#TipTuesday: Default Category Following & Notification Preferences

shudebine HLV Staff
edited May 21 in Talk Community #1

Last year Vanilla released Default Category Following and Default Notification Preferences. Let’s review why you should enable both features. 

Setting Default Category Following for new members in your community can help streamline user engagements and encourage participation.  By doing so, users are automatically subscribed to receive updates from specific categories, ensuring they stay informed about topics without needing to manually subscribe.  This can enhance their experience by providing relevant content and update your members on important information.  

In addition to category following, you can also enable Default Notification Preferences. Setting Default Notification Preferences in your community ensures that members receive important notifications via email or pop-ups.  This convenience encourages consistent engagement by keeping members informed about relevant updates, discussions and activities within your community.  This feature ensures that they stay informed and increases their involvement. 

How many default settings should you enable?  Determining the optimal number of default followed categories for your members depends on your community’s goals.  If your community covers many topics and interests enabling all categories might trigger too many notifications and overwhelm users, it might be better to allow members to opt into following categories based on their interests. You will want all your members to follow essential categories such as “Announcements” or “Get Started Guide”, so these are great categories to set as default following.  To foster interactions, consider incorporating an “introduce yourself” discussion within the “Getting Started” category. This way, whenever a new user joins, all members receive a notification, enabling them to extend a warm welcome.  

When configuring Default Notification Preferences, it is tempting to enable all pop-ups and emails. While it may seem beneficial to keep members informed about all activities, it's important to consider the potential for notification overload.  Instead, consider setting a moderate number of default notifications preferences and create a balance between keeping users informed and too many emails. By default, Vanilla sets out-of-the-box best practice default notification preferences, so make sure to review and adjust the settings to what makes sense for your community. 

Ensure your community provides clear guidance on how members can personalize their notification settings according to their individual preferences and engagement level.  Consider adding a Call-To-Action widget on your homepage encouraging members to update their notification preferences. This empowers members to customize their experience, receiving updates tailored to their needs, promoting a positive member experience without feeling overwhelmed.  

Check out these articles to help you set Default Category Following and Default Notification Preferences. 

Need help creating a “Get Started Guide”?  Take a look at Justin’s #TipTuesday. 

If you haven’t seen our last #tiptuesday post, check it out here! More tips, examples, and Higher Logic Vanilla product highlights will be shared every Tuesday 😊 





  • boryana
    boryana Vanilla Seedling

    Hi @shudebine this is a great and very valuable feature! I have a question: is it possible to make the default followed category dependent on the country of origin or the subcommunity where the user registered? We would love to use this feature but are currently navigating 5 different language communities, so only one default followed category in only one language for all users does not make sense. Thanks for the insights!

  • Kirstie Macfarlane

    Hi @boryana - unfortunately this isn't possible at this time, but I think it would be a great product idea for you to suggest!