I always make sure that the Default Thread Subscription Mode is set to Instant email notification (this is the vBulletin terminology, but the principle is the same for other forum software). This means that when a reply is made in a thread that the member has either posted in or has subscribed too, they get an instant email notification of the reply. Members can change this option in the User Control Panel or User Account, if they do not like it. This is all part of the plan of converting people into regular posters (see the 90 9 1 concept).
By default, vBulletin and most some other forum software include the text of the reply in the email. I edit the default to NOT include this. (In vBulletin: Admin CP -> Languages & Phrases -> Search in Phrases; search for ‘notify’ in ‘Phrase Variable Name Only’ and remove the $pagetext section).
I edit the content of the posted reply out of the email for several reasons:
- The member has to return to the forum to see the message – this increases participation in the forum.
- If they read the posted reply in the email and no not return to the forum, they get no more emails of subsequent replies (obviously they do not want to be spammed if it is a popular thread!).
- The very occasional newcomer gets confused and replies to the email, assuming they are replying in the forum.
- Converting the member into a poster
- Should a visitor always need to register to post on a forum?
- Should you post messages as ‘Admin’?
- Optimize the welcome message for the visitor and the search engine
- A day in the life of forum administrator
- Sneaky tricks used by the spam link droppers
- Would you delete a user on request?