[linux-elitists] eMail from web apps

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Tue Oct 8 15:00:46 PDT 2013

begin Andy Bennett quotation of Tue, Oct 08, 2013 at 10:09:51PM +0100:

> I'm currently writing a web app for online collaboration
> (https://www.knodium.com/ ) and I hoped to solicit your opinions on how
> and what eMail we should send to users that choose to supply us with
> their eMail address.

If it's a collaboration tool, you can expect that
users will forward some of the email they receive
from it.  "Hey, Andy, the collaboration server is
still complaining about too many curse words in the
install guide. Can you take a look at this?"

So, notification email should be small, clean,
and contain a unique URL for the thing being
collaborated about.  The URL should not be tied to
a user or session.

> What's good or bad about eMails you receive as part of a web app that
> you use (for example, eMails from Facebook or Twitter)?

The Jira ones are good.  The URL is high up and
easy to pick out, and there's enough context to make
it useful.

> What do you expect from a "welcome eMail"? How about a notification eMail?

Welcome email: persistent URLs for how to recover or
delete my account, or upgrade it.

Notification email: not too big, just the relevant
facts and URL.  Consistent headers to facilitate
sorting and filtering.

> Should mails be "on brand" or should they appear to come from a person,
> even if that person isn't real?
> I guess by "on brand" I mean colourful HTML with images like Twitter or
> LinkedIn and by "personal" I mean text/plain and text/html parts where
> the text/html part is the kind that an MUA might generate.

More branding is fine in the welcome email or
weekly opt-in tips and news email.   These can
be more personal and might be good to have them
signed by a "personality" who works on the site.
For notifications, though, any extra content is
potentially a problem because somebody might go into
a collaboration frenzy and generate huge quantities
of these while the reat of the team is on a trip with
limited bandwidth.

> I hope that this is not too off topic for this list but I figured that
> people here might not only have some strong opinions on the topic but
> might be able to offer some actual insights that "normal" people might
> be oblivious to.

Also, RSS feeds plz.

Don Marti                      +1-510-332-1587 (mobile)
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/        Alameda, California, USA
dmarti at zgp.org

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