TL;DR:

Today we launched a new Email Settings feature that lets you select the types of email messages you do and do not want to receive from us.

>> Change your Email Settings

We made it easier to turn particular types of email on and off

In our prior user interface, the email-category descriptions were confusing and sometimes redundant. In addition, opt-in and opt-out functionality was scattered across different Stack Exchange communities, with different ways to set preferences on different parts of our sites.

Old Email User Interfaces

The new Email Settings feature is your one-stop gateway for managing all of your subscriptions across all of your Stack Exchange communities. Now you can tell us in one place what you do and do not want to receive. In addition, if we send you email, you can use our one-click unsubscribe link to automatically leave the list in question. Our new Email Settings is mobile friendly, letting you manage your email preferences on the go.

New Email Settings Interface

We apologize if you recently received email you didn't want

We have been working behind-the-scenes to launch these new Email Settings for a few months. While all of the planning was going on behind the scenes, we sent a handful of email-marketing campaigns.

Our approach was to categorize the campaign in question as being part of the new email list it would belong to if Email Settings were already live:

  • If you were already opted in to an existing email list that was being renamed or merged with another list, we transferred your existing opt-in to the new list. We also had a bit of internal debate about which types of emails should go out from different lists. We sent a few emails from the former "Tips & Recommendations" list that have since been reclassified as belonging to the "Recommended Jobs" list. We realize this isn't an ideal user experience, and a few of you raised issues like this here on Meta.

  • If you recently received an email campaign and unsubscribed from a particular email list, we honored your opt-out. You were NOT added back to the list when we renamed or merged it. For example, if you opted out of the "Tips & Recommendations" list after receiving a Jobs email, you are also opted out of the "Recommended Jobs" list.

  • If you previously unsubscribed from all lists, we did NOT add you to any new lists. You are still unsubscribed from all marketing lists. The only email you may still be receiving are messages you explicitly signed up for, such as newsletters, question subscriptions or job alerts. And, of course, we may still occasionally send you transactional emails and legal notices related to your account.

Please sign up for our new Research email list

As part of our Email Settings launch, we created a new list that didn't exist in our old interface: Research.

If you want to speak your mind in our annual Developer Survey, participate in usability tests for Stack Overflow or take surveys about third-party technologies, please subscribe to the Research list.

You have NOT been automatically opted in to this list.

In the next Email Settings release, a small number of users who explicitly opted in to receive research solicitations will be added to the Research list. They are users who expressed interest via the 2017 Developer Survey, responded to relevant Stack Overflow ads or participated in past research projects.

Going forward, newly registered Stack Overflow users will be opted in to this list only if they indicate that they want to receive promotional emails from us.

>> Subscribe to Research list

More details about each email type

In our new interface, we've tried to be clear and concise about each type of email, but here's a little more color commentary about each one.

  • Features & Announcements: Sign up for this if you want to be one of the first to get the scoop on a new product or feature, see the results of our annual developer survey or learn what's happening at Stack Overflow.

  • Tips & Reminders: emails that are triggered by your on-site activity. For example, new users receive a welcome email series when they create a Stack Overflow account, and existing users receive occasional reminders if they need to take action. Because these emails are transactional in nature, all users are automatically opted in to them — but if you don't want them, you can easily opt out.

  • Inbox: a weekly, daily or every-3-hours digest of the notifications that appear for you on Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange sites. They are mostly related to your questions, comments and answers.

  • Community Milestones: emails related to your bounties, reputation milestones and top new users. Because these emails are transactional in nature, all users are automatically opted in to them — but if you don't want them, you can easily opt out. If you qualify for swag, this is how we notify you — so you might want to keep this one turned on.

  • Research: as described above, a new bucket specifically for soliciting survey, usability testing and other study participation.

  • Newsletters: weekly digests of top questions from Stack Overflow and other Stack Exchange communities. You are opted in only if you explicitly signed up for a particular community's weekly newsletter.

  • Question Subscriptions: email alerts when new questions arrive based on tech tags or other criteria you set. You will receive these only if you specifically set up one or more filter subscriptions on Stack Overflow or other Stack Exchange sites.

  • Recommended Jobs: emails that highlight open positions and companies that are hiring on stackoverflow.com/jobs. Invaluable if you are actively looking for a new job, and an easy way to occasionally see what's out there if you are open to new opportunities. We try to send you only the most relevant recommendations based on your job preferences, location, tech tags and other factors. If you take actions that indicate you are currently on a job hunt, you will receive these emails more often than users who don't.

  • Job Alerts: daily or weekly summaries of new jobs that match your search criteria. You will receive these only if you explicitly signed up for job-search alerts.

Looks great! Now what?

The new Email Settings feature is live today for all users. The goal here is to make the types of emails we send easier to understand and to give users full control, so you can be sure you’re only getting emails you actually want to read.

>> Change your Email Settings

We think this new version is much more intuitive to use, but if something’s still confusing or not working right, please let us know.

  • Share general feedback in the answers here.

  • To report a bug, please post a separate question using the tags and .

  • To request a new feature, please post a separate question using the tags and .

  • 2
  • How do I switch off the reminders that I should post more of the work that I have done on my Jobs Profile? – Erno Jul 27 '17 at 19:05
  • 2
    @Erno assuming you're talking about this email, you can turn this off by unsubscribing from the Tips & Reminders bucket. – Donna Jul 27 '17 at 19:57
  • 1
    I'm confused. I haven't gotten any emails from Stack Exchange in at least six months, but my new email settings pane shows "Inbox" is set to "daily." So...is the settings pane wrong? Or has something changed and I'm going to start getting daily emails all of a sudden? – Wildcard Jul 27 '17 at 21:11
  • 6
    @Wildcard nothing has changed. Inbox emails are only sent if you don't view your inbox elsewhere (e.g. directly on a site or via the mobile app). – Dean Ward Jul 27 '17 at 22:19
  • 1
    @DeanWard, so you mean, if I got inbox notifications but didn't visit the site, they would be emailed to me after a day? – Wildcard Jul 27 '17 at 22:22
  • @Wildcard That's how it works for me :) – Clonkex Jul 27 '17 at 22:36
  • 1
    @Wildcard yup, that's right – Dean Ward Jul 27 '17 at 22:44
  • 4
    um, is it just me or does the strive to be happy guy seem to be hanging himself? – Tschallacka Jul 31 '17 at 9:44
  • All your links were giving me 404 until I joined this community, probably not a bug but it was annoying. – GER Aug 2 '17 at 14:36
  • @GER Because Email Settings are directly tied to your account, they only work for users who have an account and are logged in to that account. Sorry for the inconvenience. – Anita Taylor Aug 3 '17 at 0:22
  • 2
    For what it's worth, and while I definitely need to go through this in more detail later, still for now let me say: Thank you for catering to those of us who still like to use e-mail! It's becoming more and more common for services on the web to ignore or demote e-mail; this is a breath of fresh air in comparison. – a CVn Aug 3 '17 at 21:52
  • The "Change your Email Settings" link at top 404s if you're not logged in. – psoft Aug 4 '17 at 15:59
  • @psoft Because Email Settings are directly tied to your account, they only work for users who have an account and are logged in to that account. Sorry for the inconvenience. – Anita Taylor Aug 4 '17 at 17:06
  • 1
    Is ‘Don’t have an ETA’ the new ‘6 to 8 weeks’? ;) – Jan Aug 10 '17 at 3:24

Nice, but I suspect that for many people it's not enough.

Not for personal use, but I do believe many people just hate emails of all kinds, so similar to the winterbash "I hate hats", I suggest adding "I hate emails" checkbox:

It won't be ticked by default, but ticking it would override any other preferences, disable the rest of the form, and of course will cause no emails to be sent to this user. (Except for private moderator messages, which shouldn't care if the user hate emails or not.)

  • 11
    We aren't calling it "I hate emails," but we are already working on an "unsubscribe from all" button. It couldn't be included in this first release because of backend complexities related to our Newsletters, Question Subscription and Job Alerts. We don't have a definitive timeline for when we will be able to release it, but we are definitely working on it. – Anita Taylor Jul 31 '17 at 15:35
  • @Anita thanks, guess I can't expect more than that at this point. :) – Shadow Wizard Jul 31 '17 at 21:38
  • 8
    Allow me to clarify on the technical bits: the reason it isn't present is until we move Newsletters and Question Filters over (very different and old system/database/everything), we'd be lying, and those things would still send after an unsub as they don't go through the new pipe yet. We really don't want to do that to anyone. As soon as they're moved, the button goes live. – Nick Craver Aug 2 '17 at 20:19
  • Thanks @Nick I suspected as much... – Shadow Wizard Aug 2 '17 at 21:20
  • The only setting I need in any email preferences screen. – Sinatr Aug 7 '17 at 11:10
  • @AnitaTaylor An "unsubscribe from all" isn't enough. I'd like to have a "preemptive" option where I can tell "I don't want further emails". Ideally your button would be "unsubscribe from all current and future". A lot of companies play on that stuff and create a new newsletter for every two or three e-mails, which is bad because they don't respect the idea behind the actions we take. – Olivier Grégoire Aug 10 '17 at 9:41
  • @Olivier Grégoire, if you "unsubscribe from all" you are telling us that you don't want further emails -- current and future. Stack Overflow is not a dishonest company that engages in dishonest email practices. We are smart enough to realize that emailing people who don't want to hear from us hurts us more than it helps us, because it increases the chances that our emails get blocked, blacklisted or sent to the spam folder. Unsubscribing from all means you will not hear from us, except for system emails such as password resets and rare legal notices to all of our users. – Anita Taylor Aug 10 '17 at 14:57
  • @AnitaTaylor Okay, if that's what you mean by "unsubscribe for all", then I'm all in! Thanks for clarifying (though, it'd be nice that there's such a description on the page if you put that text as is, even if it's a hover on a "?" text). – Olivier Grégoire Aug 10 '17 at 15:28

The changes are pretty awesome.

The page is now more focus on UX than the features.

It is a timely update with a new User Experience.

Till date, the email subscriptions looks ugly with the old traditional look and feel but the new toggle switches and the ability to subscribe for multiple sites are good changes.

Thanks for this timely update.

The colours of the switches are a bit confusing. Usually those sort of switches has a grey background with a white rectangle that moves left and right, here it's the opposite and it has no animation.

Also the green part: One could think that the background is split into green and red and that the white rectangle is the slider above it (like in some toilet doors).

Possible changes that could help:

  • Add animation
  • Switch colours
  • Move the buttons apart from each other so that they look more like two buttons instead of one slider
  • Be consistent with grey/grey, green/red or white/white.
  • 3
    At first glance I did not agree, as seeing one green button explains all, I felt. But if all are disabled, or if all enabled (green) options are outside the current view, then the difference between white and grey is indeed confusing to me. – Arjan Jul 29 '17 at 14:16
  • 1
    I feel like the colors or so distinct that the direction the button is moving can be disregarded. – LinusGeffarth Aug 4 '17 at 14:10

The Community Milestones option is confusing to me.

First it says it is about me: my bounties, and then all of a sudden it is about top users? What does 'Jon Skeet' have to do with my bounties? Why can't I opt-in for my bounties and not for Jon Skeets reputation milestones?

  • 1
    Wait, what? What Jon Skeet got to do with this? Thought he's mentioned here but can't see such a mention anywhere. – Shadow Wizard Jul 31 '17 at 9:14
  • 1
    The quotes are there for a reason @Sha ;) . From the specs above: "emails related to your bounties, reputation milestones and top new users". (although Jon is not new, okay) – Patrick Hofman Jul 31 '17 at 9:16
  • ohhh. Well, it's about milestones in the whole community, plus yours. Admit it's not crystal clear, but think it's not too bad. :) – Shadow Wizard Jul 31 '17 at 9:17
  • Are my bounties milestones? I don't feel like that. @Sha – Patrick Hofman Jul 31 '17 at 9:17
  • 2
    hmm.... good point. :) – Shadow Wizard Jul 31 '17 at 9:23
  • 2
    We agree that the naming is not crystal clear, but it was the best we could think of for now. This list is for transactional emails specifically related to Q&A that didn't neatly fall into our other categories. Whatever it's called, your chances of receiving email from this list is pretty low. Relative to our other lists, only a tiny trickle of email goes out from Community Milestones. – Anita Taylor Jul 31 '17 at 15:46
  • 1
    Building on @anita's point: This particular bucket is a legacy grouping of "stuff that wasn't convenient to mix with 'inbox' emails for various (unrelated) reasons, many years ago" I believe it currently includes emails for 1) your expiring bounties 2) community event notices, and 3) "you've hit an astounding rep level and we want to send you swag." – Jaydles Aug 3 '17 at 19:55
  • @Jaydles If feels like the Other category. All unrelated stuff we couldn't put anywhere else. – Patrick Hofman Aug 3 '17 at 19:57
  • 2
    I would say 1 should go to the Inbox group. (And why not rename the group to Milestones. Seems more correct to me since my expiring bounties are not related to the community in any way. @Jaydles – Patrick Hofman Aug 3 '17 at 20:00

These granular email settings should allow users to Subscribe to a Question on Stack Overflow.

Subscribe to a particular question by email (not RSS)

Subscribing to questions and comments that don't belong to you

These newly introduced email settings should make it easy for people who don't want email to turn off per-Question subscription emails. Thus the option should be added for people who do want to subscribe by email to all updates on particular questions.

I find it strange that these email settings currently allow you to do things like subscribe to all New Questions with a particular Tag.

But it's impossible to subscribe by email, through the Stack Exchange interface, to all updates to a particular question. Impossible without resorting to a 3rd party RSS solution.

This is a very common problem. You find a question that currently doesn't have a good answer. You want to be notified when a new answer is posted. This is impossible on Stack Overflow, unless YOU are the one who asked the original question.

Compare to something like GitHub, where it's very easy to subscribe to all changes to a repo. Or to all discussion on a particular Issue ticket. Almost every community has such as option, and for good reason: it's an extremely useful feature.

Something I'm personally missing is some kind of visual indication that changes I've made are saved. For example, if I change a setting, all that happens is that that particular setting changes the way it looks. There is no visual feedback at all that my changes have been saved. In fact, I actually clicked the "save" button next to the Email field the first time I tried it because I thought that was the button I should use to save the rest.

For me, the "inbox" option is much too coarse to be useful. The only way I would want to receive email from stackexchange would be if I could narrow it down to the following condition:

  • Someone posts a new answer to a question that I've starred, or to a question that I asked. --AND--

  • It's been 24 hours since they posted that answer. --AND--

  • I haven't visited the page for the question during the time since they posted the answer.

If the condition is less strict than this, then I have to look at my in box every day and wade through a possibly voluminous email from stackexchange, which will almost never contain anything of interest.

This looks very complicated.

Simply marking all email from stack overflow as spam makes my email client solve the problem of "too much email from stack overflow" problem easier and with less work on my part.

What do you have to offer that solves the problem faster and simpler than "mark as spam" does? Remember, even reading the mail and finding "please unsubscribe" and clicking on it is orders of magnitude less safe and more work than telling the client to mark the email as spam.

This feature looks great if you want to selectively recieve some email and want to have to manage exactly what email you get and tweak it when you change your mind. But your competition is "mark as spam". (Or, better for you, "filter all emails from this address out of inbox and into StackOverflow folder to be never read").

  • 1
    The problem is that you're marking as spam something that's not spam. Gmail customizes auto-spam by such flags like yours, so someone might get those emails in spam, when he wants them in the inbox. Your post sounds bit like "SE is all spam, I don't want to hear anything about it". What's so "complicated" in the system? Pressing the button "off" on each switch? If you do, you will NEVER recieve any emails in future. Also, "I don't want any emails" button is going to be added soon. – RedClover Aug 11 '17 at 6:29
  • @soaku I am saying user interface wise, "mark this email as spam" is what their design is competing against. That is a fact. I am not saying people should do that, I am sayong what people can and will do as an alternative. I understand that such marking causes harm to SO; this is a reason why SO should try to avoid people resorting to hitting that button in their email client. I do not know how SO should do that; I am just pointing out that this large complicated form seems ill-suited to doing that. – Yakk Aug 11 '17 at 11:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .