The Unsubscribe Problem

I worked with one client this year where members were given the option to opt out of all automated email contacts from the community.

This works fine until people forget their passwords and ‘request password’ feature was covered by the above opt-out.

That’s an extreme solution to the ‘opt-out’ problem.

At the other extreme is to give members detailed choices in exactly what they wish to subscribe and unsubscribe from:

The problem with this approach is it’s fiddly and messy. Members have to opt out of multiple things to stop getting messages.

I think we can group options into three categories based upon a member’s level of interest in the community. I’d break this into three categories.

  • Automated. This is automated onboarding campaigns, unique user journeys, and weekly digests, announcements, gamification updates/notifications.
  • Reactions. This is notifications of reactions to contributions (responses to posts, news feed notifications etc…), @mention notifications etc…
  • Private messages. Private messages from other members, chat requests, messages from the community manager, etc…

Most of the time, we automatically opt members in when they join and offer members a clear opt-out from each category above.

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