Has the Community Team ever sent out a follow-up email, or SE-inbox message, to all committers who haven't been seen on the beta site for a few months, giving them an update on the site's growth, and inviting them to take another look?

Following on from this unanswered question: https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/58853/is-there-a-way-to-send-a-message-to-the-supporters-of-an-area-51-proposal

Our bright and shiny Sustainability Stack Exchange is just coming up to its first birthday since go-live. We've grown, we've just passed the thousand-user threshold, we've got some really good questions and answers, and we've just hit our second-highest every pageview count, surpassed only by a day straight after we went live, when all of our committers were emailed about the new site.

If a follow-up message has been tried before, how successful was it?

If it hasn't been done, can I volunteer Sustainability.SE to be the guinea pig?

Disclosure: I'm a pro-tem mod there.


Generally speaking, sending unsolicited email is not part of our go-to arsenal of how to promote things. There are hundreds of sites and activities and events that would benefit from more promotion… but unfortunately most of those conversations start with the idea: "Why don't we just send everyone an email?"… or another inbox notification/pop-up/system message/etc.

Certainly, your makes sense in isolation. But if we used (abused?) email or SE-inbox promotions for even a small fraction of well-intentioned ideas, it would become untenable pretty fast. Philosophically, we've always been a bit opposed to intrusion by email in general. The SE-inbox is a bit more "part of the site", but the over-use/abuse issue is still a big consideration.

But having said that, we are looking at ways to increase engagement through carefully-considered email that actually provide welcomed value to the user. But we're not likely to become one of those annoying sites that create a never-ending stream emails for users who dared looked at one of their services long ago.

  • Thanks Robert. Does that apply to messages to the SE-inbox, as well as email? – 410 gone Jan 9 '14 at 16:26
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    You're right to be cautious about sending too many notifications. One case where you send a notification (inbox, not email) to all users of a site is when there's an election -- even users who haven't been active in months. So it seems like there's a notion of "important points in a site's life" that justifies a notice. Is "beta site anniversary" such a point? Seems reasonable to me. – Monica Cellio Jan 9 '14 at 16:32
  • @EnergyNumbers The SE inbox is an on-site feature users have to go to. It's not as intrusive (push) as putting something in a users personal email box. There still a consideration of overloading that box to the point of making it less useful, but that bar is much lower. – Robert Cartaino Jan 9 '14 at 16:33
  • @MonicaCellio If you're already actively using the network, that's just cross-site promotion. Yes, that's a "thing", but an anniversary isn't really an event the inbox was designed to notify about. Really, it's just an arbitrary excuse to say "hey, don't forget us over here!" That doesn't seem (to me, at least) a "notification"-type event. Just my opinion, of course. We're getting a bit off topic, though. – Robert Cartaino Jan 9 '14 at 16:44
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    So to my specific question: does that mean it hasn't been tried yet? And that an SE-inbox message could be considered for an experiment, providing the message was appropriate, and the right monitoring was in place to measure the experiment's success? – 410 gone Jan 9 '14 at 17:00
  • @EnergyNumbers Not that I can immediately recall. – Robert Cartaino Jan 9 '14 at 17:03

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