It’s slightly ironic that the same people who ignore every digest email are often committed to sending as many as possible.
Digests serve a simple purpose – they bring people back to the community. They let people easily scan what’s new in their current flow (checking email) and see if anything strikes their interest.
Ideally, they help form habits too.
You have a big decision with digests. Do you send what’s new, what’s unanswered, or what’s popular?
The problem with sending digests filled with new or unanswered posts is the content might not be engaging or might be too difficult to answer.
The problem with sending digests filled with the most popular content is the people most likely to open the emails are also most likely to have already seen the popular content.
The simple option is to show what’s most popular, new, and unanswered in a single email.
If you can’t do that – it’s usually best to send what’s popular on a weekly to monthly basis (based upon the quantity of content your community creates). Less frequency is usually better.
However, if you can, send two digests. Your top 10% of members get a list of new or unanswered posts – with a challenge to solve them. The rest of your members get to see what’s popular.