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High new user retention is obviously desirable for SO and the community in general, has using email to bring new users back been considered? Not only could this help with retention but also with education on the SO ways such as including information on accepting answers, For instance new users could get a summary after so many hours (next day) about their first question(s)? along to lines of:

You first question on SO received 3 answers to date.

The top answers from FOO received X upvotes from the community did this solve your problem?

Others good answers from BAR and FOOBAR also might be useful to you.

Here are some question posted recently that you might find interesting, maybe you could help out with an answer?

Hope to see you back soon

The SO team

I'm not saying we should spam users telling them what to do but an email summary after the first couple of question based on (and tailored by) metrics such as:

  1. Last time user logged in.
  2. Number of questions asked (less then 5?).
  3. New information (comments, answers) on the users posts.
  4. User accept rate.

Could help bring people back to the site.

If the user accepted an answers the email could contains something along the lines of:

SO are delighted that your question [question title] was resolved!

Any new questions bugging you lately? Maybe you could help out with these..

Maybe if established users stop visting for say month they would recieve an email saying Look what your missing out on over at SO....

What do you think?

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5  
No. No, no, no, no, no. No. This question cannot possibly be downvoted enough. –  Jack Maney Dec 13 '12 at 19:13
8  
How is sending out e-mails people haven't requested not spamming them? –  ben is uǝq backwards Dec 13 '12 at 19:14
    
Because they signed up to the site and actively participated in it, I wouldn't consider an email from a service I had signed up to that contained information directly concerning me (such as an answer to my question) as spam. –  iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 19:17
7  
Wrong. Signing up for a site != signing up for an email. –  Jack Maney Dec 13 '12 at 19:18
    
It isn't such a horrible idea, granted, I wouldn't be affected by it. –  user7116 Dec 13 '12 at 19:41

1 Answer 1

No, please don't harass people with emails

I'm always hesitant to give my email address out anywhere online, and receiving what appears to be "spam" emails attempting to make me go back to the site would only push people away and lower the site's reputation.

In addition, currently most of the emails I receive from SE are relevant, and so I take the time to read them. I wouldn't want to reduce this relevance by mixing "spam" emails in with them, as it lowers the value of other emails from SE.

It's not that it's a bad idea to do something like that, but I think it's a bad idea to send it to their email. I wouldn't be against such an idea if it were somewhere on the site next time they visit though, such as along the right sidebar in the "ad" area.

share|improve this answer
    
Maybe the next time they logged that would see this summary as a homepage, I like this idea! I don't think it would lower the rep of the site if don't sparingly which I tried to emphasize, I agree emails are annoying when you recieving multiple a week with useless information. –  iiSeymour Dec 13 '12 at 19:08
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@sudo_O Personally I find even one unwanted email every few months highly annoying –  Rachel Dec 13 '12 at 19:19
1  
Yep. I maintain a "sign up online" email account simply so that the spam accumulates in a box I don't look at. –  dmckee Dec 13 '12 at 20:09

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