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Mind your Notifications People!

Something to consider as your sites grow bigger & get busier, is monitoring the number of notifications that your site is sending to users. This is not a 'set and forget' feature, it is important for site operators to continually monitor all defalut site communications to ensure that we are striking that happy medium between engagement & overwhelm.

Too few notifications: users aren't aware of or engaged in your community.

Too many notifications: users become overwhelmed, will black list your site or unsubscribe to all notifications.

Within UNA it's easy for users to manage their own notifications, but your new & casual users might not know that. And in the early days, it's really important that we keep them engaged, so they don't switch off entirely. Perhaps consider an email to new site users that explains how they can manage their notification preferences within your site.Especially for sites that have native apps - you might want to turn down or off some of your email notifications, there are few thing more annoying than getting multiple notifications about the same piece of content, although this can be a tricky one, just because you have an app published, doesn't mean that your users have it installed... 🤔

Remember that UNA offers three ways to manage notifications;

  1. The default set to be defined by Operators, managed via Studio (pictured in the header image above.) 
  2. Each user can define their own preferences.
  3. Users can 'Opt out' of all notification, the link to do this is at the bottom of every email (you probably don't want this)

Again it is important to note that there is no definitive right or wrong on this topic - it is not a set & forget feature - as site operators you need to take a proactive approach here, don't overwhelm your users, keeping that vital line of receiving notifications open is really important for your site, it's almost impossible to get them to resubscribe if you lose them.

Hope this helps, just some insights from my observations in joining and building lots of UNA sites - would love to know your experiences as well, please share them in the comments, (I've switched notifications back on, so I'll be sure to see them...)

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Comments (8)
    • i hate notifications, i would like to find a way to stop my site sending all notifications to user except mybe a freinds request and a you've got a mail notification. Guess what? I can't figure out a way to do that either.

      • Hi Little Pockets - it is demonstrated above - you can edit the default set of notifications via Studio > Notifications, this will instruct the notifications that every new user gets when they join the site, every user can always edit their own preferences via yoursite.com/page/notifications-settings

      • Perfect! I thought the thing you was talking about was actually user personal preferences. I have now muted all notifications comging from my site except for new friend. there doesn't seem to be a new mail, maybe i havn't got something installed. When I joined the UNA side of this site i got hundreds of emails all that someone did this and someone did that, it sent me emails for the activity of every thing lol. i didn't want that to happen to my members. but a mail saying, new friend or new mails is ok

        • i killed off my first 3 months of adopters trying to decide between taking things away they were used to, versus teaching them to only have certain things go to email that they will see, but need not be aware of- like a new friend.
          but notifications are annoying in real life because the computer (the synthetic system) was programmed to do stuff that wouldnt happen in nature... in nature if something beeped or demanded your sensory attention that much without much functional return you would bury it, remove it, ask it to stop, reason with it, etc, or eat it, or take it for a long walk.. lmfao
          the rest of my comment is here:

        • The Notifications module has been full of bugs for some time now, we still see our users receiving 2, 4, 10 notifications for the same event from time to time. This is intermittent.

          Unfortunately, despite both ourselves and many others asking for help on the notification issues there has been very little assistance from UNA, we had to bring in a third party developer to help us get notifications under control.

          My advice is to turn off as many "Push" notifications as possible on your site and all "E-mail" notifications. It's the e-mails that really bug users.

          Look out for the BLUE warning sign in your notifications module, this means trouble is ahead as the system is going to spam your users. Even if you clear these triangles, they come back.


        • And , Mark Purser , what is the function of "On Site" ? Does that mean the notifications shown on bell icon on top of the page while on computer and "Push" is for phone app only?

          • Thanks Mark Purser for this reminder. However, I'm currently having a challenge sending and receiving email notifications on my site. It was in excellent condition when I installed on a shared server.  But everything stopped after migrating to a VPS. Not even a single successful email has been sent since migrating. I don't know if it's a function notifications or SMTP module.

            These have given site users an unfriendly experience as they can't even confirm emails or retrieve login details. I'll appreciate your advise on this so I can put your notification lessons to practice. Thanks

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