Though SE have policy not to send e-mails but Our community 'Ask Patents' drive lot of traffic from user outside SE ecosystem (Thanks to Google Patents 'Discuss' button) and being new they don't know how the SE system works. I feel our community drive question from user as 'unregistered user' (cookie based) and later user fails to recall where he posted it or no track of it. I believe for such user e-mail notification on answer and comments will be more useful and site health is improved.
To make it more precise when a registered user asks a question one check-box is present to ask 'Send me new responses to my posts via email' Question in Ask Patents Meta. However this option is not available for first time askers posting as guest (i.e. new user not logged in). Ideally it should be checked by default (hard to find any way). Is anything missing here for first time user?
I believe for first time user only email update can be by default. by this way guest user is updated. our 'Ask Patent' is quite about late answer type quality answer comes from 2 days or after few weeks and user forgets the same in meantime.
I also placed a bounty over following question What do we do to keep new users coming back to the site? ; and it came to my notice that that is kind of discussion and I need to make a feature request.