_mark: Topic image preview is broken with CDN
  • :white_check_mark: Links with href="#"

This looks amazing, so much better than the summary digests we mailed out before — ping to @rewphus and @commonpawn who also assisted a great deal in this effort.


Here’s a mockup of what I think it should look like – move category underneath and use the color chip from the category:


Excited to see this live!
Looks amazing

1 Like

I downsized the heading (popular topics, popular posts, etc) font-size from 34px to 28px because they seemed ginormous to me; plus the “since your last visit” was already 28px, so this gives all the headings a consistent size.

So so much nicer than our old digest / summary emails…


It looks great.

One thing that bothered me was seeing a giant 0 at the top of the email for my unread notifications and messages.

My call would be to totally suppress that block of text if it is 0. Maybe add other interesting metrics instead.

New Posts

New Users


New email layout looks great, massive improvement!

Just a heads up that the links under “New in topics and categories you follow” do not have a url defined. Viewing the source shows href="#" for each of the links.

Also, the plain text version could probably use a bit of work as there is still some html and markdown in there, and the links are summarised at the bottom, not inline with each relevant section. Not a huge priority though I guess.


I don’t see any html in the text version, but it is markdown. That’s how it was before… I didn’t change the formatting, but did add some of the new sections. Markdown seems like the best compromise for the text version since we want to somehow include links to the topics.


I agree with this Neil, if there are zeroes, replace them with other stats. New Posts is totally reasonable and parallels “New Topics”, new users is a bit iffier but better than a zero!


Looks like broken (version: v1.7.0.beta7 +215):

Started GET "/admin/email/preview-digest.json?last_seen_at=2016-11-15&username=ex&_=1479831125788" for XXXXXXX at 2016-11-22 16:13:12 +0000
Processing by Admin::EmailController#preview_digest as JSON
Parameters: {"last_seen_at"=>"2016-11-15", "username"=>"ex", "_"=>"1479831125788"}
Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (20.2ms)
Completed 500 Internal Server Error in 52ms (ActiveRecord: 8.9ms)
ActionView::Template::Error (undefined method `title' for nil:NilClass)
/var/www/discourse/app/views/user_notifications/digest.html.erb:278:in `block in _app_views_user_notifications_digest_html_erb___3985553163569272910_70016698007800'

and one more:
Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (12.2ms)
Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (12.1ms)
Job exception: undefined method `title’ for nil:NilClass

Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (11.6ms)
Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (12.5ms)
Job exception: undefined method `title’ for nil:NilClass

Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (13.8ms)
Rendered user_notifications/digest.html.erb (14.5ms)
Job exception: undefined method `title’ for nil:NilClass


Thanks @exmac, I fixed that issue. Those are popular posts in deleted topics.


It’s great that you are working on this and there are some great inclusions :thumbsup:

However I am not convinced about the new look. I feel a digest email should be concise and succinct where you can take in a lot of information quickly and easily. With this new format you have to do a lot more scrolling and there is a lot more padding between items:

Additionally, with popular posts you are missing context as the title has become a secondary piece of information as you would generally want to know where the post is before reading it.

Also for those of us who use the digest email as an update of what you have missed (and have therefore upped the maximum topics to show) this mailer becomes very long and less likely for people to read it.

I think it would be good to ascertain:

  • What would a user want from a digest email?
  • How can we provide that information as concisely and succinctly as possible?

I personally feel that a digest email is to update users on what they have missed (rather than send them a page that is what they would expect if they were on the forum themselves… if that’s what they wanted they would probably visit the forum instead).

Just my two pence worth (hope I haven’t offended anyone).


A few thoughts after seeing a couple of these in my inbox now

  1. The column width for the text seem pretty wide (much wider than on the site). Can that be slimmed down with max-width to something?
  2. I think the "From: " line in Popular Posts could be left-justified above the quoted post to address @AstonJ’s concern and to give a click target on the left side of the page.
  3. Being able to change that top main background color would be nice.
  4. The text in the quote bubbles for popular posts could be a little darker or stronger. I find it a bit hard to read as is.

Are there any metrics on site visits from digest emails to measure the impact of changes like this?


My question might be stupid, is there a way to send ourself a summary email ? I would want to see that in the inbox and not just only on the admin panel

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@Steven Besides using the rails console, there’s no easy way. I’ll try to add a way to do that. :pencil:


During this transition, is there a possibility you’d be willing to support the traditional/legacy summary email format alongside the new format? This will be a big change for our community that we’d want to roll out/announce ahead of time but otherwise we like to be on the latest beta. Or do we need to switch to a stable branch that does not include the new format?

FWIW, I am very happy with the new summary email format and like the direction. It’s very slick!

No, this is the new digest / summary email format for 1.7, we do not retain old code in new releases.

1 Like

makes sense. I figured as much.

Thanks for this new feature, worked great !

I added a way today. After generating a preview, you can send the result to any email address.