Anyone reading these emails we are sending?

I work at a small place. A few users are using an application at our place that I develop and maintain. We all work remotely.

I announce by email to these few users a new version release of said application because of low level changes in the database, send the timeline for the upgrade, I include the new executable, with an easy illustrated 2 minutes *howto* to update painlessly.

Yet, past the date of the upgrade, 100% of the application users emailed me because they were not able to use the software anymore.


Or I have this issue where we identified a vulnerability in our systems - and I send out an email asking (as soon as possible) for which client version users are using to access the database, so that I patch everything swiftly right. Else everything may crash. Like a clean summary, 2 lines. Easy. A 30 second thing.

A week pass, no answer, I send again.

Then a second week pass, one user answers, saying:

> well I am busy, I will have time to check this out in February.


Then I am asking myself:
* Why sending email at all in the first place?

* Who wrote these 'best practices textbooks about warning users on schedule/expected downtime?'

*How about I just patch and release first and then expect the emails from the users *after* because 'something is broken', right? Whatever I do, they don't read it.

Oh and before anyone suggest that I should talk to my boss about this behavior from the users, my boss is included in the aforementioned 'users'.

Catch-22 much ? Haha thanks for reading


  • 4
    They read or at least skim through and either snooze or ignore

    Unless something is burning like wildfire, it doesn't need dousing. It is a typical behaviour embedded in our DNA
  • 7
    Much like your post, it contains too much info.

    Keep your release emails to feature functionality and call out the teams or products that are impacted directly.

    The perfect email is 2-3 short paragraphs and 3-5 pictures.

    Leave the release notes on your repo or somewhere else.

    I used to have the same problem, the above helped me reach 80% of my audience. You will never reach 100%
  • 2
    @asgs yes something like this - 'requiring dousing'. *Thinking about getting to that step earlier in the process.*

    But - seriously I know these people personally, we have been working together for years up to a decade for some. I don't email for random stuff - so getting snoozed feels wrong at time. Oh well..
  • 2
    @sariel I will definitely try to change my approach, even though I still think some of them are not very professionnal. Thanks for the suggestions, I will think about something.
  • 1
    Nice start of a book. The plot is a bit flat, but with some more side lines that could be okay - definitely for VOD, but probably on paper too.
    Not sure, why the protagonist has a problem with people not reding his emails though - that bit really needs more fleshing out...
  • 5
    @sariel with all the respect 100% of the users not taking action. Even on a one liner that is a PEBKAC or organisation issue. It could be that the users have a serious message fatigue.

    I've had something similar once. Close to perfect email. Ordered by significance. Already knew who where going to ignore it. We decided not to help these people. Literally said, well we will handle it at soon as you handle our ask, we don't have time for this. Workers wonders.
    They still ignore mail but not from IT.
  • 0
    better to invest a day making the app auto-update on launch.

    it'll save time in the long run, the time necessary for writing those emails and doing needless "tech support" when everyone contacts you due to ignoring the emails.
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