Using rank up notifications to activate your community

  • 9 March 2018
  • 8 replies
Using rank up notifications to activate your community
Userlevel 7
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This FAQ has been last updated on 07.03.19

Hi all!

You might remember receiving a private message from me after your registration here? Well of course I am not sending all of them individually. 😉 Such notifications can support the activation of your community, as they inform the user that their activity is being appreciated with a higher rank.

As some of you have wondered how to set this up properly and asked me for some tips, I have decided to share this small article with you which will show the best practices around this. Hopefully there will be also valuable information for those amongst us who have activated rank up notifications already!

Some general stuff to start with

You can find the settings for these notifications when you select to edit (or add) a rank in the rank overview:

Just scroll all to the end and you will find the settings:

There are two ways to notify your users that they have ranked up:

Private Message
If you activate this, then the user will receive a private message (duh!). You will have to select a Moderator from whose account this private message will be send:

Things to consider when using this

I strongly recommend to think about the effect that sending these notifications will have on you and your users:

Inflation of notifications
Bare in mind that every private message will trigger an Email notification to the user. If a user ranks up fast and receives all these notifications in a short amount of time, it can easily feel annoying. A superuser might be happy to receive a private message, but on lower ranks I would recommend not to use it for every rank.

Dummy accounts
You might want to use a dummy Moderator account to send rank notifications from. The reason is that every private message that the system sends will also be displayed in that Moderators' inbox. If your community is seeing a lot of new registrations on a daily basis, this might have a negative impact on how you can manage your private messages. Should you decide to use a dummy account, maybe think about adding a sentence like "this is an automated message" to prevent users from responding to it.

Notifications for reaching the first rank
I am also sending a notification after the registration, to welcome new users:

While I think it is nice to give each user a welcoming message, I am a bit hesitant to recommend this for larger communities. Again it feels a bit like spam to receive a second notification right after a user has received the "your account has been activated"-notification just a few seconds earlier...

Best practices

The table below is what I would suggest as a good structure for your notifications:

Your community probably will own more ranks than displayed here. My point is that you should match your notification settings to the level of the rank:

Starter Ranks
Even though notifications will have the biggest impact on the lower ranks, I would recommend to not send notifications too often at this stage. Users are progressing through the ranks rather quickly, so having a notification being send every second rank should be just fine. You might want to start with the second rank, due to reasons mentioned above.

Mid-level Ranks
At this stage, users are not reaching the next rank very quick any more. Therefore it is fine to send a notification for every rank. Also, at this level users are more likely to find it important which rank they own.

Superuser Ranks
As the group of superusers often is very loyal to the community (and the community team), they will really appreciate to get a private message for reaching a new rank. Celebrate their achievement with them by using a more personal tone of voice in your message, this will show that you acknowledge their achievement.

Of course this is simply my own recommendation on how to structure your notifications - there might be other, perfectly fine ways of doing it. So if you are applying another strategy, please let us know in the comments! :)



8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +3
This is awesome, we are going to look at implementing something like this asap.

Anyone else had a go yet or already doing this? Be good to hear what worked for your users and anything that didn't have the right effect?

Userlevel 5
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Hey Darran,

We have been using this mildly and can't really say if it works for us or not, but we are changing this entirely in the near future to trigger specific activations. We will use this to determine what information or participation could be nice for a user when they reach a certain rank.

As an example, when someone is in the lower ranks, maybe he or she doesn’t know about certain aspects of the community, so we offer a bit more depth though the notifications when ranking up. When a user gets to the mid ranks they might be more interested in giving feedback and join our product tests, so we focus on this when reaching those ranks. We intend to use this as a extra to the 'thank you'' and 'congratulations' we will put into the notifications.

If it will all turn out 🙂 we will see....
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
@Julian hi,
I had been forwarded here from "Tips" slider within the Control Environment. It is awesome feature for a visible pat of community I think. E.g. we could show any of instructions from our Knowledgebase which is relevant to the product/platform etc. and this way direct a member to the Tip.
Is it possible to activate a slider for the visible part of the community?
Userlevel 7
Badge +1
Hi Rodion,

I am happy to hear that you used and liked this solution! :)

While the use case for these widgets is different (bringing community content to websites outside of the community), I think this is possible by placing the embed code into the "Third-Party script" tool in control.

I know this has been done before, but i am not sure if this can be done without additional code for the script...

I am out of office today, but I will be happy to check this and get back to you next week!

Until then, i can recommend you to play around with the widget. We even have a tutorial on our community that explains you how to preview the embeddable widgets without adding any code, also on the community!
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hi again Julian,
Maybe I forgot, so please excuse me if I'm asking twice: can I see a list of placeholders I can use in these notifications? I mean a placeholder to add a username automatically and so on. Something like:

Hi #username!
We are glad to see you on the Community!

Where #username is automatically added using member's nickname.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
And one more question:
Is it possible to adjust such notifications for preset primary roles? E.g. automated greeting notification for those who is promoted as a Moderator or Administrator?
And is a wider case: to adjust a greeting notification related to a new role (primary or custom) promotion. Now I can adjust a notification for ranks only.
Userlevel 7
Badge +1
Hi Rodion!

Good questions. I have attached a file which includes an overview of all emails that are being sent to this post. In these examples, you can see the variables/placeholders for each email (they are not working in other emails).

This list includes the standard notification emails (so for replies, new topics etc.), I just saw that it does not include the content of emails send for Badge notifications. For Badge notifications, you can only use those which are being displayed in the notifications section of the Badge settings:

For your second question: This is not possible really, however via rank notifications you can use a trick:

Create e.g. a rank "Community Manager" that can only be received if a user has a certain custom role (here Community Manager). Then you can define a private message which the user will receives once he/she receives a custom role:

That is currently the only option when it comes to custom user roles. However I like the idea of sending a notification as well once a user receives more rights via a custom user role!


Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hi @Julian ,
Thank you for the list attached. Will improve my notifications :)

About the second question - yes, I did that trick already 🙂 But magic does not work if a user should have 1 preset role and 1 custom role with a custom role displayed. I mean, KL employee registered and earner "Employee" custom role. He received a notification on this and some permissions. Later he should be promoted as the Moderator and receive a notification for new moderators. But we'd like "Employee" rank to be shown. So I put "Employee" rank higher than "Moderator" rank in the table. This way our member never gets "Moderator" rank to receive new mods PM.
That's the case.