Does disabling "Full Message Text" in notification emails actually increase click-through rate?

DeltaHF

Well-known member
The question of whether or not to enable the "full message text" in notification emails from XenForo is a long-standing debate, but has anyone done any testing to back up their assumptions?

Is there any hard data to show that excluding the message text from notification emails increases click-through rates back to the site, or vice-versa?
 

Rusty Snippets

Active member
Good question.

Personally, as a user rather than a forum owner or administrator, I rarely click through unless the notification text is included.
I was going to say the complete opposite. If I can read the entire text, there is no reason to go to the website.
 

StarArmy

Well-known member
As an admin I've noticed that when the text isn't included the emails are far more likely to be sent to the spam folders of users.

This is a double edged sword, though, because if you do include the text, it will mail spam to your users if a spammer replies to the thread so if you have an ongoing spam problem you probably want to hide the text.

As a user I despise when the text isn't included. It really lowers my opinion of the forum because it's deliberately decreasing my usability. If the post deserves a like or reply I'm visiting the forum anyway...you don't have to hide the message to get me to visit. If I can't see what the message is, I'm likely to just delete the email and catch the message in my alerts next time I'm on the forum--whenever that is. If I like your forum, I'm going to be using push notifications for replies anyway, not emails.
 

djbaxter

Well-known member
As an admin I've noticed that when the text isn't included the emails are far more likely to be sent to the spam folders of users.
Excellent point. One of my friends likes to send me links to news items of mutual interest but his emails were frequently ending up marked as spam (this is my site/server account). I suggested he send a line of text with a short comment before posting the link - when he started doing that, his emails arrived just fine with no spam flags.

It doesn't help in all cases, of course, especially if the originating email is coming from a blacklisted site but it's a small thing that does help with deliverability.
 

RobinHood

Well-known member
it's deliberately decreasing my usability

Eh, not really. I mean for all you know there could be 100 more messages after that single reply in the email. Either way you'll need to visit the site to truly catch up on the conversation.

I disable it primarily so any content in the email doesn't get parsed by spam filters risking future deliverability issues.
It also means users are less likely to reply to the email itself.
Plus it funnels people back to the site where they may engage further.

I'll probably never go back to including the content in the email, there's too many downsides as an admin for no real benefit for the user.
 
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StarArmy

Well-known member
Emails that say what the reply was are always more useful and beneficial to the users.

If you look at notifications and link embed trends it's become widely expected for links to give previews or show snippets of the linked content, and these should be no exception.
 

Mr. Jinx

Well-known member
I disable it primarily so any content in the email doesn't get parsed by spam filters risking future deliverability issues.
It also means users are less likely to reply to the email itself.
Plus it funnels people back to the site where they may engage further.
Exactly my motivations to disable full text. I have had this option always disabled and all those years never got a single complaint about it.
 

RobinHood

Well-known member
Emails that say what the reply was are always more useful and beneficial to the users.

Not always. Posts on forums frequently get edited after first submissions, so large number of these emails with replies included become out of date within seconds of being sent.

Sure it can be interesting to see a post before it was then deleted, or the first version before someone decides to edit it because it was in the email, but in the grand scheme of things you're still frequently reading an outdated version of the post if you only read the email. It's better for users to click the link and see the latest version of the post at the time they decide to read it.

Rich snippets are completely different from thread reply content, so I don't think they're comparable.
 
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