How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

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gpraceman
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by gpraceman »

An administrator should have an easy way to stop notifications for inactive members. I see no need for an administrator to be able to turn on notifications for anyone, just off.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by 3Di »

gpraceman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:12 am
An administrator should have an easy way to stop notifications for inactive members. I see no need for an administrator to be able to turn on notifications for anyone, just off.
That's what extensions are for.

As I tried to explain that's not something that should be a part of the core code as for the above reasons I posted.
Eg. I opted-in to be notified about some thing, it is my personal choice (UCP) so no one has the right to change it right or wrong. We're talking about privacy (emails) and freedom.

In case there are users with a wrong email as in this case I understand it's a problem, but you can't eliminate a problem by creating another one, you should obviously look for a better way. Example create a ticket if it doesn't already exist and see how it ends up.

I can understand a system that recognizes the wrong recipients/containers and puts them on a list that is used as an exclusion from the notifications sent, something similar and automated, for example.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by gpraceman »

3Di wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:24 am
As I tried to explain that's not something that should be a part of the core code as for the above reasons I posted.
Eg. I opted-in to be notified about some thing, it is my personal choice (UCP) so no one has the right to change it right or wrong. We're talking about privacy (emails) and freedom.

In case there are users with a wrong email as in this case I understand it's a problem, but you can't eliminate a problem by creating another one, you should obviously look for a better way. Example create a ticket if it doesn't already exist and see how it ends up.

I can understand a system that recognizes the wrong recipients/containers and puts them on a list that is used as an exclusion from the notifications sent, something similar and automated, for example.
A person has a right to privacy and not be pestered with unwanted emails, so an admin should not be able to opt someone into notifications, of course. However, I don't see how anyone has a "right" to be notified about a new post to a thread or a new thread to a forum. It is a feature of convenience to members. Taking away that ability for people that haven't even been active in the board for an extended period of time should not really be an issue.

Unfortunately, many people are lazy. They will flag an email as spam to get the emails to stop, instead of following the unsubscribe link in the email. That's the easier (lazy) way for them. They don't understand that if lots of people do that, an email provider will start blocking the IP that is sending the emails because of too many user complaints. Have you ever tried to get your server unblocked from one of these email providers? It can be a pain and in the meantime, anyone with that same email provider, that actually wants to receive emails from the board, cannot.

Personally, I don't care if it is core functionality or an extension. I just want the ability to remove these inactive members from the notification list. If that means me having to doing some SQL queries, then that is what I'll do.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by KYPREO »

OK I have successfully managed to manually turn off email notifications for users with known dead email addresses. I did this using the queries I listed on the previous page. There were 120 affected accounts in my case. I created a spreadsheet listing the email addresses, then saved the values as a CSV with single inverted commas as the text delimiter. I cut and paste these values into the query to identify user IDs. I selected user_id, username and user_email as part of the query, then exported the results into a CSV file to use as a record of affected users in spreadsheet format (and notify users by PM, see below).

I exported the affected user_id numbers into a comma separated list and inserted this into the query to update user notification options.

I then used the list of usernames from the spreadsheet as a BCC list to send a private message to all the relevant users, as follows:
Dear user

You are receiving this message because you have subscribed to notifications by email for new private messages, subscribed topics and/or subscribed forums but the email address account for your account is no longer valid. This means that email notifications sent to your designated address are being rejected. Large numbers of rejected emails can have an adverse effect on a forum such as this and result in legitimate emails to members being mistakenly marked as spam.

It is important to ensure the email address for your account is kept up to date so that:
  • You can receive email notifications if you wish to do so.
  • If you forget your password or have any other issues with your account.
  • Emails being sent by _________________ to other users are not mistakenly marked as spam.
To update your email address:
  • Please go to your User Control Panel by clicking on the drop down arrow next to your username in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  • Go the tab marked "Profile".
  • In the left hand menu, select "Edit account settings".
  • Enter a valid working email address in the "Email address" field.
  • Click the "Submit" button.
This page is illustrated below:

PLEASE NOTE: It is critical that you enter a valid email address. Once you change your email address, your account will be temporarily deactivated until the email address you have supplied is validated. An email will be sent to the new email address with a link to validate the address and re-activate your account. Please check your junk/spam email folder if you do not receive the email within a few minutes. Otherwise contact us at ________________________ or via Facebook Messenger at ___________.

Once you have updated your email address, to turn email notifications back on:
  • Please go to your User Control Panel by clicking on the drop down arrow next to your username in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  • Go the tab marked "Board preferences".
  • In the left hand menu, select "Edit notification options".
  • Click a box in the email column for any types of notifications that you would like to receive by email.
  • Click the "Submit" button.
This page is illustrated below

Thank you for your understanding and feel free to message me back with any queries.

Kind regards

_______________________
I am sharing this here in the hope it saves some time for other board administrators facing this issue.

To add a list of recipients to Compose PM, you can just copy and paste directly from a column of usernames from a spreadsheet like the one described above, as phpBB wants you to put each username on a separate line.

EDIT: fixed some typos and added description on how to copy recipient list from spreadsheet.
Last edited by KYPREO on Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by 72degrees »

KYPREO wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:31 am
Also, we're only talking about turning notifications OFF here - effectively unsubscribing them from email notifications, which is the opposite of spam :P ...and they're not getting the emails anyway, because they don't have a valid email address. Every admin should be able to have control of where notification emails are being sent by their board. This is in fact within the spirit of anti-spam legislation. You will find many privacy/anti-spam laws and codes require those who manage mailing lists to keep the list clean by removing dead emails. This is why some IP reputation services actually mark you down for repeatedly sending emails to dead addresses. I could equally argue phpBB is currently in default of those requirements because it does allow an admin to prevent the board from sending emails to dead addresses.
I recently did a mass mailing from a forum regarding its future (succession planning, if you will). Several (but fewer than 10) email addresses bounced. I checked when the user associated with that address had last been active. If that was more than 7 years I deleted the user. Should the (former) user in question theoretically come to log in again they will have the option to simply re-register or use 'Contact Admin'. Draconian perhaps, so in future I may send a last PM warning as outlined in your helpful post - though if users are not logging in and email notifications of PM are being bounced, how will they ever know?
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie »

if you have members who have not visited in a long time, just delete their accounts. they obviously don't care about your board . this would be much easier and quicker than everything you have gone through so far.


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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by gpraceman »

Code: Select all

UPDATE `phpbb3_user_notifications` SET `notify`=0 
WHERE `method`="notification.method.email" AND `user_id` IN(
SELECT `user_id` FROM `phpbb3_users` WHERE `user_lastvisit` > 0 AND`user_lastvisit` < 1487884864
)
Here's the down and dirty query that I came up with. Anyone that hasn't been active in the board for more than 3 years had their notifications removed.

In my case that was a whopping 6,045 records affected.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by KYPREO »

gpraceman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:48 am

Code: Select all

UPDATE `phpbb3_user_notifications` SET `notify`=0 
WHERE `method`="notification.method.email" AND `user_id` IN(
SELECT `user_id` FROM `phpbb3_users` WHERE `user_lastvisit` > 0 AND`user_lastvisit` < 1487884864
)
Here's the down and dirty query that I came up with. Anyone that hasn't been active in the board for more than 3 years had their notifications removed.

In my case that was a whopping 6,045 records affected.
Nice one!
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by gpraceman »

72degrees wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:29 am
I recently did a mass mailing from a forum regarding its future (succession planning, if you will). Several (but fewer than 10) email addresses bounced.
You can scrub all the email addresses through a service, like https://www.bulkemailchecker.com/, pretty inexpensively. I probably should do that for my board members, as I have thousands of members. I already do this prior to sending out my annual newsletter for an ecommerce site of mine.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by 72degrees »

Now that is very useful thanks. I'm trying to assist in a scenario where a significant number of emails from 8000 just vanished, never to even reach recipients' spam traps. KYPREO has alerted me to the fact that it will have been down to over zealous spam scanning and possible perceived poor reputation of the sender (though given a check of the usual blocklist and reputation scoring sites that doesn't seem to be the explanation). Getting OT for this topic so I'd best start a new one somewhere suitable.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by Jobertim »

gpraceman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:48 am

Code: Select all

UPDATE `phpbb3_user_notifications` SET `notify`=0 
WHERE `method`="notification.method.email" AND `user_id` IN(
SELECT `user_id` FROM `phpbb3_users` WHERE `user_lastvisit` > 0 AND`user_lastvisit` < 1487884864
)
Here's the down and dirty query that I came up with. Anyone that hasn't been active in the board for more than 3 years had their notifications removed.

In my case that was a whopping 6,045 records affected.
Thank you so much for providing this. Very useful. I just had 167,826 records updated in a couple of seconds.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by warmweer »

There an extension which may be of use (but it's still a RC).
Spelling is freeware, which means you can use it for free.
On the other hand, it is not open source, which means you cannot change it or publish it in a modified form.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by Jobertim »

warmweer wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:11 am
There an extension which may be of use (but it's still a RC).
Great! Thank you, I will have a look at the extension. :)
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by stevemaury »

gpraceman wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:48 am

Code: Select all

UPDATE `phpbb3_user_notifications` SET `notify`=0 
WHERE `method`="notification.method.email" AND `user_id` IN(
SELECT `user_id` FROM `phpbb3_users` WHERE `user_lastvisit` > 0 AND`user_lastvisit` < 1487884864
)
Here's the down and dirty query that I came up with. Anyone that hasn't been active in the board for more than 3 years had their notifications removed.

In my case that was a whopping 6,045 records affected.
You don't need the back ticks, and I would add AND user_type <> 2 to exclude Anonymous and bots.
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Re: How to Stop Email Notifications for Non-active Members

Post by Jobertim »

stevemaury wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:50 pm
You don't need the back ticks, and I would add AND user_type <> 2 to exclude Anonymous and bots.
What are "back ticks"? :?:
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