Email notifications improved

March 7, 2008

Yesterday, the new BookMooch version that went up had a set of improvements around the mooch notification emails. Specifically, the email is now much, much shorter and simpler, and most of the actions you would have done from the email are now done from a single web page.

Here is what the email mooch notification used to look like:

A person from BookMooch.com wants you to send your book to them:

Requestor: dave (USA: NY)
Title: Massive Change
Author: Bruce Mau
URL: http://www.bookmooch.com/m/detail/0714844012
You received: 3 points
You now have: 167 points

——————————————————————–
If you have any questions about the person requesting this book, feel free to email them by replying to this email message. If you suspect something isn’t quite right, click the ‘report abuse’ button on their bio page and a BookMooch volunteer will look into it for you.

http://www.bookmooch.com/m/bio/dav
——————————————————————–

Tell us if you will send this book:

+ SENT: you HAVE SENT it, click
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/yes/dav/1533

+ ACCEPT: you will send this book soon
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/accept/dav/1533

+ DELAY: you WILL SEND it, but there will be a delay, click
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/delay/dav/1533

– REJECT: you WILL NOT send it, click:
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/no/dav/1533

Postage cost calculator:
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/postage?t=dav%2F1533

You will earn point(s) by sending this book, which you can use to get any books you want from BookMooch.

You can view all your pending books at:
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/pending

The person wants you to send the book to:
—————————————–
dave
123 main street
San Poblano, UT 12345
United States
—————————————–

The person left these comments for you:
—————————————
Thanks again John!!!
—————————————

To read the requestor’s bio, click:
http://www.bookmooch.com/m/bio/dav

You have already been awarded points for this mooch. The points will be deducted if you reject this mooch or the requestor cancels their request.

To send the book requestor an email, simply reply to this message.

WOW, that is one long email message!

I decided to cut most of that email body text out, replace it with a single URL that would have the same options, but cleaned up.

As of today, this is what the mooch notification email looks like:

A person from BookMooch.com wants you to send your book to them:

Title: Star Trek Generations Cassette
Author: J.M. Dillard

Send to: John Buckman (UK)
——————–
John Buckman
51 Main Street
WC91 9PQ London
United Kingdom
——————–

Tell us if you will send this book:
http://bookmooch.com/m/request/johnbuckman/55

————————————————————————–
If you have any questions about the person requesting this book, feel free to email them by replying to this email message. If you suspect something isn’t quite right, click the ‘report abuse’ button on their bio page and a BookMooch volunteer will look into it for you.

http://bookmooch.com/m/bio/johnbuckman
————————————————————————–

I was very tempted to remove the “If you have any questions about the person…” paragraph on the end, but I decided not to, as it seems like an important thing for new users to learn about.

However, maybe I could remove that last paragraph from the emails you receive after you’ve received 5 mooch requests — you wouldn’t be a new newbie any more and wouldn’t need to be reminded to check out the moocher’s profile any more. Do you agree?

If the book owner clicked on the “Tell us if you will send this book” link:
http://bookmooch.com/m/request/johnbuckman/55

this is what the page looks like:

Newmoochn

All the same information and actions that were on the email are presented on this page, and I think it’s both cleaner, simpler and easier to see what to do next. I also changed the actions from “you” to “I”, as in “I will send the book” rather than “You will send this book”, which it used to be: this seemed just a bit more clear to me.

Continuing in this direction, the email sent to you when you mooch, letting you know that your mooch request is being processed, used to look like this:

You have requested a book from someone else at BookMooch.com

Title: “Time Out” Los Angeles (Time Out Los Angeles)
Author: Will Fulford-Jones
Owner: John Buckman (USA: CA)
URL: http://bookmooch.com/m/detail/1904978991
Your cost: 2 points
You now have: 155.1 points

============================================================================
BookMooch has emailed this person, asking if they plan on sending the book to you. While you wait, you can:

STATUS: check the status of your pending book mooches:
http://bookmooch.com/m/pending

REMIND: if you don’t hear from the book owner in a few days:
http://bookmooch.com/m/remind/johnbuckman/53

EMAIL: send an email to the book owner:
http://bookmooch.com/m/email/buckman_ca

CANCEL: if you no longer want this book
http://bookmooch.com/m/cancel/johnbuckman/53

RECEIVED: once you receive this book, be sure to click:
http://bookmooch.com/m/received/johnbuckman/53

============================================================================

You have requested that the book be mailed to:
———————————————
John Buckman
51 Main Street
WC91 9PQ London
United Kingdom
———————————————

this has been shortened to:

You have requested a book from someone else at BookMooch.com

Title: The Annotated C++ Reference Manual
Author: Margaret A. Ellis
Owner: John Buckman (USA: CA)
Your cost: 2 points
You now have: 157.1 points

BookMooch has emailed this person, asking if they plan on sending the book to you.

You have requested that the book be mailed to:
———————————————
John Buckman
51 Main Street
WC91 9PQ London
United Kingdom
———————————————

If you want to cancel or follow up, please go to:
http://bookmooch.com/m/followup/johnbuckman/56

the followup URL goes to a page that looks like this:

Moochfn

Note that this page shows the live “status” of my mooch request, as well as (on the right) how many points this book cost me.

As always, I’m open to suggestions on how to improve this further!


n.b.:

Several people thought that I had removed the (optional) comment from the email notifications, since the before-vs-after example had a comment in the “before” version, but not “after” version. Sorry about causing confusion.

Actually, I had already promoted the comment to a more visible position in the new email format, as I agree with the feedback that it wasn’t noticeable in the old emails.

Here is a copy of what the current email notifications look like with a comment in them:

A person from BookMooch.com wants you to send your book to them:

Title: Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities
Author: John Hagel

Send to:
——————–
John Buckman
51 Main Street
WC91 9PQ London
United Kingdom
——————–

The person left these comments for you:
—————————————
I’ve been looking forward to reading this!
—————————————

Tell us if you will send this book:
http://bookmooch.com/m/request/johnbuckman/57

————————————————————————–
If you have any questions about the person requesting this book, feel free to email them by replying to this email message. If you suspect something isn’t quite right, click the ‘report abuse’ button on their bio page and a BookMooch volunteer will look into it for you.

http://bookmooch.com/m/bio/johnbuckman
————————————————————————–

-john

22 Responses to “Email notifications improved”

  1. I’ve said this to Karen before, but especially when I was relatively new, I didn’t know to scroll down beyond the requestor’s address for any comments they’d left.

    It resulted in quite an ugly situation.

    If there’s any way to move the comments from the moocher up so it’s more visible, I’d sure appreciate it.

  2. Lottie said

    Yeah I agree with Susan, I think this would be an improvement.

  3. Peggy T said

    Adding another step (link to URL) when asking for a response on “Send, Accept, Delay”, etc. has me wondering. As it is now, having the response directly from the email has more immediate sense of action needing to be taken.
    Removing it one step by choosing the URL link….well, not sure that will get as many responses.
    But I do understand you trying for a cleaner, simpler feel.

    The change to the confirmation of mooch email seems OK. But would it be confusing to newbies to have this form seen only once, or is the pending page changing to have a selection that gives this view when selecting details on a mooched book?

    Susan makes a good point. I don’t see where the comments are in your new version. Placing them above the address makes them more visible. Maybe even in Bold Italic!

    Only my two cents. Thanks for trying to improve the site.
    I noticed the speed is fast, fast this morning!

    Thanks
    Peggy T

  4. Tina (USA;MO) said

    I think all of these suggestions are great, and really appreciate all of your hard work in the last couple of days and before I became a member.

  5. smittydoodle said

    I never click the links inside the email. I usually read the email, close it, go to Bookmooch and press “Accept” from there. I don’t know why. I guess I just feel it’s more secure. So this isn’t much different– I like it. I’ll probably click the link now to that page.

  6. Mary said

    I like the shorter email, and agree with the suggestion about moving the comments up.
    Forgive me if this sounds kinda picky, but I really think the option to immediately hit the “sent” button should be removed. I’ve seen this mentioned in the forum, people frustrated because a mooch was accepted/sent, they got the book 3 weeks later with a postmark dated 2 weeks after the accept/sent date. Part of this is a communication issue, I’m sure. It’s just that to me, sent means sent….you have physically put the book in the post, it is no longer in your possession.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Thank you John and to everyone on your team for all of your hard work, and for actually caring about what members think!
    Mary

  7. I received my first mooch request with the new format this morning. I think the new format is a great improvement — simpler, cleaner, less cluttered, and with the comments visible right below the address. Thanks!

    Bad guys will forge emails from Ebay, Amazon, PayPal, your bank, and probably even BookMooch if they think it will benefit them. For security purposes I generally don’t click links in emails (and I’m not alone). I read the mail, cut & paste the moocher’s address into another application to print my mailing label, close the mail, go to BookMooch, click my pending page, and click Accept for the mooch. When I did that this morning I don’t think I ever saw the new pending page. I think I clicked the pending tab, saw the familiar list, and clicked the Accept button to the right of the newly-mooched book.

    I am in favor of any changes for newbies and people with minimal computer savvy that makes the process simple and unambiguous.

    Jon

  8. irisin said

    I never directly replied from these emails either, always use the “pending” page, but I agree that some (many?) people do not see comments and it would be great if they had a different font/were more visible.

  9. Aramada said

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems you’ve taken out this section:

    “The person left these comments for you:
    —————————————
    Thanks again John!!!
    —————————————”

    I don’t see it in your example of the “new” email. So, does that mean we can no longer leave comments when we mooch? Or if we can, where are they showing up exactly?

    ~Aramada

  10. Judy said

    I think many people are missing the comments from moochers in the e-mails. I think the comments should be put in the e-mail in a place that would stand out more, and maybe if they were bold or italicized it would help too.

    Shortening the e-mail seems like a great idea to me. I always use the pending page to respond because it is easier to do everything from one page, and it’s much easier to read.

    Keep up the great work – we appreciate it!

  11. Tangent said

    I agree that it would be a good idea to move the comments further up the email… perhaps even above the address.

  12. kaitlin said

    Is there any way to stop the emails? I check book mooch complusively so I do not really need to get the reminders. Is that possible?

  13. Heather19 said

    Yes, please put the comments back in the emails! There is often important info in those comments.

  14. Stephanie said

    I like the new, shorter and cleaner version. I am another one that doesn’t take action from the email, but simply use the email as a prompt for me to log onto bookmooch and go to my pending page.

  15. Winna said

    I think the improvements are good. I like them better than the previous ones.

  16. Chelsea Kerr said

    Well, I think the new URL is great, because I do use the liks w/in the mail.
    Though, I do have to agree w/ maybe bringing the comments to the top of the notice and perhaps in bold. It’s partly just me, cause of eye strain issues, but bold (or maybe a little larger for personal comments) would be easier for us to realize there IS a personal comment, as opposed to the letter being the ususal formal one.

  17. barbara j. rios said

    Excellent change. Simpler is always better. Cautionary paragraph? Either way is okay.

  18. Aramada said

    I found a problem with the “You’ve sent a reminder” email.

    In the new format, these are the choices you get in the email (This is from a Reminder email that I sent to another person inquiring about a mooch I made):
    BookMooch has emailed a reminder to this person, asking if they plan on
    sending the book to you. While you wait, you can:

    STATUS: check the status of your pending book mooches:
    http://www.bookmooch.com/m/pending

    REMIND: if you don’t hear from the book owner in a few days:
    http://www.bookmooch.com/m/remind/aramada/583

    EMAIL: send an email to the book owner:
    http://www.bookmooch.com/m/email/aramada

    Send an email to the book owner…but the link is connected to MY account. Bookmooch won’t let you send an email to yourself!! That email link should go to the Bookowner, not back to yourself!

    ~Aramada

  19. re: “You’ve sent a reminder” email

    Thanks for catching that, it’s definitely a mistake and I’ll fix it.

  20. Dovile said

    I like the changes, but just wanted to comment on Postage button. I’m sure it’s a great help for US members, but is there a way to remove it or stop appearing on the page of members from other countries? It’s simply useless and confusing. Unless you eventually plan to put postage from other countries under it. Now that would be great…

  21. re: postage

    that postage button should only appear if you’re sending from a country where BookMooch knows the URL to the postage service. It shouldn’t appear if you’re not in the USA and not in a country we know about. If it is appearing and goes to the wrong web site, please give me detail.

  22. Barb said

    I LOVE that you have reduced the notification to ONE page! I always print it out and put it with the book, so I can make sure to send it to the right person. This makes doing that much easier.

    I also would like it if you KEEP the if this feels wrong…. statement in there. If a person has done 5 mooches then not done any for a month or more, they may forget that help is available if they ask.

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